When a tenant asks for a rent reduction + tips for finding a new one

Jarrod McCabe (top left), director, and Jordan Telfer (bottom left) client liaison manager, Wakelin Property Advisory drill deep into the most pressing tenancy matters of the moment.

Co-presented with Martin Sizer (bottom right) and Francesca Gulluni (top right) of Nelson Alexander, hear their on-the-ground rental property management insights on working with distressed tenants.

And with rising tenant vacancy rates, learn how to find a tenant in these competitive times.

WAKELIN OVERVIEW by Jordan Telfer (from 2 min 16 secs)

– Negotiation between landlord and tenant: the various parties involved

TOPICS COVERED by Nelson Alexander (from 9 mins 16 secs)

– What is the COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) 2020? – What has been the impact of the pandemic on property management? Has Nelson Alexander received many calls for help from tenants? So what steps should a landlord take if approached for a rent reduction? Are there some principles they should adopt in terms of the period of an agreement, review processes and so on? In the first instance, how does one establish if a rent reduction is reasonable?

– There is a binding arbitration process if agreement can’t be reached. Do you think this will be required in many cases? How does arbitration work in practice? – How does a landlord determine if they fulfil the criteria for rent relief or land tax rebate? Will most landlords receive the $2,000 rent relief and is it a lump sum?

– How does one ensure that a tenant sticks to their side of the agreement?

– If my tenant wants to break the lease, is there any compensation I can receive, either from the tenant, the bond or from the rent relief grant?

– Is Nelson Alexander seeing a high levels of tenants vacating properties?

– How is supply and demand for vacant properties?

– Any advice to landlords with a vacant property at the moment?

This video is one of two on the Melbourne property market during the covid-19 pandemic made in May 2020. Please watch a video providing a property sales and financial update with Wakelin and Stuart Wemyss of ProSolution Private Clients.

Note that there has been some conflicting messages from Victorian state departments (which has been acknowledged to us by Consumer Affairs) about whom is the ultimate beneficiary of the rent relief grant. From our enquiries we have established that the tenant is. The grant is transmitted from DHHS to the landlord or their agent, and then must be used as part credit towards the tenant’s periodic revised rent payment. It cannot be used to part compensate the landlord for the dollar gap between the old and new rent rates. Landlords must bear this in mind when negotiating a ‘sharing the pain’ revised rental agreement with covid-19-affected tenants.

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