Coronavirus Update - Stage 4 Restrictions
By buyer | 11th Aug 20
PROPERTY MANAGEMENT UPDATE – STAGE 4 RESTRICTIONS
During these uncertain times, we want to assure our owners and tenants that although we cannot conduct “business as usual” we have been working on our processes and procedures to ensure we can still provide our Property Management services throughout the Stage 4 Restrictions.
Our office is officially closed; however our team are still working hard from their homes and our office phone is diverted. We provide the following update on our services and how they will operate throughout this period: -
During Stage 4 Restrictions, all general (non-urgent) maintenance will need to be postponed until after lockdown. We ask all tenants to continue to report maintenance so that we can obtain approval from the Landlord and have our trades ready to book times when suitable.
Urgent Repairs will still be attended to during Stage 4 lockdown. Please note that under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997, urgent repairs in a rental property are:
• burst water service
• blocked or broken toilet system
• serious roof leak
• gas leak
• dangerous electrical fault
• flooding or serious flood damage
• serious storm or fire damage
• failure or breakdown of any essential service or appliance provided by a landlord or agent for hot water, water, cooking, heating, or laundering
• failure or breakdown of the gas, electricity or water supply
• any fault or damage in the premises that makes the premises unsafe or insecure
• an appliance, fitting or fixture that is not working properly and causes a substantial amount of water to be wasted
• a serious fault in a lift or staircase.
For all urgent maintenance requests, tenants must contact their Property Manager for approval first. If the matter is out of normal business hours, then you may contact our registered emergency tradespeople directly.
Rental payments will not be impacted and we will continue to receipt rentals and pay our Landlords as per normal once funds are cleared. We will continue to enter and pay invoices on behalf of Landlords who have requested this service and will also follow up arrears daily.
Should you have any queries about your rental payments or statements, please contact your Property Manager to discuss.
VCAT are only hearing urgent matters, and all non-urgent matters are being adjourned. This is expected to cause significant delays both now and when outstanding applications are rescheduled. Where there is an urgent dispute or matter which needs to be dealt with by VCAT (Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal) the hearings and will be heard by telephone.
End of Lease - Tenants Vacating
We continue to work with Tenants and Landlords to efficiently finalise a lease during this lockdown period. Key safes are being installed at all vacating properties for tenants to return their keys without contact and then our staff will proceed to conduct a final inspection.
As per our normal procedure, we will discuss the final inspection with the Tenant and Landlord to finalise the bond and address any pending matters.
New lease arrangements
A tenant who has signed a lease agreement and is scheduled to move in during the period of lockdown can still go ahead. We are however awaiting clarification from the REIV on whether the lease needed to be signed prior to lockdown. This update is expected within the next 24 hours.
We will again utilise key safes for ingoing tenants to ensure there is no contact. We are already utilising paperless condition reports, which allows tenants to complete the report on their device and return it to us within three business days.
During Stage 4, we have not been given the approval to conduct any inspections for prospective tenants in person. We have taken videos of all vacant properties and updated our online adverts to advise tenants they can apply online based on the footage they have viewed.
In this instance, we will have the tenants sign a clause confirming they have not personally inspected the property and if they change their mind once viewing it, they will incur break lease fees.
We are currently unable to conduct routine inspections, however we are working with our tenants to complete a remote inspection report. This includes instructions to the tenants on what needs to be photographed in the report and guidelines on comments regarding the condition of items.
Once it is safe to start inspecting properties, we will resume with onsite routine inspections.
We want to thank all our Tenants and Owners who have been patient whilst these changes have been implemented. We will continue to keep abreast of any changes to legislation and amend our procedures accordingly.
Stay safe and we look forward to continuing to assist you with your property needs!
Michelle Valentic and the Property Management team