What you need to know
It’s less than two weeks until the most significant changes to Queensland Residential Tenancies Law in a long time take effect.
Some media outlets have taken pleasure in instilling drama, and there is some misinformation circulating in the news regarding how these changes will affect investors.
Lets break down the most significant changes into “bite-size” chunks so that you are well informed about how, if at all, you will be impacted as an investor.
Today, we’ll take a look at one change that has many of our clients concerned.
Renters can authorise up to two weeks’ rent for emergency repairs under current law.
This will change on October 1st to up to four weeks’ rent.
It’s difficult to believe that someone can authorise repairs worth four weeks’ rent without your permission. However, this only applies to emergency repairs and if the renter has been unable to contact their property manager. Repairs for Emergencies
What constitutes an emergency is actually quite simple to understand, as there are specific items outlined in the legislation. If you want, you can view this list on the RTA website here.
THE MOTIVATION FOR THE CHANGE
This update was made to ensure that if there is an emergency and the owner/property manager is unable or unwilling to assist, tenants can arrange for the issue to be resolved and appropriately reimbursed.
It is very much about ensuring the safety of properties, and the increase in “spend” amount accounts for the increase in the costs for these types of works.
In our agency, we do not anticipate an increase in the number of requests for reimbursement of emergency repair costs.
Because Murphy’s Law dictates that emergencies usually occur after business hours, the new legislation will also require tenants to be provided with the names and contact information of qualified tradespeople to deal with any emergency issues. It will no longer be sufficient to simply provide a contact number for a property manager or owner.
To ensure that we are in compliance with these regulations, we will provide our existing tenants with the contact information for our emergency tradespeople. To ensure that we are in compliance with the requirements, we will include this information on all new tenants’ tenancy agreements in the future.
Please be assured that our nominated trades are well-versed in what constitutes an emergency repair and will contact us immediately if contacted by a tenant. If something like this occurs, we will bring you up to speed as soon as possible.
Although there is a lot to consider with these changes regarding emergency repairs, and we certainly need to make sure we are remaining compliant , we are confident that our clients will be minimally impacted.
YOUR PROPERTY TEAM’S APPROACH
Our procedure will remain largely unchanged. We already explain to our tenants, when they first move into a property, what their responsibilities are in terms of reporting repairs and maintenance. We also give them instructions on what to do if they need an emergency repair.
In the first instance, we request that they contact us directly and provide them with an after-hours phone number. Moving forwards, we will send them our recommended repairers.
If you have any questions or would like to have a chat about how Your Property Team can help you with your investment property, click here to get in touch, we’re ready to help!
Please keep in mind that this post is not intended to provide financial or legal advice. Before making any decisions for yourself, please speak with your expert financial and legal advisors.