July and EOFY 2019/2020 Investor Update

30 July 2020

Watch our EOFY market update with John Cunningham and Trent Docherty to get the latest news on managing your investment (as published in our July Investor Newsletter)

We are continuing to monitor the evolving COVID-19 situation and the impact it is having on the local property market. Whilst there has been a spike in cases in some parts of Sydney and NSW, our office continues to operate within the current Government guidelines.

Over the last two months routine Inspections have recommenced and we are seeing increased numbers through our rental open homes. Currently, our days on market sits at 16 days which is unusual albeit fantastic for this time of year, when we normally see a slow down of the rental market. To give you a comparison, this time last year our days on market was 23 days, which is still good and quite normal during Winter.

As you will know, the Government announced an extension to the Job Keeper package, which we expect will continue to provide assistance to tenants that have had their household incomes impacted during this period. We will continue to work with our tenants and landlords to reach agreements on rental payments where necessary. If you are a commercial or residential landlord who has reduced your tenants rent due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for the NSW Government’s Land Tax Relief. To be eligible you must have a land tax liability in 2020, and landlords are encouraged to apply before 31 October 2020. Click here to find out more on Service NSW.

Extended notice periods

Along with restrictions on evictions for rental arrears, the Government has also extended the notice periods for certain other lease termination reasons to 90 days. This 90 day notice period applies when ending:

  • A fixed-term agreement
  • A periodic agreement
  • A tenancy because of breach of agreement other than for non-payment of rent or charges.

Please keep this in mind if you are thinking of making any changes to your current tenancy arrangements, if you need any further clarification please get in touch with your Asset Manager.

Legislation Changes

A number of legislation changes came into effect on 23 March this year, ranging from changes to Trust Account Requirements to amendments to Forms of Agreement.

Our team are across the updates and will be implementing the necessary changes across the business. Those that will directly affect you as a Landlord are:

  1. Changes to Break Fee when ending a Fixed Term Tenancy

If the tenant ends the Residential Tenancy Agreement before the end of the fixed term of the agreement, the tenant must pay a break fee of the following amount if the fixed term is not more than 3 years:

  • 4 weeks rent if less than 25% of the fixed term has expired,
  • 3 weeks rent if 25% or more but less than 50% of the fixed term has expired,
  • 2 weeks rent if 50% or more but less than 75% of the fixed term has expired,
  • 1 weeks rent if 75% or more of the fixed term has expired.
  1. New Smoke Alarm Obligations

Landlords need to ensure smoke alarms installed at the rented property are in working order and checked annually, steep penalties will apply for landlords who fail to comply. Click here for more information from NSW Fair Trading.

  1. Minor Alterations

Tenants can install fixtures or make alterations, additions, or renovations if they have the landlords written consent, or if the tenancy agreement permits it. If the tenant’s request is of a minor nature the landlord must not unreasonably refuse. Items include securing furniture to the wall for safety reasons, installing child safety gates and child proof latches, etc. Click here for a full list.

  1. Additional Water Efficiency Measures

For a landlord to be able to pass along water usage charges to the tenant, the residential property must be separately metered and meet the water efficiency measures. The changes provide additional water efficiency measures including all taps and toilets on the property need to be checked at the start of a tenancy so that leaks are fixed. This requirement applies to all existing and new tenancy agreements from 23 March 2020. Click here to find out more about all the changes.

PM Software Upgrade

You may have noticed a change in our recent communications with you. We have been undergoing a major software upgrade and have been rolling this out in stages since the beginning of the year. One of the major changes to new legislation as mentioned above has enabled us to send and sign leases and ingoing condition reports to tenants, electronically.

Our new software enables us to do this seamlessly, ensuring no signatures are missed by any party, with automated reminders for upcoming lease deadlines and gives access to all lease documents via the online portal. We will continue to keep you updated as we roll this out.

Our Property Management results during FY 2019/2020

Leased: 612 properties
Number of open home inspections: 3,293
Average rental price: $753
Average DOM: 19.3 days

For comparison, please refer to the below results from the Financial Year 2018/2019

Leased: 586 properties
Number of open home inspections: 3,210
Average rental price: $786pw
Average DOM: 20.4 days

Well done team!!

If you have any questions or would like to arrange a discussion with our investment management team, please give us a call on 9949 7077.