Metro Melbourne Stage 4 Restrictions | Tenant FAQs

8 Sep 2020

More than ever, we’re supporting our team, our clients and our community to work through the challenges that COVID-19 presents.  As we continue to navigate a changed setting for residential tenancies over the next few weeks, our team’s priority is to continue to provide you with a level of service, adaptation and information that reflects the changing conditions.  Below are our most frequently asked questions to help provide clarity and assistance during this time.

What does the Stage 4 lockdown mean for real estate?
All real estate offices (residential and commercial) in Melbourne Metro are closed under stage 4 restrictions. We are unable to conduct any onsite work, visit properties or conduct tenant inspections, including by private appointment.

The entire Brad Teal team continue to work remotely to support our clients.  All office numbers, direct lines, mobiles and email addresses remain active and we’re available (virtually!) as normal.

I have leased a property, can I still move in?
The Victorian government have issued a directive to facilitate the commencement of a tenancy during the next six weeks, where:

  • The tenancy was approved prior to Thursday 6 August, and
  • The tenant has paid their first month’s rent, and
  • The tenant has paid their bond.

I’m currently looking to lease a property, is this still possible?
At this stage, the government direction is that we cannot continue to lease properties for the next 6 week period.  This may be subject to change based on evolving dialogue with government.  For now, you may be able to view properties via video link and sign a lease however you can’t move in until after the stage 4 restriction is lifted.

I’m due to vacate my property, is this still possible?
Services related to an end of lease are permitted.  This includes vacate inspection, arrangement of cleaning & related services, locksmith services, collection of keys (with the appropriate permits in place).

I have a maintenance issue, will it be attended to?
Only emergency maintenance can be undertaken on rental properties during this period.

How do I pay my rent if your offices are closed?
If you pay your rent directly to our office you will need to contact your Client Manager to make alternative arrangements.  We have many payment options you can select from.

I’m in financial distress due to the COVID-19 pandemic, what can I do?
If you are facing genuine financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact your Client Manager.  The team is fielding requests for rental assistance on a case by case basis.  Tenants must complete a hardship application form, in line with government formula which classifies hardship when a tenant is paying more than 30% of their income towards rent.  This triggers a basis for negotiation of a temporary rent reduction or deferral between landlord and tenant, and a possible tenant application for state government rent relief of up to $3,000.   Each circumstance is unique and the team has been working very diligently to pull together full information to assist in making recommendations of support to landlords and to provide advice to tenants to ensure rent continues to be paid.

I received a rent relief grant before the increase came in on 20 August 2020. Am I eligible to receive another payment at the higher rate of $3,000?

Yes. If you continue to meet the eligibility criteria and have already received a grant of up to $2,000, Housing Victoria will automatically calculate whether you are eligible for an additional payment of up to $1,000 and contact you to confirm your tenancy is still current and eligible.

Will routine inspections be taking place?
In-person routine inspections are currently not permitted.  Our team will continue to conduct virtual routine inspections of your property.  Please contact your Client Manager if you would like further information on this process.

What happens if my lease is up for renewal?
We are continuing to negotiate lease renewals where possible to ensure you have a secure and continuous tenancy.

What is the Victorian Government COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) Bill 2020
The Victorian Government COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) Bill 2020 provides temporary amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act and came into effect retrospectively on 29 March 2020, remaining in force until 31st March 2021.  The Bill has put in place a range of measures including a moratorium on evictions, rent increases, notice to vacates and arrears.  A link to the measures can be found here https://www.legislation.vic.gov.au/bills/covid-19-omnibus-emergency-measures-bill-2020 and our team continues to navigate the application of these changes to individual circumstances daily.

Please contact the Brad Teal team via phone or email should you require assistance.  We’re here to help.


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