Nsw Government COVID-19 News Updates

Author: Let's Rent Team, August 11, 2021

The global pandemic is still with us. The ‘Delta variant’ is running rampant in parts of NSW and the premier has announced the current lockdown is expected to continue until the end of August.

I Just wanted to say a big “thank you” to all those clients who have reached out with kind words and support. It means so much to the team and me! We hope you and your families are doing ok in the current circumstances and can find some positives to focus on. The sunshine and blue skies have been amazing this week!

Eviction Moratorium and Rent Relief

No changes from my email last weekend but to recap on the basics see below.

To be eligible for the 60-day freeze on evictions:

  • tenants must demonstrate a loss of 25% of their household’s take-home weekly income, including any government support, to qualify
  • they must continue to pay at least 25% of their rent to avoid eviction (regardless of moratorium)
  • they must notify us in writing that they or other members of the household have, or have had, COVID, and provide supporting documentation

The Residential Tenancy Support Payment provides some financial support for landlords

  • the grant is available to landlords who agree on a rent reduction with their COVID-19 affected tenants
  • government is providing landlords with up to $1,500, or the reduction agreed with your tenants, whichever is the lower
  • government have made the process to claim the $1500 simple but a landlord must provide the relief prior to applying
  • Landlords may not ask their tenants to repay the reduced amount of rent that has been paid to them under this scheme
  • any agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties

More information is available on the NSW Fairtrading website

Lockdown and Viewings

We continue to show prospective tenants through our properties one at a time ….. As you can imagine, it is very time consuming but viewers are more qualified. We’re seeing good numbers coming through well presented, well-priced properties at the beginning of each campaign. There are definitely significant numbers of people on the move who need to find a new home. We are calling all enquirers to arrange an inspection time to suit them. Some tenants continue to refuse access during the lockdown and this is understandable. This number has increased from last month as cases have increased.

New Tenancies

The restrictions on construction have caused delays with the commencement of some new tenancies but they all seem to be back on track now. It seems surprising so many renovations are going ahead. Certainly, some industries have benefited from Covid and I imagine people in those industries are cash-rich. Others may benefit from the fact money is so cheap at the moment. Of course, no overseas travel helps with savings too!

Market Conditions

We were super busy in July and took 20 deposits on new tenancies. We are leasing some properties off-market and have a good database in most categories. Of course, it’s still necessary to market most properties and numbers are high at the beginning of a campaign if priced right. Presentation as always is important.

Vacancy Rate

Our vacancy rate increased in July to 2.9% but this was due to vacant new business properties. Out of 15 vacant properties, six of those are new to our portfolio. The REI vacancy rate for June increased to 4% from 3.3% in May. No doubt the REI vacancy rate in July will increase due to existing tenants not allowing access to show prospective tenants through.

Let’s Rent

  • February 4%
  • March 3.1%
  • April 1.9
  • May 1.8%
  • June 1.8%
  • July 2.9%
  • Six-month average: 2.6%

REI Vacancy Rate Inner Sydney

  • January 4.8%
  • February 3.7%
  • March 4.5%
  • April 4%
  • May 3.3%
  • June 4%
  • Six-month average: 4.1%

Your Property Management team continues to work for you whether we are in lockdown or not. We are all very much looking forward to getting outside and back to normal life. It seems likely that the ending of the current lockdown will coincide with the start of Spring. Hopefully, we’ll all be out and about and back to business in some warmer weather very soon.

Finally, thank you to those of you who have sent questions through! I really do love to hear your burning property management questions. Don’t forget, we are always happy to check out any investments you may be interested in purchasing and provide a rental appraisal together with feedback on rentability.

For more information