By Chief Executive Officer Gil King
There has been much said about the financial distress caused by the impact of the coronavirus.
The Victorian Government set out a range of measures including, in no small part, rent relief for tenants. A series of financial support initiatives were legislated to assist tenants of both residential and commercial property.
These initiatives required property managers to understand, negotiate, coordinate and implement government initiatives in a challenging environment.
Most property managers were dealing with stressed out landlords and worried tenants. Property managers performed their duties under extreme pressure with limited information and new processes and procedures. Each property manager deserves to feel very proud about the significance of the work they undertook and the results they achieved for all involved.
The REIV has been in regular communication with property managers across the membership to help support with information, tools and resources to make their roles a bit easier during these chaotic times.
Feedback gathered from our members has given us a valuable insight into the challenges that property managers faced as we all were forced to adapt to disruptions caused by COVID-19.
Ninety-five per cent of property managers who responded to the REIV survey received at least one enquiry related to COVID-19, and 19% of them had more than 60 queries. A quarter of respondents received between 21 to 40 requests from tenants since 29 March 2020 for rent reduction. With another 10 per cent dealing with up to 60 enquiries.
An overwhelming majority of rent reduction requests were negotiated and managed between the tenant, property manager and landlord, without the need for any government intervention. At the time of the survey, over 76 per cent of the rent requests had been agreed between landlords and tenants from over 8,500 total requests captured and 17 per cent were still in negotiation.
The REIV will continue to fly the flag for the rental industry, and we are immensely proud of the fantastic work produced every day by Victorian property managers.
On 24 July the REIV celebrated National Property Managers’ Day to help acknowledge the hard work that has been invested by property managers. They have had to adapt quickly to changing rules and deal with people who were under great stress.
As always, if a buyer or a seller is looking for objective information on the market or an agency– they should visit reiv.com.au.