How are Fuse Property working with landlords and tenants during COVID-19?
As you would have no doubt noticed, Australia is experiencing a health and economic crisis like we have not seen before. Our team has spent many days and weeks planning and preparing our processes and firming up our ability function over the next 6 months.
At Fuse Property, we have built and developed our business around great technology and digital platforms so moving to a digital only business for the foreseeable future does not posed a challenge for us.
Rental & Sales Appraisals
While our office doors are closed to drop in appointments, we are still able to meet with our clients on a one on one basis. Rental and sales appraisals and new business appointments are still being held as business as usual (More on how we are holding open homes and routine inspections below).
Communication With Clients
Regardless of the current health crisis, at Fuse Property we believe in clear and honest communication with our clients. We have been sending regular updates to our landlords and tenants helping to outline media releases that relate directly to tenancies and/or making rental payments. We have also made contact with all our tenants to encourage them to communicate with us if they experience any financial hardship during this time.
Rental payments & issuing notices for late rent:
While we understand that some people in our community are going to experience financial hardship, we are also conscious of our need to comply with our legislative requirements under the tenancy agreement to ensure that the landlords insurances remain in place.
While the Australian Government have placed a Moratorium on Evictions, this is not a Moratorium on Rental Payments.
At the time of writing this email, no changes have been made to the notice requirements under our legislation and we are required to issue a notice to remedy when the rent is 8 days late and a notice to leave when the rent is 15 days late.
Landlords insurers make it very clear that non-compliance with the legislation will void the landlord’s insurance policy. This is not an outcome that we can risk for our landlords or for our tenants.
Should the legislation be changed, we will adhere to these new changes and ensure our clients are updated of what these changes are.
Disbursements of rental income will remain the same (weekly, fortnightly or monthly) and statements will be issued to you in accordance with our client current payment schedule.
From Monday, 23rd March 2020, we will be holding all our open homes by Facebook Live open home exclusively however we also expect that some potential tenants would still like to physically view a property.
Potential tenants asking for a physical open will need to apply for the property and be approved first. This will mean that the number of potential tenants physically viewing a property will be severely limited however we are taking this step to ensure social distancing requirements are being met.
If a one on one open is being held, we are requiring anyone coming into the house to use hand sanitiser and our team are wearing gloves.
Should the Government issue shut down/lock down measures, we will not be holding physical open homes regardless of the potential applicant’s desire to do so and they will need to apply based on the Facebook open home exclusively. However, until such time we will still be requiring access to the property for open homes for approved applicants.
New tenancies & approval of applications
The way that Fuse Property will be checking applications will not be changing however we do anticipate that there may be delays in getting replies from employers and current rental agents to complete reference check. The delays may be as short as a few days or over a week depending on how extreme the Governments social distancing and shut down measures become.
Lease agreements will still be sent and signed through Docusign.
Final inspections & lease renewals
If a tenancy should conclude in the next 6 months, cleaning, carpet cleaning and pest sprays requirements under the tenancy agreement will remain the same. We have already spoken to several cleaners, carpet cleaners and pest spray companies who have indicated they will continue to conduct services as long as they are allowed to do so.
We have advised our tenants on how we will be accepting keys from them on the last day of their tenancy and will be advising tenants again when and if we receive notices to leave from them.
As with the rental payments, until we have received advise around legislation changes on this item, we will continue to follow our legislative compliance.
Lease renewals will still be sent and signed via Docusign.
At Fuse Property, we will be holding our routines inspections digitally with the help of our tenants.
The video will be recorded a copy will be made available to our landlords through a private link. The video will not be made publicly available. The video will take 20 – 30 minutes to complete and will detail any maintenance that needs to be reported also.
Urgent and non-urgent maintenance
We are working closely with our trades to ensure that there will be coverage for urgent and non-urgent maintenance.
In the coming few weeks/months, there may be delays in having maintenance completed due to potential shut down/lock down, delays in being able to secure parts and potential quarantining of the trades.
Smoke alarm & pool compliance will still be attended to until we are unable to have these items completed.
To conclude, Fuse Property will be closely monitoring the Australian Governments advice on conducting business and on ensuring the health and safety of our team, our landlords, our tenants and our trades is upheld.
We do understand that the next 6 months will be challenging and if we can help you in anyway, please feel free to call Kellie on 0499 350 757 and she is more than happy to help you!