COVID-19 - Update to Working Procedures
COVID-19: Important changes to how we manage your rental property
Update#1 from 25/03/2019.
Information for Tenants.
The situation is rapidly evolving and we'll provide regular updates on how the COVID-19 response impacts on how we manage your rental property.
Toilet paper and plumbing
With the current short supply of toilet paper, we need to bring to your attention that flushing alternatives such as wet wipes (including those advertised as ‘flushable’), napkins, facial tissues, and paper towels can lead to major blockages. These alternatives are NOT safe to be flushed down toilets, as they do not disintegrate the way toilet paper does. To avoid clogging the drain, these items need to be thrown in the bin. The only thing that is safe to be flushed is human waste and regular toilet paper.
If we need to send out a plumber due to blocked toilets, and the blockage is found to be caused by any of the prohibited items above, you will be liable to reimburse the owner for the FULL plumber’s fee. Note that for after-hours calls, the bill could easily exceed $300.
Open Home Viewings
We have suspended all open home viewings.
For the time being, we have suspended all routine inspections for the next 2 weeks. Instead, we will be conducting them via a remote solution such as video call with you. We will contact you when it’s time to schedule your remote routine inspection. In the meantime, if you have any maintenance that you were planning on telling us during the routine, please report it via our website.
Our tradies will only be attending properties where the issue is severe enough, however both tradies and tenants are required to adhere to Department of Health guidelines available at the Government website.
In short, before anyone enters a property the following questions are to be asked to both parties (i.e. the tenant and the tradie)
- Have you returned from overseas in the last 14 days?
- Have you been in contact with anyone who has returned from overseas in the last 14 days that is unwell?
- Do you have any flu-like symptoms?
If the answer is “yes” to any of the above question, the job is to be postponed and alternative arrangements made.
Where entry to a property occurs, good hygiene and social distancing is required.
- Thoroughly wash hands upon entering and exiting the property
- Wear gloves where possible
- Maintain 1.5m distance between people
- Avoid touching any surface that is unnecessary
- An electronic form to fill in will be provided to you and the tradie prior to any maintenance event occurring.
You are required to continue to make your rental payments in accordance with your lease. If you are experiencing financial hardship and have lost your income due to COVID-19, you should seek assistance from Centrelink and if you don’t currently receive Centrelink benefits, please look at Services Australia. You also need to notify us in writing as soon as possible.
As at time of writing, the RTA in QLD has not released any information regarding tenancies in hardship. Once more information is available, we will notify you of any changes to our policies and procedures.
Ending your lease early
If you need to end your lease early, you will need to use the RTA Form 13.
We expect further guidance from the RTA over the coming days about any changes to the law. In the meantime, the avenue available to those tenants who have lost their job etc. is that you may seek an order from QCAT for early termination of your lease due to hardship.
Overarching goal is to minimise the spread of COVID-19
Aspire has implemented an all-remote working policy. This means that our offices are temporarily closed with our team working from home. Our phone system is cloud-based so we continue to provide phone support. Given the high volume of calls being received, we encourage you to contact us via email instead of phone. This will minimise the time you might spend waiting on hold.
We have also implemented policies to ensure adequate social distancing between our team and our tenants. This will impact on how we deal with you when someone needs to visit your property.