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How to request paying less rent

By Grace Ormsby · March 31 2020
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egg

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How to request paying less rent

By Grace Ormsby
March 31 2020
Reading:
egg
How to request paying less rent

How to request paying less rent

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By Grace Ormsby · March 31 2020
Reading:
egg
How to request paying less rent

Despite a lack of information available surrounding the Prime Minister’s eviction moratorium, a process for struggling tenants to seek rent relief does already exist.

On Sunday night, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced there would be a six-month moratorium placed on tenant evictions, brought in by way of state and territory governments.

In the absence of a detailed response from state governments on how exactly they expect landlords and tenants to proceed, Gault & Co property advisory founder Ramon Mitchell has said many Australians are “overwhelmed and confused by what to do in relation to changing circumstances”.

But regardless of additional detail, he highlighted that “there is already a formal process to follow in seeking a change to rental terms”.

“On a positive note, there seems to be a genuine desire by both landlords and tenants to find solutions,” Mr Mitchell said.

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“I’ve already had landlords contact me asking that their tenants be made aware that they’ll do whatever is necessary to keep them in place during this uncertain time.”

He has called the tenant/landlord relationship a “symbiotic” one, “so clarity on the process will benefit both parties”.

Requesting a rent review

Extraordinary circumstances do already allow for tenants to request rent changes, Mr Mitchell has flagged, which can readily be adopted in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

He said it’s important to work through the tick list so that it can be determined you are in genuine need of assistance.

“We’ve seen some tenants already request a freeze on their rent commitments despite the fact they are not experiencing hardship.”

“This simply puts undue pressure on the system and makes it more difficult for genuine cases to be attended to,” he commented.

First of all, Mr Mitchell said tenants must put forward their request in writing.

“Calling a property manager and verbally seeking changes to rent arrangements is pointless,” he offered.

In this request, there needs to be a number of key elements: “Apart from providing your personal details, make sure you set out clearly your current understanding of rent arrangements – amount, due dates and length of lease.”

“Then, provide detail on what changes you would like to implement – whether that be reduced rent and/or a change in lease duration or payment timings,” he said.

Tenants must also provide details of their employment changes to demonstrate hardship, the property advisor said.

“Have you been terminated or had hours reduced? What industry are you working in? Are you likely to get employment back once the crisis has passed?”

He also recommended providing information about what government assistance you qualify for and whether you’ve already applied for this.

And finally, Mr Mitchell said tenants should provide details on household finances and how they are changing.

“Set it out simply. What income are you receiving from any source including employment and government assistance?”

“We need to know this in order to process any requests appropriately,” he stated.

Overall, Mr Mitchell considered that “if we can all just maintain a sense of humanity and fairness, it will bring benefits to everyone”.

How to request paying less rent
How to request paying less rent
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About the author

Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

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About the author

Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

Join The Nest Egg community

We Translate Complicated Financial Jargon Into Easy-To-Understand Information For Australians

Your email address will be shared with nestegg and subject to our Privacy Policy

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