Coronavirus: Landlords, property managers hit hardest in eviction ban

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has put a freeze on evictions.

The six-month moratorium announced last night by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on evictions for residential tenants during the coronavirus pandemic will create huge disruptions in some Sydney residential pockets, according to one Sydney agent.

United Agents Property Group Joe Mazzaferro said as a result of the six-month moratorium he will probably have to let a number of agents go as well as deal with a huge number of very concerned landlords.

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

An aerial view of residential housing.

He said his business manages around 750 properties on their rent roll and the decision to implement the rental moratorium means he will have to consider letting 11 members of his property management team go.

He believes the moratorium decision will force investors completely out of the market for the foreseeable future.

“Thirty per cent of our rent roll are on social security payments and they are not affected financially by the crisis,” he said.

“What will we say to a tenant who simply doesn’t pay the rent?

“Anarchy is how the situation is best described and the decision takes any power away from a landlord.

“Now we as a business get five per cent of nothing and I have 11 people in our rentals department that I will probably have to let go.”

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The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on the market.

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There are plenty of measures people are implementing to deal with the coronavirus crisis.

Director of Gault and Co Property Advisory Ramon Mitchell operates a rent roll and said the eviction issue is understandable, but the basis for a rent reduction or pause needs to be addressed.

“The moratorium is fair and understandable, but at the other end of the equation there are mum and dad investors with immediate and ongoing mortgage commitments,” he said.

“There needs to be some guidance from the government and a working framework that if the tenant is requesting a rent reduction it becomes the trigger for a landlord to apply for equal assistance from the bank.”

REIA president Adrian Kelly.

Real Estate Institute of Australia president Adrian Kelly said agents need to be supported so

a solution to get through the crisis can be achieved.

“I am disappointed with the simplistic approach of the Prime Minister’s message which ignores the tenancy arrangement and thus raises more questions than it answers,” he said.

“There are some 70,000 property managers, principals, real estate agents and representatives across Australia.

“Tenants don’t negotiate with landlords.”