The Coronavirus Pandemic and its associated social impact has forced our population to change the way we do almost everything.
At Clark Real Estate, the safety of our staff, customers and contractors is of paramount importance in the drafting of our new protocol.
We understand that many tenants have lost their income and will struggle to pay their rent – and the impact that this will have on property owners who rely on rental income to meet their financial responsibilities.
Naturally, we have received many questions from concerned clients and tenants – and although many things are out of our control, one thing we can do is keep the lines of communication open.
So with this in mind, we hope this page will provide useful information and assurance that we are doing everything possible to keep things running. We will update this page as information comes to hand, in the form of posts and links.
You can also keep updated by following us on Facebook.
What is COVID-19 Coronavirus?
World Health Organisation
Latest information and updates from the Australian Medical Association
Coronavirus (COVID-19) health alert – The World Health Organization has announced that COVID-19 is a pandemic. Find out how we are monitoring and responding to the outbreak, how you can help slow the spread of COVID-19 in Australia, and what to do if you have symptoms. We also report the latest official medical advice and case numbers.
RTA- Residential Tenancies Authority
The RTA acknowledges the Prime Minister’s announcement on 24 March 2020 that the National Cabinet would meet on 25 March to discuss issues including rent. This follows the Prime Minister’s announcement on 20 March 2020 regarding residential tenancies in hardship due to COVID-19.
Unfortunately, we do not have any further information at this time. We encourage you to visit our COVID-19 information page for the latest updates and helpful resources. You can also subscribe to our eNews.
On 24 March, the Prime Minister also announced that real estate auctions, auction houses and gatherings of people in auction rooms, and open house inspections are not to continue from midnight 25 March 2020. Private appointments for inspections are allowed.
For details on the State Government’s economic relief package, please visit the Queensland Government’s website. For details on the Federal Government’s economic support package for workers, households and businesses, visit the Australian Government website.
PLEASE NOTE: DUE TO THE ONGOING CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) SITUATION, THE RTA IS CURRENTLY EXPERIENCING LONGER WAIT TIMES ACROSS OUR CUSTOMER AND SUPPORT SERVICES. WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE.
Cut through the fake news and get the facts, straight from the Australian Government.
Latest News – Latest numbers – Advice from your state government – Support – Medical advice – and much more.
The Hub- Queensland Government's new Tenancy Info Website
The Queensland Government has created this website page to provide information for owners, tenants and agents to navigate the NEW COVID-19 LEGISLATION.
Frequently Asked Questions from Owners, Tenants, Sellers and Buyers
Real Estate is considered an essential service, as we are facilitating shelter for our population. Therefore, we are confident that our business will be allowed to continue to operate – albeit in a slightly different form.
We have moved our whole property management team offsite to work from home. Our office will remain open as a central place to collect keys and receive visitors, with administration staff in place.
Our sales team are working from home where possible and abiding by all guidelines issued by the Local/National Government and the REIQ (Real Estate Institute of Queensland).
To date, all our staff are well and healthy and able to perform their duties.
Our team are utilising online systems to successfully perform most of their duties remotely. We have activated a phone diversion, so their contact details remain the same. In most cases, we encourage email as the best form of communication.
To ensure continuity of service and promote a healthy work-life balance for our staff, we have asked them to maintain regular work hours (Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:30pm and Saturday 8:30am-4:30pm).
Strict hygiene protocols have been set up to protect our staff and visitors.
Visitors must ensure that they are not unwell and have not recently returned from travel before we unlock the door to let them in our reception area. Upon entering, we are providing hand sanitiser. If there are too many people at reception to maintain the social distancing rules, we will ask visitors to remain outside until it is safe to enter.
For any clients collecting or returning keys, we are sanitising all keys in a solution of hot water and disinfectant before they leave the office and when they return.
We understand the financial difficulty that many tenants will be experiencing – through no fault of their own. We also understand that most property owners will be going through similar hardships, and they need the rent money to make their mortgage payments.
If a tenant’s situation has not changed and they are not affected by COVID-19, they are expected to keep making their rent payments. We are obligated in these cases to issue breach notices and follow the eviction process for non-payment of rent.
If tenants are unable to make their full rental payments as a result of COVID-19, they need to contact us immediately. The government is of course providing emergency assistance to those who have lost their jobs due to this crisis, so we are urging all tenants to take advantage of these grants and use this money to prioritise their rent payments. (See the link above for details.)
The following information applies to our tenants who find themselves in financial stress and unable to make their full rental payments due to the COVID-19 crisis. Tenants who have not been financially affected by COVID-19 are expected to continue making their rent payments.
Your first action should be to contact Centrelink and other government agencies who are supplying emergency assistance to all affected by COVID-19. See the links on our COVID-19 page for access to this assistance.
Next, you need fill out our COVID-19 Rental Assistance Request Form, providing evidence of financial difficulty as a result of COVID-19. We will then present this to the owner for their consideration.
Please be aware that many property owners are also experiencing serious hardship at this time, and may not be in a position to offer a rent reduction. However, we hope to be able to work with all parties to get through this crisis together.
It is important for us to continue ‘business as usual’ in placing new tenants into rental properties and finding high quality buyers for sale properties.
Utilising technology and careful safety protocols, we have managed to limit face-to-face contact while continuing to provide a high level of service to owners and residents.
We are minimising the need for inspections by having virtual inspection videos available on nearly all of our listings.
To manage the viewing process while adhering to strict COVID-19 guidelines, we only take through prospective purchaser or tenants who have been pre-qualified. For sales, we do this by asking a series of questions on the phone and for property management, we do this by asking prospects to submit an online application form.
Our online applications and systems makes buying or applying for a property quick and effortless – no need to print, and no need for face-to-face meetings or exchange of paperwork.
If there is more than one group attending, we schedule mini time slots so that groups are given private access one person at a time. We ask other groups to wait for their time slot in the comfort of their car, and keep at least 2 metres from other groups when approaching the property. We also ask visitors to avoid touching anything inside the house and instead ask the agent who is wearing gloves and following strict hygiene protocols.
Yes, open homes are banned but private inspections, and video tours are permitted. Clark Real Estate has always excelled at one on one inspections
Clark Real Estate offers electronic signing solutions that allow you to sign documents on your computer, tablet, or smartphone with just a click. All you need is an email address
Where possible, we are conducting video-call routines. A property manager will video-call with a tenant and ask them to point the device at the parts of the property that need to be inspected. The property manager will take pictures throughout the inspection.
Another great benefit to this system is that owners who aren’t local can watch the inspection too!
Our contractors have their own protocols in place to minimise risk when visiting tenanted properties, so we expect routine maintenance to be attended to as per normal times. The exceptions are those households that have occupants who are high risk, unwell, or in self-isolation.
Maintenance is actioned through our online Maintenance Manager program which allows tenants to take photos of the issue. The contractor may be able to determine the problem without visiting first, reducing the number of visits required. If a tenant is isolating, the contractor may also call the tenant and suggest temporary solutions via video phone and offer guidance.
Owners need to be aware that most contractors will not be willing to attend a tenanted property to quote a job; at best they can provide a desktop estimate.
You sure can. We have connections with building and pest inspectors who have procedures and guidelines for safe inspections. If you decide to use your own contractor, we will brief them before the inspection and again at the property before allowing access.
We ask that in order to assist with social distancing guidelines that residents try to leave the property during the inspection. If this is impractical, we ask that they maintain a safe distance and remain outside if possible.
For inspectors, we provide disinfectant wipes and ask that they disinfect all equipment they intend to bring inside (e.g. cameras, tablets, measuring tapes). Inspectors must also sanitise their hands and wear gloves in case they need to touch anything. The agent attending the inspection supervises at all times to make sure that hygienic practices are being followed.