Chrit Arnold from Freeman Estates in Kingaroy believes the State Government should be making moves in the best interest of both tenants and landlords. Photo: contributed
Chrit Arnold from Freeman Estates in Kingaroy believes the State Government should be making moves in the best interest of both tenants and landlords. Photo: contributed

Why Kingaroy realtor is fighting for his landlords

LOCAL real estate agent Chris Arnold from Freeman Estates in Kingaroy believes the State Government should be making moves in the best interest of both tenants and landlords with their Renter Relief Package.

Mr Arnold has been in residential and commercial sale with Freeman Estates in Kingaroy for 18 years now and said he was disappointed by recent moves from our State Government.

"COVID-19 has definitely had an impact on the way we conduct our business, but as with most things you have to find a way to adapt and overcome," Mr Arnold said.

"If we can get the government to see sense with their current package for tenants and Landlords being put forth and make some immediate changes our industry has a very positive outlook through this.

"We will have to see what the future holds, however we know that real estate is the basis of all wealth and that it is a long-term investment."

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (The REIQ) slammed the State Government for only catering for tenants with their Renters Relief Package and uploaded a template letter to their website for landlords to appeal directly to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

The original proposal put forward by the State Government would allow tenants to not pay rent without having to prove loss of income, to refuse entry to the property they're renting from landlords or real estate agents, and more.

Mr Arnold said he has signed the letter and has been encouraging everyone to do the same.

"They've made some fairly wrong decisions with what they originally put forward," Mr Arnold said.

"They won't be resitting to discuss until April 22. So far there have been thousands upon thousands of landlords sending them letters and asking them to review.

"Why should tenants not have the right to pay rent without having to prove any loss of income? This would definitely be taken advantage of and would leave landlords to suffer.

"I'm really hoping these are just over sights and was only put forward because they didn't think about it properly or bring an industry expert on board.

"There are positive aspects as well. But really the State Government needs to be catering for both the tenants and the landlords.

"It's not just the tenants who are losing their jobs and going without during the pandemic.

"Plus the government has doubled their pay packages for people without jobs. They should be able to try to get that and try to make their rent.

"At the very least they should have to prove they've lost their income.

"I understand there is two sides to this, there's stress for the tenants and for the landlords. But we need to cater for both not just one side."

State Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said it was clear the proposed laws needed to be scrapped and the whole process restarted.

"We are all in this together and everybody agrees that tenants need protection through this crisis," Ms Frecklington said.

"But Queensland's proposed rental laws are the most draconian and unfair in the country.

"Labor's laws will smash our property industry like a sledgehammer, scaring off future investors and forcing mum and dad property investors to cop all the financial pain.

"It's great to hear that more consultation will be undertaken, but talk is cheap - Queenslanders want to see action.

"Superannuation has taken a hit already with the downturn in financial markets and self-funded retirees who have invested in property to set up their future are also being thrown to the wolves."

As a result of the hundreds of thousands of Queenslanders signing the letter addressed to the Premier from The REIQ website, the Queensland Government reached out to The REIQ to collaborate on a package that ensures protections for everyone.

The outcomes can be found here: https://www.reiq.com/everyonematters/

The State Government also offers a one-off payment of up to four weeks rent (maximum of $2000) available to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic who do not have access to other financial assistance.