COVID-19

Protecting you

Protecting your health & safety

During the COVID-19 pandemic, our office will be operating during the following hours:
Monday to Friday 9:30am - 4:00pm
Saturday 10:00am - 2:00pm

As the concern over the spread of COVID-19 continues to impact our community, Newton Real Estate will endeavour to continually amend our practices for the health and safety of all.

We are endeavouring, where possible, to complete interactions with our customers via digital communication and by phone. We also request that you call or email our office rather than come in in person. If you need to drop keys off, please drop them in the key slot n the door, in a marked envelope with your details and the property address. It is much safer to reduce as much contact as possible.

The purpose of this note is to reassure you that we remain vigilant in managing your property and protecting your interests, despite the need to modify some of our usual practices.

THE CHANGES WE HAVE IMPLEMENTED

• Regular Routine Inspections will be suspended for the time being for all tenancies unless your property manager has identified a significant issue which requires monitoring.
• Mandatory inspections will be undertaken on schedule, but with heightened precautions.
• In the case of vacancy, property will be advertised as normal with private viewings only and encouraging social distancing. We also request that clients do not touch any hard surfaces while inspecting the property.

APPLYING FOR RENTAL RELIEF AS A RESULT OF COVID-19

All the team at Newton understand that during this pandemic it is an extremely difficult and challenging time for some of our tenants. We are here to help and if you are suffering hardship related to Covid-19 please reach our to our team and we will do our best to assist you. You can contact your property manager directly or email our rental team rentals@newtonrealestate.com.au






What COVID19 means to landlords and tenants

What COVID-19 means to Landlords and Tenants

Firstly, we hope that you, your family and friends are safe and well during these very challenging, uncertain and ever-changing times.

2020 will be a year etched into our history books, as a time that changed everything as we once knew it.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected almost everyone around the world in some way, and as a managing agent, we are very aware, and understand that landlords have become a high-risk category of people to be impacted greatly by these times, causing financial stress and uncertainty in moving forward..

We believe, the key issues that everyone is trying to navigate and understand are around the management of:

• Rental payments or rental arrears
• Inspecting properties
• Tenant vacates, and
• Moratorium on evictions

As you can appreciate, the questions that many are asking, may not have a definitive and clear answer at the time of writing this newsletter. However, we wanted to touch on a generalised understanding of the areas that we know are currently concerning landlords, tenants and agents.

Rental payments or rental arrears
For a tenant to request any financial consideration from their landlord, they must first prove and provide evidence that their income has been directly and adversely affected by COVID-19.

A landlord is not obligated to provide rent relief for every tenant request. The tenants who have been financially impacted by COVID-19 are simply required to discuss and attempt to negotiate a fair agreement between all parties. During this process, landlords must also take into consideration any impact that a rent reduction could have on an insurance claim, as well as, if they can actually financially sustain offering rent relief, which does not have to be a set rent reduction for a period of time. Everyone’s circumstances are constantly changing with the potential of gaining new employment, tapping into savings and taking advantaged of government assisted packages, just to name a few.

If you as a landlord are encountering financial hardship, you may like to consider offering your tenant a similar package to the commercial rent relief where the tenant is given a concession in rent for a period, followed by a further tenancy term where the rent is amortised and they must pay it back.

For example:
Rent is $500 per week. You offer rent relief of $350 per week for 1 month (4 weeks) or more, (which can be re-accessed/negotiated). The rent reduction of $150 per week ($600) is then amortised over 3 months (13 weeks) or more, with the new rent being $546.15 per week.

Inspecting properties
Entering the tenant’s home in these times of potential health risks, must be taken into consideration. While each State is introducing their own entry guidelines, there does appear to be a clear common-sense agreement where you can enter the property by mutual agreement or by the way of a virtual inspection, which is becoming an effective way of keeping in touch with the condition and maintenance requirements at the property.

Tenant vacates
At this stage, tenants can continue to move into a property and vacate a property, until further direction is given by the government.

Moratorium on evictions
It has been breaking news in many States that no tenants can be evicted from their property for a period of up to 6-months. Once again, this is only for eligible tenants who have been adversely affected by COVID-19 and there are additional conditions to protect landlords that vary from state to state.

REFLECTING
We really are all in this together…some tenants are struggling to pay the rent; some landlords are struggling to pay their mortgages and as a managing agent… we rely on the rental income to pay our property management team members.

Let’s all work together… and hope that these challenging times pass sooner rather than later.







Applying for rental relief as a result of COVID-19

All the team at Newton understand that during this pandemic it is an extremely difficult and challenging time for some of our tenants. We are here to help and if you are suffering hardship related to Covid-19 please reach our to our team and we will do our best to assist you. You can contact your property manager directly or email our rental team rentals@newtonrealestate.com.au


A personal message from David Newton

A personal message from David Newton

In these unprecedented times I thought I would reach out to you and answer the most popular question at the moment and a few others but firstly I would like to personally thank you for your business, support and understanding in this rapidly changing environment and, most importantly, to let you know that we are here to support you in any way we can.

Q: How is the Shire Real Estate Market reacting to the Covid-19 Crisis
After a very strong start to the year with growth of around 14% (according to CoreLogic) it's too early to tell what lasting affect the current crisis is having on sale prices but it certainly has given some buyers and sellers cause to pause and this is reflected in the lower number of properties coming onto the market. Interestingly there are still plenty of buyers motivated to buy and while we have seen a drop in some properties values initially around the time a pandemic was declared we are now seeing stability rather than growth in values for now. As always with any significant change in the economy, interest rates, or consumer confidence there are always those hoping for the opportunity of lower prices but based on our sales in the last month we are seeing good values recorded in line with the previous month. These opportunistic conditions continue to bring buyers to the market and let's face it - who of us hasn’t been to a sale and instead of the items discounted they end up buying something for full price. The same is true in real estate as it is quite an emotional long term purchase.

Demand for rental property, while less than last month, is still good with the Newton Property Management Team receiving over 600 rental enquires for the last month and leasing 16 properties as a result. We have, of course, had several enquiries from our existing tenants who have been dramatically affected recently. Some of the stories of adversity are heart wrenching, and we are working hard with our wonderful investor owners to negotiate rental relief/deferment packages on a case by case basis as well as waiting for guidance from the government on this very complex issue.

Legislation will come into place this week to prevent eviction of tenants who have been adversely affected by the Covid-19 Crisis. It is not an across the board ban and we have a strategy in place for tenants to detail their situation for the owner to consider and to check for compliance.

While the media seems to focus on the negative results of the current situation we are particularly heartened by the acts of kindness, understanding and willingness for people to step up to help others who, in some cases, they don’t even know. It’s the true Shire Spirit in action!

In particular I would like to take a moment to thank our “front liners” the health care workers, who despite obvious personal risks continue to do what they do best in looking after the rest of us, and our teachers too (both the paid ones and the recently inducted “home school” ones) who have had to adapt quickly to a whole new world of education. They are our real Heroes!

Q: Are you open?
YES, we are definitely open and although various government restrictions and our personal efforts regarding safety and contributing to “flattening the curve” have meant we are changing many of our operational activities, we are still selling and renting properties. Our reception team and accounts are still based in the office to handle your enquiry on (02)9524 0777 or mail@newtonrealestate.com.au

Q: Can I come to the office
YES, however we have changed our reception to “Contactless” from Wednesday 1st April and with new operating hours of 9.30am to 4pm Monday to Friday and Saturday 10am to 2pm. While we won't be inviting you into the office you can drop off items through our mail slot in the front door or larger items to our back door, in the car park off Burns Lane, by appointment. We have video security in place for your protection and anything received or distributed (like keys) will be disinfected.

Q: Can I view a property for sale or rent?
YES, while open houses have been banned at government direction we are still conducting private inspections for all our available properties. Please book these Monday to Saturday either though our office on (02) 9524 0777 our website property listings:

Sales:
https://www.newtonrealestate.com.au/residential/sale

Rentals:
https://www.newtonrealestate.com.au/residential/lease#

Commercial:
https://www.newtonrealestate.com.au/commercial

Or on any of the major real estate portals:
homely.com.au
https://www.homely.com.au/agent/davidnewton

Realestate.com.au
https://www.realestate.com.au/agency/newton-real-estate-caringbah-IXRLVP

Domain.com.au
https://www.domain.com.au/real-estate-agencies/newtonrealestate-3927/

We have put various protocols in place which you will be informed of, including a health questionnaire to complete, when you make a booking to protect your, our team's and our client's safety.

With strict social distancing measures in place, the real estate industry has had to rapidly adapt when it comes to home inspections. Rest assured that you are still able to view property. While public open homes are no longer allowed, we are now conducting one-on-one inspections by appointment. We are also encouraging vendors to include a state-of-the-art virtual tour in their marketing package so buyers can enjoy a detailed walk-through of the property from the comfort of their own home. This will help them decide whether the property warrants a personal inspection. Virtual tours and walkthrough videos are a fantastic tool that expat buyers have long relied on and they’re now a major part of local buyers’ property search. At private inspections, our team are taking every measure to ensure the safety of everyone. We are enforcing social distancing, providing sanitiser and request you refrain from touching anything within the property.

Q: What about auctions?
Public auctions are no longer allowed so all of our auctions will now be carried out online via auctioneer Damien Cooley’s revolutionary platform AuctionNow. The process is straightforward and user friendly. Bidding can be done over the phone or via the AuctionNow app from the comfort of your lounge room and all auctions are available to view in real time. Our team are available via FaceTime or Zoom to walk you through the process to ensure you feel comfortable and prepared when bidding online via the app.

Q: With many countries borders closed, what about overseas buyers?
For those who are holding certain foreign currencies such as the US Dollar, Chinese Yuan or Euros, Australian property just got around 10% cheaper thanks to our falling dollar. Consequently we have seen an increase in enquiry rates from overseas buyers and expats, which could prove to be a much-needed bolster for our local market during these trying times.

Q: What does the future hold for Real Estate values in The Shire?
Well, I ask you, where else would you want to live? We are so lucky to call Australia and in particular The Shire home and I think anything like this will only reinforce that value. I personally wouldn’t want to self isolate anywhere else in the world!

Finally, I’d like to thank my loyal, hard-working team for doing what they do so well and adapting in every way to the “new world” as we are calling it. As they know too well we have a plan to get through all this and as our Prime Minister Scott Morrison says “we are all on the bridge to the other side” - and get to the other side we will, together!

If you need any assistance with anything please don’t hesitate to contact us, either to our teams directly:
Sales@newtonrealestate.com.au
pmteam@newtonrealestate.com.au

Or simply email me direct on david@newtonrealestate.com.au or call on 0408 242 717 as I’d love to help in any way I can.

Best Wishes
David Newton

COVID update 9th May

COVID-19 Update - As of the 9th May 2020

There has been some great news in regards to the property market in NSW with restrictions being eased from Saturday the 9th of May. Here are the changes...

From Saturday 9 May, real estate agents and property vendors may hold open house property inspections and on-site auctions.

The following safety measures will help keep customers, property owners and real estate staff safe from the coronavirus.

- Use digital platforms where possible to remove physical contact

- Maintain physical distancing of greater than 1.5m between people by
- Limiting the number of people viewing a property and attending an auction
- Managing the number of people entering small spaces
- Considering an extended time frame for open house viewings and inspections
- Using outdoor venues for auctions wherever possible
- Using large venues for indoor auctions to maintain the 4 square metre rule
- Promote good hygiene on premises and at auctions by
- Making hand sanitiser available
- Ensuring clients do not touch surfaces
- Cleaning the property before and after inspections

- Keep detailed contact records of people attending open homes and auctions

- Ensure people with any symptoms of illness do not attend a property

SOURCE - NSW Government