Landlords in uncharted waters

FOR some, property investment is meant to be the nest egg to retire too, for others it's a little cash on the side and for some, it's an all-encompassing profession.

Regardless of why they started a portfolio, property investors across the Northern Rivers and across NSW are beginning to feel the full impact of the coronavirus on their investments.

Business closures and job losses threaten to leave many tenants unable to guarantee their rent in the coming months which may cause significant disruption to an investors revenue stream.

John Gilmovich, president of the Property Owners Association NSW which represents the interests of property investors and landlords in NSW, said in a statement that strain on property investors is significant.

"Property investors are buffeted from all sides. They're expected to take the economic hit as well as deal with logistical issues that have no precedent," Mr Gilmovich said.

"Landlords want to help and support their tenants but if they're losing their jobs or incomes as well as care for tenants who can't pay their rent then this situation will get out of hand very quickly."

In addition to the financial considerations, landlords are having to enforce more stringent tenancy rules to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

"If tenants are in a family environment, that's an urgent situation but if tenants diagnosed with the virus are in shared accommodation or a boarding house, how is the property investor expected to manage this while ensuring the other tenants are not put at risk?," Mr Gilmovich asked.

"We're absolutely in uncharted waters with no advice available from the government or local councils, and no financial relief in sight, just promises," he said.

Mr Gilmovich said that landlords are already being inundated with requests for rent reductions and extensions which is creating a serious headache for landlords.

"If this issue isn't urgently addressed in a comprehensive way, property investors will be trapped between a rock and hard place and forced to make tough commercial decisions during a pandemic, and this will have extensive long-term impacts for the broader community," Mr Gilmovich said.


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