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Property Management

Freebies offered with Brisbane rental properties amid apartment boom



ign a lease, and get a free TV or an iPad.

How about a $500 gift voucher, two weeks’ free rent?

Or, a free gym membership?

These are just some of the out-of-the-box incentives agents are offering renters in south-east Queensland to get them to sign a lease.

The rental vacancy rate within five kilometres of Brisbane’s CBD has reached a record 4.4 per cent, driven by a glut of apartments.

It is pushing rents down, some slashed by an estimated 10 to 15 per cent.

Up to 60 new apartment blocks were built in inner Brisbane in 2015, but the wave is waning this year, which means the downward pressure on rents is estimated to ease within two years.

Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) chief Antonia Mercorella expected the current rental slow down, given the higher-than-normal apartment builds.

“But our view is this will be short term, with the oversupply being absorbed and stable rents returning,” Ms Mercorella said.

For the time being, renters are in the driving seat, particularly within 5km of the city centre, where there is a plethora of choice.

“We’ve seen free laptops; rent reductions, and even in some cases landlords are assisting with removal costs,” Ms Mercorella said.

“What renters really need to do is ask the question, look around, do your research to see what is available.

“Feel free to negotiate, as hard as you can.

“It won’t be forever, so they should grab the opportunity while it is there.”

Real estate agent Gabrielle Trickey has taken over managing a three-bedroom Queenslander at Paddington that has been empty for three months at $600 a week.

It had been going for $650.

Tenants only swooped after Ms Trickey advised the landlord to drop the rent to $580.

She said the owners are competing with flashy units, where the rent is the same, but they get pools, spas and saunas.

“A lot of tenants are actually offering a considerable amount less … up to $50,” she said.

“That is a real shock.”

Freebies are a common scene while trawling the internet for a new rental.

High-rise units at Hamilton, in Brisbane’s inner-north, are going with one to two weeks’ free rent.

Beyond property management’s Heather Jopson offered a $500 gift voucher to entice renters to a townhouse in Jubilee Terrace, Bardon.

It was a hard hit, but dropping the rent from $580 a week to $495 a week also stung.

Vacancy rates outside the 5km CBD radius sit at 3.7 per cent, which is considered healthy by the REIQ.

Nevertheless, outer suburbs are not immune to the price drops.

Another of Ms Jopson’s properties, this time in Inala has gone from $350 to $320, after a tenant broke the lease.

“It is tough time at the moment but I don’t think it is dire straits, it is just the new norm,” she said.

“I don’t think we are going to crash and burn from here.”

Property analyst Urbis said in 2015 there were up to 60 apartment blocks built.

But, over the next six months only about 10 are due to open their doors.

As banks tighten credit, developers are suspending or withdrawing projects.

Investors are driving the sales in some apartment blocks, making up to 80 per cent of the purchases in some cases.

National Property Research Company’s Matthew Gross has crunched the numbers and said some rents have dropped 10 to 15 per cent across the south-east in general.

He said the older apartments are struggling to compete against the newer ones, within the 5-to-10 kilometre city zone.

“But at the end of the day properties are still filling up,” he said.

In the meantime some prospective tenants continue to name their own price.

Ms Jospon said most owners were very realistic about the market being soft at the moment.

“There are some cheeky ones out there,” laughs Ms Jopson.


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Property Management

Queensland property chiefs warn rise in land tax will hurt more than the rich



Brisbane Tax News

NEW Queensland Treasurer Jackie Trad has defended the Government’s planned “Robin Hood” property tax ahead of her first Budget update tomorrow.

Ms Trad dismissed claims from the Property Council that the planned 2.5 percent land tax on properties worth more than $10 million would hurt jobs growth and property values.

“This is a very modest increase… we think it’s fair that those that can pay a little bit more, do pay a little bit more,” Ms Trad said.

Overnight, The Sunday Mail quoted property chiefs as warning Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s last-gasp election tax grab would destroy jobs and wipe more than $41 billion from land values in Queensland.

A 2.5 percent extra slug on owners of land worth more than $10 million was part of a suite of tax measures in Labor’s final campaign announcement, two days before last month’s state election win.

The Premier compared herself to Robin Hood, targeting only the richest.

But the Property Council says ordinary Queenslanders will pay the price, with a risk to employment and businesses forced to pass on the cost to consumers.

The land tax measure will be included in the Mid Year Fiscal and Economic Review to be presented tomorrow by Ms Trad, who was handed the role of treasurer in last week’s Cabinet reshuffle.

It is expected to raise an additional $227 million for the state’s coffers.

“The inconvenient truth for the Government is the vast majority of properties that will have to wear this tax are commercial, retail, industrial and tourism properties,’’ Property Council Queensland executive director Chris Mountford said.

It would inevitably flow on to tenants.

“We heard all through the election campaign that business cost pressures are particularly acute because of price increases like electricity … making it tougher for businesses to employ people. Now Queensland businesses will need to add land tax to their list of concerns before they think about hiring staff.”

Economist Nick Behrens said the amount raised through land tax had risen faster than any other tax in Queensland in the past decade – up 10percentnt, compared to the 66 percent Australian average.

The new measures mean only South Australia and Western Australia will have a higher rate. That will make it harder to lure businesses to set up in the Sunshine State.

“We’re in a race to attract and retain investment. Now we’re putting lead in our saddlebags that will impede our ability to compete,” Mr Behrens said.

Ms Trad said the extra land tax would apply only to the wealthiest 850 payers of land tax.

“It does not include farms, and it does not impact on the family home. The land tax ensures that those who are benefiting most from our growing economy and rising land values make a fair contribution to frontline services in Queensland.”

Ms Trad defended the Palaszczuk Government’s employment performance, saying 143,400 jobs were created in the first term of office.

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Property Management

Why buyers are flocking to Morningside



Why buyers are flocking to Morningside
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Property Management

Disputes between Queensland landlords and tenants at record high



brisbane property management

DISPUTES between tenants and landlords in Queensland have reached a record high as fed-up renters fight back against unfair treatment.

The Residential Tenancies Authority was forced to intervene in 27,405 disputes between tenants and property managers or owners during the 2016/17 financial year.

Half of those disputes related to bond distribution, 17 per cent to compensation in excess of the bond and 8 per cent to property repairs.

More than 800 agents and owners were also investigated for non-compliance with some of the most common breaches including failing to lodge a tenant’s bond to the RTA, not providing documents such as entry reports and tenancy agreements and unlawful entry to properties.

Brisbane woman Jessica Thomas has taken agents and landlords to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal six times over rental disputes and has won every case.

“Landlords taking the bond for no good reason happens all the time and most people just accept that they lose their bond at the end of a rental and that’s just wrong,” Ms Thomas said.

REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella blames mum-and-dad investors.

“It is quite a scandal as far as I’m concerned.”

From entering her property without warning to harassment in her home, refusal to undertake repairs and even legal threats, Ms Thomas has seen it all.

“Last year when I moved into a new property, the real estate and the landlord lied to me about the state of the property,” she said.

“As soon as I turned the water on, water started seeping out of the walls and I found mould was growing everywhere.

“The majority of us aren’t those terrible tenants you hear about, we just want a safe place to live in peace.”

REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said the increase in disputes corresponded with an increase in renters and that most landlords were mum-and-dad investors.

“For these landlords every expense can exert additional financial pressure and increase friction between landlords and tenants,” she said.

Do Not Rent Me founder Anthony Ziebell

“Both sides can become more litigious in such a high pressure economic environment.”

Anthony Ziebell who founded Don’t Rent Me, a website dedicated to helping tenants expose bad landlords and agents, said renters were becoming more confident standing up for themselves.

“It’s very difficult because landlords hold all the power and that’s because a lot of people can’t afford to own their own houses,” Mr Ziebell said.

“Unless we’re prepared to stand up and do something together, we won’t see any change.”

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