How you can get a 20 per cent rent discount because of the coronavirus pandemic – as vacancy rates continue to skyrocket across Australia
- Rental listings across Australia have skyrocketed in the COVID-19 pandemic
- Vacancies are the result of job losses, closed borders and economic uncertainty
- Property advisers say tenants should try to renegotiate their rent with landlords
- Tenants are in a great position to bargain for rent discounts of up to 20 per cent
Tenants are being encouraged to renegotiate with landlords to earn a discount on their rent after a tumultuous period on the market due to coronavirus.
Inner city listings across Australia have skyrocketed through the pandemic, with one in six Sydney apartments currently vacant.
In Brisbane CBD, 13.3 per cent of apartments empty, while Melbourne has 9.3 per cent of urban properties unoccupied.
Increased vacancies are the result of job losses, closed borders for travelers and migrants and economic uncertainty for prospective tenants due to COVID-19.
Property advisors say tenants should try to renegotiate their rent with landlords as inner city listings across Australia have skyrocketed in the COVID-19 pandemic. Pictured: a sold property in Carlton North in Melbourne in July 2018
Property advisor Anna Porter told Sunrise now is a great time for tenants to push for a reduction in rent.
‘You certainly should be able to renegotiate at the moment as a tenant,’ she said. ‘You might even see the likes of a 10 or 20 per cent decline in rental figures.’
Landlords are desperate to keep tenants in their properties after a tough two-year period from the banking royal commission leading into the coronavirus pendemic.
Analysts fear the rise in listings could lead the apartment market to collapse and lead to a significant drop in property value.
Ms Porter said landlords must think outside the box to differentiate themselves from a market with an oversupply of units and be realistic to the position tenants are in from the pandemic.
‘Landlords might need to start getting creative by looking at incentives, like a few weeks rent-free, a free internet connection or local gym membership to differentiate themselves from the rest,’ she said.
A real estate agent puts out an open house sign after coronavirus restrictions were relaxed in Hawthorn in Brisbane. In Brisbane CBD, 13.3 per cent of apartments empty
Renters budgets have been significantly reduced in the washout of COVID-19 leaving landlords forced to dramatically reduce their asking prices to keep tenants in properties.
Data from Domain found 46.3 per cent of properties in Woollahra in Sydney’s wealthy east were advertised with discounted rent in May – more than double February’s 18.5 per cent.
The power is in renters hands to simply ask for a rent reduction in the current climate, as there are an incredible amount of vacant properties available and landlords eager to keep tenants.
Ms Porter said tenants and landlords should be realistic with each other and find a conclusion that works for both parties.
‘Tenants might actually be the winners out of this over the next 12 months,’ she said.
One in six Sydney apartments are currently vacant, putting tenants in a great position to bargain for rent discounts of up to 20 per cent
Tenant Kiran de Silva managed to cut his monthly rent by $1,710 with one email.
He pays $865 per month for a room he shares with his girlfriend in Camperdown in Sydney’s inner west, with the total share house rent amounting to $3,910.
When Mr de Silva lost his job at music ticketing agent Dice and one of his housemates was stood down, he knew he had to ask for a rent reduction.
‘To be completely transparent, we just simply won’t be able to afford to pay rent at the current rate for the foreseeable future,’ he wrote in an email to his real estate agent, ABC reported.
‘[The agent] wrote straight back and said ‘don’t stress, a lot of tenants are in a similar position’.
As a result, rent was reduced by $1,710 to $2,200 for three months – a discount of 44 per cent.
Mr de Silva’s advice to others was to be direct and transparent with agents and landlords, without being rude or pushy.
When Mr de Silva (centre) lost his job at music ticketing agent Dice and one of his housemates was stood down, he knew he had to ask for a rent reduction