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Landlords use Gold Coast rental crisis to retaliate against tenants who deferred rent during COVID, agent says

Gold Coast

Gold Coast landlords are retaliating against tenants by not renewing leases for people who stopped paying or reduced the amount of their rent during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a real estate property manager.

Oxenford Ray White real estate co-principal Sally Hynes said many tenants are now paying the price as a city-wide rental shortage worsens.

“Now the owners have taken that onus back and are not renewed the lease because they did not do the correct thing during COVID according to the rules and regulations of the Residential Tenancy Authority.”

Ms Hynes said tenants could apply for a rental deferral if they could prove they were under financial pressure, and their landlord was in agreement.

But many tenants simply used the pandemic as an opportunity to stop paying the required rent.

The CEO of Tenants Queensland, Penny Carr, said some tenants renegotiated their rents with landlords while others did not, fearing retaliatory action.

“Some of those tenants had absolutely no choice but to pay a reduced rent and many of them are still battling accrued debts,” she said.

“Simply because they’ve followed the procedures that were available to them, those things that were set in place to protect people that were affected by COVID, they’re now having retaliatory action.”

Ms Carr said many tenants are facing large rent increases or being overlooked by landlords due to the competition in the rental market.

According to the latest Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) current vacancy report, 70.2 per cent of the state’s rental vacancies remain under 1.0 per cent.

On the Gold Coast, Oxenford’s vacancy rate is the lowest at 0.1 per cent.

Ms Hynes said they have one property on their books for rent and it was in the neighbouring suburb of Parkwood.

“The rental market in Oxenford at the moment is extremely, extremely busy.

“Not many properties are available and when they do become available they are gone within hours.”

Ms Hynes said the rental market had been busy for the past two months.

“It’s crazy, it’s just gone crazy,” she said.

“We don’t bother putting signs up anymore, it’s just not worth it.”

The property manager attributes the rental shortage to interstate migration, and Oxenford, like other suburbs in the northern Gold Coast corridor, is highly sought after because many homes are on larger blocks.

“I do say to them ‘have all of your paperwork ready’.”

Gold Coast

Homes and units are in high demand by renters across the Gold Coast.(ABC Gold Coast: Tom Forbes ) 

Solid tenants impacted

Many tenants with sound rental histories are also becoming victims as property owners capitalise on the real estate boom.

“I have four very, very good tenants at the moment that the owners are selling their properties because of the market,” Ms Hynes said.

“I am trying to relocate them and I want to keep them, and I have no hope.

“People are getting very upset. We have people on the phone in tears.”

Ms Hynes said it was not unusual for a potential tenant offer up to $100 per week above the rental price to secure a property.

“It’s all very well to have the correct value for your property, as long as the owner is happy with that price then it is really about tenant selection.

“It’s not just all about the money.”

Fuelling homelessness

Homelessness group Everybody’s Home said the rental affordability crisis in Queensland is fuelling youth homelessness, and it is calling for more investment in social housing.

The campaign organisation wants the federal government to take action to make housing easier for young Australians to access.

Everybody’s Home said Gold Coast was leading the state with rents rising 20.6 per cent over the past 12 months.

Rents on the Sunshine Coast rose 15.3 per cent, while North Queensland’s increased 14.8 per cent in the same 12 months.

Brisbane’s rents increased 5.8 per cent in the same period.

 

Article Source: www.abc.net.au

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Gold Coast

Residents in one of Australia’s fastest-growing cities are forced to sleep in cars as rental crisis bites

The rental situation in one of Australia’s fastest growing cities is so dire that desperate renters are having to sleep in their cars and in caravan parks.

Rental vacancy rates have plummeted below one per cent in most parts of the Gold Coast – down to below half a per cent in many suburbs – including Burleigh, Arundel, Coolangatta, Coomera and Varsity Lakes.

The rental squeeze is being driven by a range of factors, including Covid refugees coming from Melbourne and Sydney and also returning home from overseas.

Residents

The Gold Coast’s ‘surf, sun and sand’ reputation can be a trap for people who try to move there without enough money, as one community manager warns ‘don’t come here’ unless you are loaded 

Residents

9 Tallon Street, Upper Coomera – 26km from the beach – will cost you $700 a week. 

The Gold Coast has long had steep population growth but if anything it appears to have increased in recent years and the city’s housing is evidently not coping.

Leading demographer Mark McCrindle said recently population projections keep changing and the city reach a population of one million by 2034 – 16 years earlier than previously expected.

The imbalance between available properties and people who want them is so severe that it is creating an accommodation crisis leading to a homelessness problem in the city many Australians falsely romanticise as a dream place to reboot their lives.

Vicky Rose, manager of the Nerang Neighbourhood Centre, told Daily Mail Australia that 80 per cent of her enquiries are about ‘accommodation stress’, with increased homelessness inevitable.

Residents

Location, location: 1/30 Bullimah Avenue, Burleigh Heads went on the market yesterday for $750 a week and the agency has already been flooded with enquiries and applications. 

‘We are saying ‘don’t come here’, unless you have a job and plenty of money behind you,’ she said said.

‘People dream of the sun, surf and sand and yes it’s a great holiday destination, but it’s not a great place to live unless you can afford it.

‘The coast of living is up there with Sydney and Melbourne and people mistakenly assume its going to be cheaper.’

She said shonky landlords are making the situation worse by trying to cash in on the red hot market.

‘There’s a marked marked increase in long terms tenants – average joes – seeing their tenancy ended abruptly because they can’t increase the rent as much as they want.

‘So the owner kicks the tenants out saying they want to renovate, they paint one door and put it back on the market for an extra hundred dollar a week.’

Two property managers Daily Mail Australia spoke to both said the rental market was busier than they’d ever seen it, with applications for properties flooding inboxes.

Misty Kelly, of agency The Blue Door had received 50 enquiries and seven applications within two days of listing a four bedroom house with a pool at Upper Coomera, 26km from Main Beach.

‘There’s a huge demand, not enough properties and that creates a lot of pressure,’ she said.

‘People are sounding desperate.’

‘I’ve been an agent for 15 years and this is nothing like I’ve ever seen before.’

Ms Kelly said because there is more demand than supply, she advises young people not to move out of home because ‘prices are inflated’.

‘They need to let those people really in need get a property and not go homeless.’

Aside from people moving from interstates, she’s also seen people coming home from overseas move into their investment properties.

Carmen Kennedy, of Coomera Realty told the Gold Coast Bulletin people are ‘desperate’.

Residents

Ashmore Palms Holiday Village has seen a big increase in people moving in after they couldn’t find a rental property on the Gold Coast 

‘They were just so desperate, staying in cars and sleeping at caravan parks. It’s been pretty tough couple of months for people out there,’ she said.

Both Tallebudgera Creek Tourist Park and Ashmore Palms Holiday Village confirmed to the Daily Mail they had seen increases in people booking in because they couldn’t find a home to rent.

‘I’ve never seen it like this before,’ Carly Stanaway of JW Prestige, told Daily Mail Australia.

‘A lot of people are struggling, they are all applying for same property at once,’ she said.

‘They keep putting in applications getting knocked back, even though they have good applications, it’s just because so many people are applying.’

She was holding two open houses within two days of listing a modest brick semi at 30 Bullimah Avenue, Burleigh Heads, where the rent looks Sydney-like at $750 a week.

The suburb’s vacancy rate is just 0.4.

 

Article Source: www.dailymail.co.uk

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Developments

Controversial Burleigh Theatre Tower Wins Support

Burleigh

The Gold Coast City Council’s planning committee has voted four-three in favour of new plans for an apartment tower above the old Burleigh theatre and arcade.

Sydney-based developer Weiya Holdings amended the plans after receiving 86 submissions and a petition objecting to the development at 64 Goodin Terrace and 1823 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads.

The new plan, designed by Conrad Gargett, reduced the number of apartments by six to 30 with adjustable screens on the western façade as well as four commercial tenancies, a gym and podium-top pool.

The 14-storey tower will be called the De-Luxe Apartments after the mid-century De Luxe Theatre and Old Burleigh Arcade, which were incorporated into the design.

Burleigh

▲ The front and back of the 14-storey old Burleigh Theatre development by Sydney-based developer Weiya Holdings. 

Council officers said the adaptive reuse included several improvements to the heritage building but finishes and colours used on the theatre would have to be investigated.

“The proposed design retains the majority of the significant fabric at the front of the site,” the officers said.

However they suggested a few minor amendments to the plans including changes to the proposed shopfronts of the beachfront theatre.

Weiya purchased the 1667sq m site for $18.5 million midway through 2019 and lodged plans to develop the site a year later.

The majority of concerns about the application surrounded the heritage building and its lack of reference in the new design, however this was an intentional decision by the developer which was supported by the council.

The proposal is due to go before a full meeting of the council next week.

Meanwhile, the council is currently planning improvements to public space in Burleigh including adding trees, seating, a large mural and festoon lighting along James Street as well as moving pedestrian crossings.

 

Article Source: www.theurbandeveloper.com

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Developments

Dreamworld to build $75 million resort under new agreement

Dreamworld

Dreamworld could soon have a $75 million resort and tourist park across the road in Coomera.

The company entered a non-binding agreement on Wednesday with accommodation developer Evolution Group to fund and build the resort on the land owned by the theme park’s parent company Ardent Leisure.

The hotel would include 240 four-star rooms, 40 bungalows and a five-star tourist park with 100 powered sites and restaurants, conference facilities, pools and a gymnasium.

Dreamworld Resort guests would also have offers to access the Dreamworld and WhiteWater World theme parks throughout their stay.

Dreamworld chief executive officer Greg Yong said the arrangement would boost tourism.

“This announcement is another positive step in the recovery of our parks post-COVID and will have a significant economic impact not only for Dreamworld, but also for the northern Gold Coast, one of Australia’s fastest-growing regional corridors,” he said.

“The project will create employment within the local community and contribute to the regeneration of tourism on the Gold Coast.

“The hotel and tourist park will complement Dreamworld as a premium entertainment destination and add a new level of convenience for guests who will have our theme park and water park on their accommodation’s doorstep.”

Queensland theme parks were forced to close in March last year because of the coronavirus pandemic and Dreamworld and WhiteWater World reopened in August, offering discounted tickets in an attempt to attract people in for the September school holidays.

Evolution Group boss John Robinson jnr said he looked forward to collaboratively delivering high-quality accommodation options for guests.

“The Evolution Group team is a family company providing over 2200 rooms around Australia through our resorts and accommodation houses,” he said.

“Having Australia’s favourite theme park on the doorstep of this development will certainly provide guests with action-packed getaways.”

Dreamworld and Evolution Group would work together to obtain planning approvals, while Ardent Leisure would explore options to maximise the value of its surplus land.

 

Article Source: www.brisbanetimes.com.au

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