Government has no tolerance for rent arrears

By Staff Reporter

A number of properties in Queensland’s Mary Valley are set to be put up for sale under the Mary Valley Economic Development Strategy while others will be put under new management to stamp out arrears, according to recent announcements from deputy premier, Jeff Seeney.

After the government bought 472 properties in the Mary Valley, in planning for the failed Traveston Dam plan that was rejected by the federal government, a number of the properties have fallen into rental arrears.

“Unfortunately the previous government was a hopeless landlord,” Mr Seeney said of the way the properties had been kept.

A number of the properties became rundown and neglected, he said, and rental arrears were not pursued. This is set to be changed.

More than 40 tenants were in arrears, owning more than $70,000 collectively, while 65 breach notices had been issued for a number of reasons.
“An assessment of the state-owned landholdings is underway as a precursor to this government’s sales program under the development strategy.
“Indications from these assessments show that there are a significant number of tenants who are not complying with their leases and not maintaining the properties,” said Mr Seeney.
“Tenants have rights and responsibilities, as do landlords.”

New property managers will be brought in to oversee the portfolio, to support both the sales program and to enforce lease agreements.

Selling some of the properties that had been well maintained is a part of the revitalisation plan, according to member for Gympie and Mary Valley Economic Development Advisory Group chair person, David Gibson.

He noted that tenants were responsible for maintenance and where they had failed to respond to notices, local contractors would go in as necessary and costs would be recovered from the tenants.
“Achieving the best sales price at the lowest cost to government will ensure that available funds can be used to assist in the development of the Mary Valley economy rather than being frittered away on unpaid rent and maintenance costs,” Mr Gibson said.

“Given that many of the properties being put to market are tenanted, it is critical that tenants meet the requirements of their agreements,” he said.

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