Legal document templates to support landlords

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by thydzik, 22nd Apr, 2020.

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  1. thydzik

    thydzik Well-Known Member

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    With all the new state specific tenancy laws coming into affect, I was thinking there must be an opportunity for someone who understands the legalese to put together documents that makes it easier for landlords during this time.

    Some examples of documents with reference to the WA act;
    • rent repayment agreements templates
    • rent default notices are no-go, but what about other communications.
    • flow charts that detail tenant and landlord obligations.
    • documents to support landlords at the end of the emergency period.
    It may be too early, and we will probably be seeing more examples coming from the larger property managers later.
     
  2. Paul@PFI

    [email protected] Tax Accounting + SMSF Business Plus Member

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    There already is one rolling out after I briefed a major law document provider on the need a few weeks back and its taken a lot to bring it to release in the next few days. I will post details within a few days. It will be low cost and also supported with (optional paid) legal advice in addition if required. The ordering process will be supported by details step by step process and self generates. It could be ordered by non-lawyers.

    There are merits to NOT adjusting a lease agreement but establishing a contract that stands to the side of an existing lease obligation that defers (and loans) the shortfall. This may also be enforceable externally to a tribunal. It may also include default interest options and the opportunity to add security such as a personal property security registered interest. (eg a car). This is intended to address that bonds lack the necessary value for this pandemic event.

    The package wont include any default notice. That is a function of a PM and a lease action and may even be ineffective at present (state law dependant)

    There is one minor downside to this product. The unpaid rent becomes taxable income despite it being deferred as it is incurred when lent. All belief about a "cash basis" etc is incorrect. However in the event of default at a later date it complies with the bad debt provisions permitted a deduction in a subsequent tax period if default occurs due to eviction. A major merit of this product is enforceability for a garnishee. The ability to put a tenant on legal notice is a essential element to maintain expectations of rent being paid by deferral and NOT dropping rent as many incorrectly consider they must do. Rent payments can be reduced....Landlords should be careful about arragements which will result in long term rental income impacts.
     
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  3. thydzik

    thydzik Well-Known Member

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    This is good to hear.
    I'm not sure how favourable a side contract would look if you need to go to the tribunal. The WA Act was specific you can't charge interest.


    This is crazy, I was one who incorrect thought cash basis as well.
     
  4. thydzik

    thydzik Well-Known Member

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    Paul, re-reading that, does the above apply only to the existence of a side contract you mentioned, or even without?
     
  5. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Founder Staff Member

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    How enforceable would a side contract be for residential tenancies - especially if the tenant did not receive legal advice before signing? Any tenant in rental distress is not going to be likely to pay for legal advice.

    I would have thought that residential tenancies legislation trumps any other contracts for the explicit purpose of protecting residential tenants from usurious landlords.
     
  6. Paul@PFI

    [email protected] Tax Accounting + SMSF Business Plus Member

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    Its a simple document. Less rent = deferred = here is the agreement. If they want to pay the full rent then dont sign it. The tribunal would consider the offer of the arrangement complies with the state requirements. It documents what they want ! Its only for cases where they request deferral. A lease doesnt accomodate late payment. It treats such events as breaches. The agreement avoids breach.

    If the agreement doesnt impose further or limiting conditions it complies. Its what the Govt wants. Tenants and landlords to reach an agreement. Are you suggesting this be verbal ? Or a deferral without end? Ever read a tenancy agreement? they are all the same. Its only assumes rent is paid. It doesnt contemplate deferred.

    There is no obligation on the tenants part to have obtained legal advice. Its not a trap. Its an agreement that considers the lease payments cannot be paid in full and defers what is agreed. They pay - it ends. Think of it as rental laybuy. Of afterpay for leases.

    This is a residential lease product. It also converts unpaid rent to a loan. Some states do allow interest. The intent is it would apply after loan default. That parts getting legal sign off now. Its not a payday lender deal. It is intended to reflect a cost recovery.
     
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  7. inertia

    inertia Well-Known Member

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    Like much of the messaging coming out of the Fed gov, it is soft and ambiguous. If they wanted to prevent evictions, the gov should have provided this framework, and documented agreements that specify exactly what can be done.

    cheers,
    Inertia.
     
  8. thesuperman

    thesuperman Well-Known Member

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    Can this document only be used for residential or potentially also for commercial?
     
  9. thydzik

    thydzik Well-Known Member

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    Paul, ATO says income should be declared the year you receive it?

    https://www.ato.gov.au/General/COVI...-asked-questions/#Residentialrentalproperties
     
  10. Terry_w

    Terry_w Lawyer, Tax Adviser and Mortgage broker in Sydney Business Plus Member

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    The question is are you lending the tenant money to pay the rent to you or are you deferring payments?
     
  11. thydzik

    thydzik Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, I didn't realise lending the tenant money was an option. that makes it clearer.
     
    Last edited: 28th May, 2020
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  12. Paul@PFI

    [email protected] Tax Accounting + SMSF Business Plus Member

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    Not if its incurred as income through a loan agreement. Its like suggesting that if you buy a car on 100% finance that it isnt purchased until fully paid or is acquired on a instalment by instalment basis. Deferred payments are a different matter and I will agree are assessable when (if) received.
     
  13. Paul@PFI

    [email protected] Tax Accounting + SMSF Business Plus Member

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    Both - Refer to Lightyear Documents. Each state is available. Its uses the general requiremenst of each states commercial rules and also applies this to a agreement for residential if required.

    I would think a word of mouth (or through the agent) chain is wrought with peril if the tenant later seeks to avoid paying etc. The agreement provides excellent evidence of the efforts to reach an agreement for later tribunal action/s
     
  14. thydzik

    thydzik Well-Known Member

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    I take it this is the document?
    LightYear Docs