Coronavirus Australia: Self-isolating Queensland woman told to leave for real estate agent’s open for inspection | 7NEWS.com.au

A Queensland woman who was in self-isolation awaiting coronavirus test results was reportedly asked by her real estate agent to ‘go for a walk’ so they could host an open for inspection at her property.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said while most real estate agents were “doing the right thing”, he was “concerned” by one particular report.

He said a woman, who was supposed to be self-isolating, was “asked to go for a walk…so that someone could view the rental property in which she lived”.

“Entirely inappropriate behaviour by that real estate agent.”

‘Common sense’

Asked whether Australia should freeze inspections altogether, he said: “I think what it requires is just a little bit of common sense.”.

“The real estate market will continue to operate, but it needs to operate with common sense parameters,” he said.

“It was not in the interest of the person who was a tenant of that house to be asked to go for a walk in contravention to the health advice, not just for herself but for anyone she might come into contact with on that walk.

“And also was not in the interest of the person doing the inspection, because they would be visiting a house where there was someone who had been tested for COVID-19, waiting for the results.

“Common sense tells you that that is not a sensible thing to do.”

He said agents need “to reduce the pressure, not add to it”.

Industry struggles

It comes as the corporate watchdog says real estate agents face jail time if they advise struggling tenants to consider dipping into their superannuation to pay rent.

Workers laid off during COVID-19 pandemic have been told by government they will be allowed to access up to $20,000 in super savings over the next two years.

In the video below: National cabinet underway to consider support for renters and landlords

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However, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission warned any property agent who advises renters to do so may be in breach of the Corporations Act and face a five-year prison term, a $126,000 fine, and a $1.26 million fine for their business.

An increasing number of people are finding themselves without work due to coronavirus lockdown measures.

National cabinet last weekend announced a moratorium on evictions and encouraged commercial tenants, landlords and financial institutions to “sit down together” to find a way through to ensure that businesses can survive.

National Cabinet is expected to further address residential and commercial tenancies when it meets on Friday.

The discussion is expected to cover potential land tax waivers for commercial landlords.

– With AAP

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