FaceyTime with Director, Mark Bond – April 2020

Mark Bond,

on behalf of Facey Property

It is the 28th of April 2020, and for some of us, it is a big sigh of relief that April is almost over.

 Well, last Thursday for Commercial Leases there was a little bit more clarity provided by the passing of the SME COMMERCIAL LEASING PRINCIPLES DURING COVID-19 emergency measures bill in the Victorian Parliament. Click here to read more.

What this bill provides for commercial property, and the tenants and the landlords involved in commercial property is just a little bit more clarity in aspect to the National Cabinet’s mandatory code or as it referred to now – ‘The Code’. 

It talks about the fact that eligible leases are protected by the code. Now an eligible lease in simple terms a business or an individual that has qualified for the Commonwealth JobKeeper Scheme. 

The latest statistics there are over 300,000 businesses that applied for the JobKeeper Scheme to be applied to their Workforce – undoubtedly a great measure for business and hope for the community at large, keeping people employed.

With this in mind, we do hope that a lot of our tenants and landlords (that are yet to reach an agreement) have a bit more confidence about how this bill and legislation helps bring them together – because at the end of the day negotiation is still the key. 

Now for many leases that are protected by the code, or as described are not eligible leases in Victoria, negotiation is undoubtedly the key. We must work together because there will be a point in time, hopefully in the not-too-distant future, where we are post-pandemic, and that’ll be a great point for all of us.

Along with our property management team, our sales team has been working very, very hard. As you probably have come to appreciate every campaign that we do involves video we are a big believer in this medium and in this Covid-19 time video is a great way to inspect properties. Still, it’s not only that we also do a lot of professional photography and all of our listings are well-documented online at FaceyProperty.com.au.

A lot of people are saying “what are you seeing in the market” well what is happening at the moment is a little bit of confidence, but people are still cautious and that’s understandable. We don’t quite know when these restrictions will be eased, however; inspections are still occurring, people are still transacting, we are still leasing and selling properties. So from that point of view, whilst we’re not as busy as we usually are, we are pleased that we’re able to service a lot of clients needs in these interesting times.

One of the things that I wanted to share with you (and this is because I drove past it today) is the infrastructure works that are happening throughout Metro Melbourne. At the intersection of South Gippsland Highway and Princes Highway in Dandenong, the earthworks have commenced about in removing that rail crossing. That intersection will be first of many in this corridor to benefit from improved traffic. Now they do take time, and it’s going to be over the next 6-12 months that we see these things happen, but it is great that these things are still occurring.

 I was talking to a client who does a lot of work for councils throughout the South and East of Melbourne and right now with swimming pools and gymnasiums being closed, and a lot of other council assets that are generally busy with footy and other activity – they said to me it had been an excellent opportunity for them to do maintenance as they replace and update things. So as much as we’re missing our sport and we’re missing these various activities I’m reasonably confident that when we get to go back to these facilities they are going to be bright new fresh clean, and we will all benefit. So there is upside in these trying times even when we are wondering about the future.

May 11th is the date marked in all our calendars where we will hear from the Commonwealth and/or State Government about hopefully some restrictions being eased – so fingers crossed. But we know and I’m sure you can agree with me that we want these decisions to be made safely. Yes, we want flexibility. Yes, we would love to reopen our office. Yes, we want to engage with everyone on a one-to-one basis again, but we need to do it safely.

So good luck until we check in next time.

All the best.