More than 40 Mary Valley tenants owe $70,000 in rent arrears

MANY Mary Valley residents will feel the iron fist of their new landlord if they do not act on $70,000 in rent arrears and remedy 65 breaches for not taking care of the properties they are leasing.

The Queensland Government is on a mission to ensure the properties they put up for sale, as part of its Mary Valley Economic Development Strategy, are in the best possible condition.

The former Labor government bought 472 properties in the Mary Valley as part of its Traveston Dam plan but leased them out when it failed.

Deputy premier Jeff Seeney said more than 40 Mary Valley tenants owed $70,000 in rent arrears while the 65 breach notices related to tenants not maintaining their properties or not complying with their leases.

He said demolition may be the only option for some properties which had become "run-down and neglected".

"An assessment of the state-owned landholdings is under way as a precursor to this government's sales program under the development strategy," he said.

"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.

"New property managers will oversee the property portfolio to support the sales program, and lease agreements are going to be enforced."

Mary Valley Economic Development Advisory Group chair and Gympie MP David Gibson said selling safe, properly maintained properties was a key to the revitalisation plan.

Mr Gibson said local contractors would be appointed to carry out the maintenance program and, where appropriate, tenants would be responsible for the costs.

"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," he said.

"To get things ship-shape, we have called for tenders for agents to manage the properties with a strong focus on tenant compliance.

"The successful real estate agents will have a key role in ensuring tenants pay their rent on time and meet their obligations."

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