Housing policy released by an election candidate has been labelled “misguided” and “narrow-minded” by the Real Estate Institute of NSW.
Newtown Greens candidate Jenny Leong announced plans last week to take power away from landlords and place it in the hands of renters.
Ms Leong proposed to cap rent rises at the rate of inflation and allow landlords to impose only one increase in rent per year.
REINSW president Malcolm Gunning said the policy was misguided and showed a “clear lack of understanding” of the NSW property market.
“It is a narrow-minded view based on one suburb that is one of the most popular in Australia,” Mr Gunning said.
“The rental market is no different to any other market; it is driven by supply and demand.
“The rental market can be very fluid and open in high demand areas, where tenants drive the rent up by outbidding each other.
“In not-so-popular markets, tenants ask for lower prices; they are very savvy and know they can negotiate terms,” he added.
Mr Gunning said if the state moves to a regulated environment, tenants would lose the ability to negotiate and as a result mum and dad investors would suffer.
“If the market becomes even more regulated than it already is, those investors will go elsewhere and that will be bad for tenants,” he said.
“The policy also does not reflect a lot of areas throughout NSW that are struggling. Rent control would take us back to the dark ages.”
[Related: Rent rises to soften]