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CHOICE labels Queensland real estate lobby ‘out of touch’

11 December 2019 Lyall Russell
Brisbane suburbs

A consumer advocacy group is taking a stand against real estate lobby groups who have criticised the Queensland government’s proposed rental reforms.

CHOICE backed the state government’s rental proposals, claiming it will help the growing number of people who rent in the state.

“The real estate lobby is out of touch in Queensland,” CHOICE policy adviser Patrick Veyret said.

“The laws around renting in Australia are outdated and in desperate need of reform.”

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Mr Veyret wants renting to be treated like any other consumer service, to ensure tenants have safety, security and enjoyment in their home.

“There are now over 2.6 million households in Australia who rent. These Australians are raising families, they’re sending their children to local schools and they’re growing old and retiring,” he said.

“Our research has found that many people across the nation are living in poor-quality homes and on insecure tenancies.”

Mr Veyret claims these circumstances make tenants afraid to ask for repairs, and many are struggling to afford their rent.

“These reforms will help fix these problems and ensure a fairer market for people who rent, landlords and property managers. Every Queenslander has the right to enjoy living in a safe home,” he said.

The REIQ pushed back and acknowledged there is a need for rental laws to be modernised in Queensland to ensure safe homes and a stable rental market, but these reforms go too far.

“[These reforms are] completely eroding the rights of property owners,” REIQ chief operating officer Josh Callaghan said.

“In addition to deterring investors, both current and future, the ripple effect would see rent increased by up to $5,000 per year, and a reduction in suitable housing availability for those who rent.”

REIQ has heard from agencies and landlords who have made inquiries about the sale of their investment properties.

“People seeking rental accommodation are reporting an increase in discrimination and stricter application processes, as landlords react to the possibility of being forced to renew tenancies after the agreed term,” Mr Callaghan said.

“Our own research, which we will release shortly, also revealed that current and future investors would be deterred from the market, should these reforms come to pass.

“The data also suggests that renters agree that these reforms go too far and would have a detrimental impact on the market overall.”

CHOICE labels Queensland real estate lobby ‘out of touch’
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