The Real Estate Institute of Western Australia has expressed it is “extremely disappointed” with the WA government’s decision to extend the emergency period tenancy legislation for all residential properties.
REIWA president Damian Collins said the extension disregards the needs of landlords and will make it much harder for tenants to find a property. He also noted it “makes no economic sense” and “will ultimately lead to higher rental prices and fewer rental properties available when the emergency period ultimately comes to an end”.
“It appears that the government has used the pandemic as an opportunity to introduce rent control and meddle in the free market. We already have a shortage of rental stock, and reducing supply further by dissuading landlords will ultimately mean tenants will find it even harder to get a property,” Mr Collins said.
“The Perth vacancy rate has dipped to 1.6 per cent and extending the ban on rental increases will see a sharp price increase down the track rather than small incremental increases.
“In addition, sitting tenants whose rents are under market will not move, putting those who don’t have a home in an even more vulnerable position where they will face the distinct possibility that they cannot get a property.”
Instead of an extension with the law as it is, Mr Collins said the government should have included extra criteria to ensure that those who are seriously impacted financially by COVID-19 will receive the support they need.
“The government has allocated $30 million for rental support and has used very little of it. The better outcome would have been to use those funds for those still affected by COVID-19 and let the rest of the market return to normal conditions,” Mr Collins said.
“In a time when we need more investors entering the market to help build up rental stock supply, we are putting up barriers to not only prevent new investors, but also not helping those currently providing a basic human need — housing for all Western Australians.”
Emma Ryan is the deputy head of editorial at Momentum Media.
Emma has worked for Momentum Media since 2015, and has since been responsible for breaking some of the biggest stories in corporate Australia, including across the legal, mortgages, real estate and wealth industries. In addition, Emma has launched several additional sub-brands and events, driven by a passion to deliver quality and timely content to audiences through multiple platforms.
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