The Real Estate Institute of Victoria is ready to fight against the “Rent Fair” legislation that is being brought into the Victorian Parliament this week.
The “Rent Fair” legislation is a list of reforms that the government said will strengthen tenants’ rights to provide those who rent with a sense of security and support.
However, according to REIV president Richard Simpson, the legislation has the potential to deplete Victoria’s rental housing stock which is worth $519.2 billion.
“Despite the community’s protestations since these changes were mooted, the Victorian government is this week threatening to strip landlords of the right to have a say over what goes on in their own properties. How is that fair?” the REIV president said.
Mr Simpson said that the vacancy rate for Victoria was already at a decade low and the reforms would do nothing to help that.
“The Victorian government’s actions will further deplete that pool, with landlords simply pulling out because it is becoming all too hard and too much of a risk,” Mr Simpson said.
The REIV “Rent Fair is Unfair” petition has more than 20,000 signatures, and Mr Simpson said that the REIV objects to many parts of the reforms.
“The idea that landlords cannot have a say if pets are permitted to live in their houses or if modifications are allowed is completely unreasonable considering the possible negative impact on landlords’ properties.
“[The] REIV also objects to capping bonds to four week’s rentals, the withdrawal of the 120 day ‘no reason’ notice to vacate and burdening landlords with the expense and responsibility of disposing of abandoned goods and furniture.”
Ray Ellis, chief executive of First National Real Estate, agreed with the REIV and said that the reforms would reduce the number of landlords in the state.
“Far from protecting vulnerable tenants, the Andrews government’s proposed reforms will prompt an increasing number of landlords to exit the market, further reducing the number of properties available for rent,” Mr Ellis said.
Mr Ellis said that it would make other states more attractive to investors and exacerbate Victoria’s shortage of affordable housing stock.
“With a drop in the number of rental properties and a vacancy rate already below 2 per cent, where does the Andrews government expect to re-house those who can’t afford to rent through the private sector?” Mr Ellis said.
The government, for its part, said on its website that the reforms were necessary given the high number of renters in Victoria.
“One in four Victorians rent their homes, so the Victorian government is making renting fair,” said the Victorian government on its website.