Gil King, CEO of the Real Estate Institute of Victoria, says the Victorian state government is in the middle of a review of the Residential Tenancies Act, and questions why today's long-term tenancy agreement announcement was made while dicussions were still ongoing.
The REIV says that, while it generally supports today’s announcement on long-term leases, the entire private rental sector is on the brink of significant change which will heavily affect landlords and other stakeholders.
King said the industry has been working with the government on reform, and looks forward to continuing to do so.
“Victoria’s population is growing by 100,000 new residents each year and the private rental sector needs to meet this need," said King.
“The review and the Government’s current options paper ‘Heading for Home’ will have a significant impact on the sector, affecting both property owners and tenants.”
Mr King said it’s unclear why today’s announcement has been made in the middle of an ongoing consultation process, through the 'Fairer, Safer Housing' review.
The REIV has surveyed landlords across Victoria, and found that four in five will significantly increase rents if the proposals are adopted.
A further 17 per cent of landlords said they will leave the sector if the changes proceed.
The reforms that are being proposed include:
• Changes to notice provisions around ending a lease. Tenants are only required to provide 28 days’ notice of their intention to leave a property, while landlords may lose their right to terminate a lease altogether.
• Removal of the landlord’s right to consent to, or refuse, pets.
• Allowing tenants to make non-structural modifications to rental properties without landlord consent or permission. This may include repainting an entire property, concreting the backyard or reconfiguring built-in robes.
“The changes will have an overall negative impact on the Victorian rental market, especially on those who can least afford it,” said King.
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