Rental reforms to leave landlords exposed & tenants paying more

Date: 9 Oct 17

Victoria’s new rental laws lack balance and have the potential to devastate the private rental market, the REIV rental-property.jpghas warned. 

REIV CEO Gil King said these changes involve the loss of a number of valuable rights and will reduce a landlord’s security over what is a significant financial investment. 

“The Andrews’ Government has been short-sighted in introducing these reforms which have the ability to decimate the private rental market, ultimately driving up rents and reducing supply of rental properties at a time of unprecedented population growth.”

The reforms, announced by Premier Daniel Andrews yesterday, remove a landlord’s right to end a tenancy – in both fixed term and periodic agreements.

Landlords will also be unable to unreasonably withhold consent regarding pets and minor property modifications while bonds will be capped at the equivalent of four weeks’ rent for all homes below $760 a week.

“These changes will reduce the attractiveness of property investment in Victoria with a significant number of landlords indicating they will exit the market.”

“The Government has failed to consider the rights of the supply side, which is absolutely crucial in maintaining a sustainable private rental market.”

“In a move clearly pitched at the Northcote by-election, the Government is willing to alienate ‘mum and dad’ investors who have assets worth hundreds of thousands of dollars at stake.”

“Landlords should reconsider whether they want to remain in the private residential rental market given their rights over what happens to their property are being eroded.”

Mr King added that tenants should be careful what they wish for, with many of these reforms likely to make it harder for renters to secure a property in the first instance.

“While these changes have been designed to provide tenants with better protections, ironically they will result in increased competition for properties, higher rents and greater landlord screening of applicants.”