Herald Sun - Renters facing increase as land tax costs are passed on

Date: 8 Mar 19

Renters across Victoria could face a jump in their weekly rent as property owners and landlords seek to cover the cost of rising state land taxes.

Experts predict that some private rents could increase by up to $30 a week.

Real Estate Institute of Victoria president Robyn Waters said land tax rises were damaging investor confidence and would inevitably drive up rents.

“If landlords are being excessively taxed every which way they turn … they will struggle to make a profit or even cover their costs,’’ Ms Waters said.

Also rental vacancy rates are at record lows of less than 2 per cent, down from 2.9 per cent in 2015, so the demand for available properties is also forcing up rents.

“People are telling us that they’re now looking to invest elsewhere, such as super, shares or savings to make more money from their outlay,’’ Ms Waters said.

“If potential investors are not attracted to the property market and existing investors pull out then we would expect to see vacancy rates fall further and rents increase.’’

Property owners have been receiving land tax bills this month, with many containing increases of tens of thousands of dollars on the back of recent land revaluations.

More property owners are expected to pay the land levy this year as the tax-free threshold of $250,000 has remained unchanged since 2008-09.

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