More supply would render reforms redundant, says REIQ
The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) says more legislative reform, announced by the State Government today, doesn’t address the rental market pressures that have been primarily caused by a lack of new social housing and private rental supply.
While the detail remains yet to be seen, the State Government has so far released a package of reforms including:
- Rent relief through financial aid support package,
- Portable bond scheme,
- Rental sector Code of Conduct,
- Installing modifications to rental properties,
- Prohibiting the acceptance of rental offers higher than the listed price,
- Attaching once 12 monthly rent increase limits to the property not the tenancy,
REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said the problems the State Government keeps trying to solve through constant legislative reform, were symptoms of a market with dire supply levels, which continues to the elephant in the room.
“For the fifth time in four years, the State Government has decided to tighten rental legislation in a way that is squeezing the life out of investing in real estate in Queensland,” Ms Mercorella said.
“With this round of reform, they’re creating an administrative nightmare with portable bonds, and potentially opening the door to tenants making modifications to rental properties without the consent of the owner.
“Our position is that current laws governing modifications are appropriate – tenants require the consent of the property owner and the owner cannot act unreasonably - but by introducing a ‘free-for-all’, there could be costly consequences for property owners.
“We’ve been working closely with QDN (Queensland Disability Network) on an appropriate framework to apply in the case of a modification being required for accessibility reasons.”
Ms Mercorella said some of the legislative reforms appeared to be more for show than of real substance.
“We already have strict legislation surrounding rent bidding in Queensland, which requires a listing price be advertised and prevents real estate professionals from asking for offers above and beyond that,” she said.
“What this reform proposes to do, is to prevent rental applicants from offering more for a property to create a competitive edge. This practice has emerged due to the very tight rental market.
“If you fix supply, history shows that affordability stays in check because people aren’t compelled to offer more to increase their chances of success among a big pool of applicants. A focus on supply would render most of these reforms redundant.
“As the peak professional body for real estate professionals we would be supportive of a Code of Conduct being developed in close consultation with the REIQ and drawing from our existing Best Practice Guidelines that we promote to the real estate profession.
“However, it does feel ironic to see the State Government suddenly calling for a code, when they haven’t provided a cent of funding towards training for real estate professionals, and they’ve dragged their heels on mandatory CPD – something we’ve been advocating for over a decade.”
Ms Mercorella was highly supportive of the rental relief financial aid being announced.
“We’ve always said the focus needs to be on supporting the most vulnerable in our community and financial aid is important to ensure they are able to have a roof over their heads,” she said.
“However, some of these people should have been supported with social housing and are instead trying to compete in the private rental market.
“The Productivity Commission highlighted last year that Queensland has the lowest level of spend on social housing in the country.
“This is happening while the social housing register waitlist has exploded to above 40,000.”
Claire Ryan, Media and Stakeholder Relations Manager, The Real Estate Institute of Queensland
M: 0417 623 723 E: email@example.com
Watch Antonia Mercorella talk about these proposed reforms in this video.
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