Senate Inquiry into rental issues
  • 24 Aug 2023
  • 3 min read
  • By the REIQ

REIQ appears before Senate Inquiry into rental issues

Rental crisis, Senate inquiry

REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella and General Counsel Kat Beavon appeared at a Senate Inquiry into Australia’s rental crisis in Brisbane yesterday.

The inquiry heard from a range of stakeholder groups and individuals with lived experiences of the current rental conditions.

REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said despite a diversity of views and experiences shared to the inquiry, a common theme that emerged was the need for greater housing supply.

“There was also a desire for improved certainty, safety and security for all those involved in rental relationships – including tenants, lessors and property managers,” Ms Mercorella said.

“Additionally, the inquiry revealed the urgent need for focussed attention and support for the most vulnerable in our community and for key workers. The drastic shortfall in social and affordable housing options in Queensland was on alarming display.”

Ms Mercorella said the REIQ acknowledged its disappointment in response to stories and allegations of poor property management practices and conduct. 

“As the peak body for real estate in Queensland, the REIQ is committed to education and training to ensure high levels of professionalism,” she said.

“The REIQ’s commitment to this is reflected in our self-funded free Property Management Support Service for members and our various state-wide training programs and resources. 

“We know that the vast majority of property managers are committed to doing the right thing by their clients and tenants, but we recognise that there are exceptions.

“Poor property management practice impacts tenants and damages the reputation of the entire property management sector. 

“Sadly, as in all industries, there will be those who act outside the legislative requirements and best practice standards. 

“The State Government can help to address this by introducing mandatory continuing professional development requirements for real estate professionals, after promising to do so eight years ago.”

Key insights and topics raised by the REIQ included:

  • the number of investor-held properties being sold has increased and is higher than average levels, and why that is concerning for the renting population;
  • that no-one is immune to the rising costs of living – property investors are facing the pressures of rising holding costs due to inflation and interest rates;
  • the impact that cumulative rental reforms have had on property investors in Queensland;
  • the nationally harmonised rental laws proposed by National Cabinet are reflective of the laws currently in place or in progress in Queensland;
  • that more needs to be done to support renters to create a pathway to home ownership;
  • the pressures facing property managers on the frontline of facilitating rental relationships; and
  • market interventions, such as rental controls, could have a range of long-term negative and counterproductive consequences, including constricting housing supply.

The REIQ looks forward to seeing the Senate committee report in November.


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