REIQ calls on Government to perform rather than reform
The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) is urging the State Government to stop the legislative attack against rental providers, that would do more harm than good for both lessors and tenants amid the rental crisis.
The Government released its Stage 2 Rental Law Reforms Options Paper on 18 April with community consultation closing yesterday.
In its response, the REIQ opposed the implementation of the rental reforms at this time.
“Although we are prepared to support some of the proposed measures at a later date and with further consultation, we consider the timing and nature of these reforms to be inappropriate and extremely dangerous given the current unprecedented rental crisis and limited housing supply,” REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said.
“Queensland’s rental housing supply has considerably diminished, and whilst the reasons for this are varied, it is evident that legislative reform has had a material impact.
“Over the past three years, legislative reform has been exclusively focused on tenant rights and protections.
“Meanwhile, lessor rights have been diminished, decision making powers have been removed or limited and contractual relations have been overridden.
“As shown by a recent Property Investor Survey conducted by the REIQ, lessors are concerned by the ongoing erosion of their contractual and statutory rights and they are, in the majority of cases, opposed to Stage 2 rental reforms.”
She said the State Government must take into account that private lessors provide around 95% of rental housing in Queensland.
“While these properties provide homes for tenants, they are ultimately assets owned by lessors, with associated financial, legal and statutory responsibilities and risks,” Ms Mercorella said.
“The gradual erosion of lessor rights and asset control increases the risk of withdrawal of investment housing from the property market.
“Rather than constant legislative reform, the Queensland Government should focus on initiatives to drive housing supply and confidence in the rental housing market to maintain and grow private investment in Queensland.
“It is widely accepted that our current rental crisis stems from insufficient supply. It will be difficult to address the current supply imbalance in the market if owner rights are diminished any further.”
REIQ Recommendations in response to the Stage 2 Rental Law Reform Options Paper
On 18 April 2023, the Queensland Government released its Options Paper setting out proposed stage 2 rental law reforms to yet again amend the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008.
The key proposed reforms are summarised below and followed by the REIQ’s recommendations.
1. Minor Modifications
This proposed reform focuses on allowing tenants to make modifications to a rental property without the lessor’s consent and limits an owner’s right to decline a request. Additionally, tenants would only be required to restore the property to substantially the same standard at the end of the tenancy.
2. Minor Personalisation Changes
This proposed reform focuses on allowing tenants to make personalisation changes to a rental property without the lessor’s consent and limits an owner’s right to decline a request. Additionally, tenants would only be required to restore the property to substantially the same standard at the end of the tenancy.
3. Access and Privacy
The proposed reform limits the information an owner may request when a tenant makes an application for a rental property. In addition, there are proposed restrictions in relation to access for routine and repairs and maintenance inspections.
4. Rental Bond Process
The proposed reforms limit rental bond amounts and seek to introduce a new bond claim process.
5. Fees associated with tenancy
The proposed reforms cap the amount an owner can charge when a tenant breaks a lease and limit an owner’s right to charge a tenant for their own living expenses.
Claire Ryan, Media and Stakeholder Relations Manager, The Real Estate Institute of Queensland
M: 0417 623 723 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
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