Questions raised on rental reforms

As an agency that works closely with literally hundreds of landlords and tenants across Melbourne every week, we have had a number of calls in recent months from clients who have concerns about the Victorian Government’s planned changes to the laws governing residential tenancies, and how they may impact on the rental market.

Clearly, our clients are not the only people with these concerns, as the President of the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV), Leah Calnan, recently called on the State Government to be mindful of the low vacancy rates across Victoria when it goes through the next stage of rental law reform.

The REIV has had a working committee analysing the proposed changes to the Residential Tenancies Regulations in detail and has made an official submission to the State Government on this matter.

Ms Calnan has been quoted on the REIV website as saying, “The State Government is intent on putting the reforms through, the REIV has had a team looking at the changes and has made a submission that focuses on getting the best result for landlords, tenants and agencies.”

Importantly, Ms Calnan has pointed to the tight rental market across Victoria as a reason for caution when making changes to the legislation. She said, “With record low vacancy rates across Victoria, it’s already incredibly tough for a person to get a rental home. The REIV is deeply concerned that these rental reforms may force landlords to take their properties off the market, making our state-wide rental housing shortage even worse...If rental housing stocks are impacted further, this legislation will make it harder for a tenant to get a rental home.”

It is important to remember that rental shortages have the potential to impact on some of the most vulnerable members of our society. If low income families are forced onto the streets, this will place even greater pressure on welfare groups and charities, who are already struggling to meet demand for their assistance.

If you currently have an investment property, or are planning on acquiring one as part of a long-term strategy for financial security, and would like to discuss how best to deal with any potential changes to the residential tenancy laws, you can call our experienced property management team at Barry Plant Inner-North a call on 9478 6344 this week.

Best wishes,

George Metax, Jim Dimitropoulos & Loretta Khoo

Directors - Barry Plant Inner North