WE’RE NOT SOLD ON RENT RULES
Agents fear changes will leave landlords worse off
CHANGES to rentals set to be introduced by the Victorian Government have been met with mixed reactions from real estate agents, landlords and tenants.
The Residential Tenancies Bill 2018 (RTA) passed the Parliament on September 6, however it’s not known when the bill will come into effect.
The amendments have been criticised as favouring tenants too generously and taking power away from landlords.
Local real estate agents voiced their concerns over the changes and said they would affect the more than 100 renters and landlords in the Heathcote area. Some of the changes include:
■ Tenants being able to bring pets onto a landlord’s property without consent and the landlord has 14 days to take the tenants to VCAT.
■ Tenants can make prescribed modifications to the property without the landlord’s consent.
■ Landlords must upgrade all appli- ances to meet energy efficiency standards.
■ Tenants will have up to five (previously three) opportunities to bring late payment of rent up to date.
■ The 120 day ‘no reason’ notice to vacate, where the landlord wants their own property back for a reason not specified in the legislation, has been removed.
Heathcote agents said while they didn’t believe there needed to be changes to the current bill, the RTA 2018 shouldn’t discourage potential investors, but make them more savvy in selecting a property to invest in. They expected the costs of upgrading appliances would be passed on to tenants through rent increases as the property’s value would be likely to increase as a result of the changes. The state government has declared there will be a period of consultation around the regulations which will sit alongside the RTA 2018, with the consultation taking up to 18 months. The Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) said they would continue to advocate on behalf of members and their clients to ensure the regulations are workable and would be an active and vocal participant in this consultation process. The REIV campaigned strongly against elements of the legislation, which strengthen the rights of renters.
The REIV said there were fears the RTA 2018 would make it too hard and too risky for landlords to rent out their properties, which could further constrain this already tight rental market, however local agents believe the changes won’t discourage renters or investors.