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.

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