Property owners and renters living in regional Victoria should be concerned about the Victorian Government’s proposed ‘Rent Fair’ legislation, which they’ve announced will be introduced to Parliament during the week beginning August 6.
Rental vacancy rates in regional Victoria are already very low and the REIV fears that this new ‘nanny state’ legislation will discourage property owners from renting out their houses as it all becomes too hard and too much of a risk.
The latest REIV data for July shows that Victoria’s regional vacancy rate is sitting at 1.5 per cent, compared with 1.8 per cent for the entire State, which means there are just 1.5 houses available for rent out of every 100.
The vacancy rate for Ballarat and Central Highlands is the lowest at just 1.1 per cent, Bendigo and Loddon’s is 1.3 per cent, Wodonga and Ovens- Murray has a 1.4 per cent vacancy rate and Geelong and the Barwon region is at 1.9 per cent.
The REIV has advocated strongly against the Residential Tenancies Act which would swing the pendulum of rights overwhelming towards renters, with property owners stripped of control over what goes on in their house, unit or apartment.
Under the changes, landlords will not have a say if pets are permitted to live in their residences or if modifications can take place which is unreasonable considering the possible negative impact on the property’s value.
The REIV also objects to capping bonds to four week’s rental, the withdrawal of the 120 day ‘no reason’ notice to vacate and burdening landlords with the expense and responsibility of disposing of abandoned goods and furniture.
We appreciate that the Victorian Government’s intention is to improve conditions for renters, but these changes may have the reverse effect as property owners are likely to remove their dwellings from the market. ‘Rent Fair’, in its current form, will result in greater screening of applicants and increased rents.
The REIV will continue discussions with all sides of politics to reach a reasonable outcome on this issue.