New national standard for rentals proposed

By Brendan Wong

A national standard for Australia’s rental market will make rental properties safer, more efficient and more affordable, according to a new proposal by the Greens.

The minor party has released a report detailing its rental policy, which it says will improve the conditions of renters around the country.

“We’ve devised a national package that sets stronger, fairer standards for renters and assists landlords to meet them - a win-win for everyone,” it said.

The Greens’ national standards would address five issues facing tenants:

- Improve security of tenure
- Increase stability and fairness of rent prices
- Set a new ‘efficiency standard’ for rentals
- Increase safety and security
- Better protection for vulnerable groups

“The Greens will provide an additional $3 million per year to existing tenants advocacy services to help them provide a stronger voice for tenants and a new national model of ‘consumer protection’ for renters,” the party said.

“Landlords enjoy considerable power over the tenant, particularly in Australia’s tight rental market, and are able to offer rental housing to prospective tenants on a 'take it or leave it' basis.

“The Greens don’t want to take away any protections for landlords, but want to set a level playing field that is fair to both parties and nationally consistent and enforceable.”

Director of Property Manager HQ Kelley Seaton told Smart Property Investment's sister publication, Residential Property Manager, she disagreed with the Greens' proposal.

“I feel that although the Greens are pushing to introduce a ‘national standard’ for housing in their election promise, all landlords, via their managing agents, already need to follow a national standard by adhering to the already existing government legislation, Residential Tenancy Agreements and Fair Trading Acts, so I do not feel this will be any different for managing agents," she said.

“I know the Greens are trying to help tenants in housing, but to help tenants, the outcome really needs to be a win-win for both sides and the Greens are not offering a fair enough outcome for both parties.”

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