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Ahead of a potential extension to Victoria’s latest lockdown, the REIV is calling for change.
Victoria’s property industry advocates have called on the government to change its attitude towards the activities of real estate agents.
In an open letter to Victorian Premier Dan Andrews, the Real Estate Institute of Victoria called on the government to remove “unnecessary and onerous restrictions” on the sector.
According to REIV CEO Gil King, “Lockdown regulations that ban property inspection by private appointment are creating an unnecessary burden on the property market, impacting aspiring home owners and mum and dad investors.”
“Most critically, though, they’re stopping many people from being able to access rental properties so they can put a roof over their heads,” Mr King added.
Under Sydney’s current restrictions, one-on-one property inspections are allowed. However, Victoria’s current restrictions do not allow local real estate operators the same amount of leeway.
For the duration of Victoria’s current lockdown, agents are only able to facilitate inspections and auctions if they are doing so remotely.
“Private inspections can be held safely,” the REIV said, before arguing that loosening restrictions to allow for one-on-one viewing will bring with it “more job security for the tens of thousands of property sector employees”.
“And, of course, the government’s own coffers will be bolstered by the return of property taxes, which typically constitute around a half of state tax revenue,” Mr King added.
The REIV also urged the Victorian government to “rethink” the current Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme.
Under the current rules, commercial tenants who have recorded a fall in turnover of more than 30 per cent are guaranteed for rent reductions in line with their fall in revenue.
However, the REIV warned that, unless changes are made to the scheme, “it will herald financial ruin for the property owners”.
Advocating for a model where tenants and landlords both receive proportional support, Mr King noted that “many of these people are self-funded retirees who have watched their sole sources of income diminish considerably”.
“Suffocating a sector with unnecessary rules is already impacting the health, safety and mental wellbeing of the community, and we shudder at the thought of potential longer-term consequences,” Mr King said.
Property refers to either a tangible or intangible item that an individual or business has legal rights or ownership of, such as houses, cars, stocks or bond certificates.