The former CEO of the Real Estate Institute of Victoria has commented on the recent legislative changes brought forward by the Victorian Government, saying that they “enhance everyone’s experience in the rental market”.
On October 8, the Victorian Government announced six areas receiving reforms to Victorian tenancy law in order to make renting fairer, giving tenants more rights by amending the Residential Tenancies Act 1997.
The major changes of the reforms are:
These reforms are not yet currently in place, as the process to amend the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 is underway.
The former CEO of the REIV and current CEO of view.com.au, Enzo Raimondo, said that the changes brought forward will strike a good balance between giving tenants and landlords equal standing rights.
“The reform proposed by the government in Victoria is to make the rental market a bit more balanced and give tenants some more flexibility,” Mr Raimondo said.
Mr Raimondo agreed with the decisions for more protections on longer term leases, pets, the bond capping, rental bidding and minor modifications, but disagreed with the concept of the blacklist, saying it was redundant.
“VCAT is there already to deal with people who don't do the right thing; that's where a lot of the rental disputes end up,” the CEO said.
“I don't think having a blacklist of landlords or agents serves any purpose.”
Mr Raimondo said that he received a message from the government stating that these changes would be coming into effect next year, but he would personally want to see the changes come into effect now.
He said: “My experience dealing with governments as a former REI CEO in a number of states is that these things usually take about six months to go through the lower and upper house, and then introduction period to educate both the industry and the community.
“I suspect it'll be in the first quarter of next year would be the earliest it might come in, and possibly the middle of next year, but that's just my guess. I'd like to see it come in as soon as possible.”
Mr Raimondo also said that if these changes go through, he could see their adoption by other states.
“We saw that in the past with some underquoting legislation. We saw that with some of the auction legislation, the bidding legislation, so I think, yes, they will be.
“When you look at Sydney and Melbourne, and to a lesser degree, Brisbane, where you have the majority of the rental accommodation and the apartments and the rental... by the sheer volume of rental accommodation, anything that makes people's enjoyment of their property adds value.
“This is 2017 now, it's not the 1950s, and a lot of this stuff, legislation takes a while to keep up with current trends and community expectations, and this is a positive move which addresses some of the imbalances [which have] been there for a long time.”