Legislation that was described as putting more power into the hands of tenants by the Victorian government has passed both houses of Parliament, guaranteeing its legal standing. Here's what investors need to look out for.
First announced in October 2017, the “Rent Fair” reforms aimed to make renting fairer for tenants according to the Victorian government; it is now enshrined in the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2018 and passed both houses of parliament without any changes.
The changes to rental legislation targeted six main areas:
Landlord blacklists and pets in legislation are unique for tenancy-based legislation. To see how these changes compare with the rest of the country, Smart Property Investment has previously published a comparison of the rental reforms to other states and territories.
When the reforms were announced, the ex-CEO of the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) Enzo Raimondo said these reforms struck a good balance between landlords and tenants.
“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,” Mr Raimondo said at the time.
Meanwhile, the current REIV CEO Richard Simpson called the rental reform ‘draconian’ and predicted a mass exodus of investors from the Victorian property market.
“The vacancy rate for Victoria’s rental market is already sitting at its lowest point in a decade at 1.8 per cent, which means there are just 1.8 houses available for rent out of every 100 and now the Victorian government’s actions will further deplete that pool with landlords simply pulling out because it is becoming all too hard and too much of a risk,” Mr Simpson said.