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Industry experts react to Victorian Government real estate reforms

Entry Education has confirmed it will be a provider of the Victorian Government’s new mandatory continuing professional development for real estate professionals, but scarce other details are available.

Founder and Director of Entry Education, Ryan Keys, yesterday confirmed the education provider would facilitate the CPD but said the exact details of what real estate professionals would be required to do, was still unclear at this stage.

Mr Keys said it was also unclear when the mandatory CPD would come in.

“We will definitely be providing the CPD requirements,” he said.

“Usually they give 24 months notice for these sorts of things.”

Elite Agent has put calls and emails into the Victorian Government in an effort to find out more.

Metro Property Management Director, industry consultant and former REIV president and vice president, Leah Calnan welcomed the news about mandatory CPD.

“It’s about time,” she said.

“It’s been something that, particularly the REIV over the past 10 to 20 years, has been advocating for mandatory CPD.

“There’s so many changes to legislation and policy procedures, so it’s super important to make sure that real estate agents, property managers and owners corporation managers are all up-to-date.

“So I think it’s great but the devil will be in the detail, including how many points, is it going to be linked to the licence, who’s monitoring it and what’s the timeframe?”

Ms Calnan’s comments come after the Victorian Government on Wednesday released its Victoria’s Housing Statement – The Decade Ahead 2024-2034, a policy document aimed at boosting housing supply, including 800,000 new homes over the next 10 years.

The policy also included a raft of rental reforms, including extending notice of rent increases and notice to vacate periods to 90 days, a crackdown on landlords evicting tenants at the end of their first fixed-term lease so they can increase the rent and release the property at a higher rate.

They also plan to ban all types of rent bidding, including unsolicited bidding initiated by tenants themselves and will make it an offence for landlords or agents to accept bids.

“I think it really does show a lack of understanding of market conditions from the government,” Ms Calnan said.

“Continuing to expand the notice period will just put owners in a position where they don’t put their rental property on the market for lease, or they will take potential, shorter term leases.

“The whole point of the new legislation back in 2021 was to create secure housing but all that’s happened in the last two to three years is we’ve seen a massive exodus of investors and nobody seems to be able to accept responsibility for that.”

Other rental changes to come from the Victorian Government will include a portable bond scheme and the creation of Rental Dispute Resolution Victoria, a one-stop shop for renters, agents and landlords to resolve tenancy disputes over rent, damages, repairs and bonds

It’s something The Property Management Coach Kirk Stafford said sounded good but raised questions in regards to its execution.

“Every property manager I know would face liability action from their landlord clients if they allowed a tenant into a property without the payment of a bond prior to being given possession, so I’m very interested to see the mechanics of this, particularly in the situation where there is a dispute around the retention of the former bond for things such as cleaning, damage or outstanding rent,” he said.

“If the government is really suggesting that every tenancy flows so smoothly that these matters are never at issue, because if they are, then they really don’t need the new dispute resolution service.

“Maybe instead of a portable bond scheme, the government should institute a short-term loan scheme, they could fund it from the savings they’d make by resourcing VCAT or DSCV properly rather than establishing an entire new body for rental disputes. 

“Then the risk for paying bonds would transfer to the government, rather than placing more landlords at risk of further loss.”

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Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Editor at Elite Agent.