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Proposed rental laws in Queensland threaten to drive landlords out of market

More than 80 per cent of Queensland landlords would consider selling their investment properties if proposed changes to rental laws come in, a new survey has revealed.

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) surveyed sentiment among more than 3300 investors, quizzing them on the ‘hot button’ issues contained in the State Government’s stage two rental law reforms option paper.

The proposed reforms include changes such as making it easier for renters to install safety, security and accessibility modifications and make minor personalisation changes to rental properties.

REIQ Chief Executive Officer Antonia Mercorella said one of the more ominous findings was that 81.4 per cent of rental providers said the recent and future proposed tenancy law changes have influenced the likelihood they will sell.

Meanwhile 62 per cent of landlords said they had already considered selling their rental property in the past two years, with 27 per cent stating the primary reason was due to the law reforms.

“The REIQ is concerned with ongoing and consistent rental law reforms in Queensland, which are progressively eroding property investor rights along with their confidence,” Ms Mercorella said.

“Further withdrawal of properties from the rental pool amid the critical rental crisis in Queensland will have dire consequences on the market in both the short and long term.

“This wholesale reform of the rental market is in direct contradiction with what all stakeholders seem to be in furious agreement about – the need to boost rental supply.”

Landlords are also overwhelming concerned about the prospect of tenants making property modifications without their consent, with 98.6 per cent against this.

The respondents cited numerous concerns including property value, safety regulations, unqualified works, costs to rectify or fix damages, and insurance implications.

Further, if rental providers could only refuse a property minor modification by going through QCAT, 83.7 per cent said it would impact their decision to keep the property.

Other survey results include 64.5 per cent of landlords being opposed to tenants being able to make minor personalisation changes to their property without their consent, with the lack of definition of ‘minor’ being a major concern. 

By way of example, 79.8 per cent of the survey respondents did not consider painting walls of the rental property to be minor in nature.

Other concerns surrounding minor personalisation changes related to the risk of costly damages and repairs falling back onto property owners to rectify.

The potential cost burden of the various changes were frequently referenced in the respondent’s commentary, with the survey revealing that 75.6 per cent said the current rent they charge does not cover all of their outgoings to hold the property.

Ms Mercorella said given more than $13 billion was raised in taxes and rates in FY22 from property across state and local governments, it must be acknowledged that the private property sector is providing vital funds for critical services and infrastructure across the state.

At the same time, private investors are doing the majority of the lifting when it comes to the provision of rental housing in this state.

She said the REIQ was cautioning against the stage 2 rental law reforms and called on the government to show greater respect for the contribution property investors make to the economy and housing sector.

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Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Editor at Elite Agent.