REIV CEO pens heartfelt open letter to Premier Dan Andrews

The Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) Chief Executive Officer Gil King has written an open letter to Victorian Premier Dan Andrews, asking for home inspections to be allowed amid lockdowns.

The letter:

When Victorians buy, sell or rent a property, they are making some of the most significant financial decisions of their lives. And, as a result, it’s imperative they’re informed and have had opportunity to undertake critical due diligence.

Inspecting homes is a fundamental aspect of property transaction due diligence. Without it, buyers and renters are flying blind, and sellers and rental providers aren’t able to position their asset at its best. It means for a significantly weakened exchange.

Lockdown regulations that ban property inspection by private appointment are creating an unnecessary burden on the property market, impacting aspiring homeowners and mum and dad investors. Most critically, though, they’re stopping many people from being able access rental properties so they can put a roof over their heads.

With the inevitability of more snap lockdowns until a COVID-19 vaccination target is reached, the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) – on behalf of the property sector – is calling for the Victorian Government to remove this unnecessary and onerous restriction and allow the sector to get on with essential business. Private inspections can be held safely.

In doing so, the state will benefit through 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.

The REIV also urges the Victorian Government to rethink the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme. Without proportionate support, it will herald financial ruin for the property owners. Many of these people are self-funded retirees who have watched their sole sources of income diminish considerably.

The fact remains that many tenants will not be required to repay waived rents and a number of others are unlikely to have the capacity to repay any deferred rents in the near term, or if ever. Both tenants and owners must be supported.

Our members regularly convey the severe hardship many of their clients are facing. Suffocating a sector with unnecessary rules is already impacting the health, safety and mental well-being of the community and we shudder at the thought of potential longer-term consequences.

The REIV is ready and willing to work with the Victorian Government in finding the solutions that enable business to resume while ensuring the safety of all Victorians.

Source: REIV

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