The Victorian state government changes on long-term lease provisions, including a new continual standard tenancy agreement for rentals of more than five years, have received a mixed reaction from the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV).
While the body supports the new provisions for long-term leases, REIV chief Gil King said these changes come in the midst of a major review of Victoria’s rental sector and at a time when the entire private rental sector was on the brink of significant change which will affect landlords and other stakeholders.
King said that the industry was still working with the state government on reforms towards the Residential Tenancies Act, and looks forward to continuing to do so.
“Victoria’s population is growing by 100,000 new residents each year, and the private rental sector needs to meet this need.
“The review and the Government’s current options paper ‘Heading for Home’ will have a significant impact on the area, affecting both property owners and tenants.”
The REIV has undertaken a survey of landlords across Victoria with four in five planning to increase rents if the proposals are adopted.
At present 17 percent of owners have said that they will exit the sector if the changes proceed.
“The changes will have an overall negative impact on the Victorian rental market, in particular on those who can least afford it,” King said.
Among the reforms proposed are:
- Changes to notice provisions around ending a lease. Tenants are only required to provide 28 days’ notice of their intention to leave a property, while landlords may lose their right to terminate a lease altogether.
- Removal of the landlord’s right to consent to, or refuse, pets.
- Allowing tenants to make non-structural modifications to rental properties without landlord consent or permission, which includes repainting an entire property, concreting the backyard or reconfiguring built-in robes.