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REIWA ‘extremely disappointed’ by extension of rental emergency period

The Real Estate Institute of Western Australia has expressed extreme disappointment with the WA Government’s decision to extend the emergency period tenancy legislation for all residential properties, claiming the government has “disregarded the needs of landlords and will make it much harder for tenants to find a property”.

Of the 160,000 rental properties REIWA members are responsible for, only one per cent of tenants have been unable to meet their full rental obligations. Arrears are at a record low.

“It appears that the government has used the pandemic as an opportunity to introduce rent control and meddle in the free market,” REIWA President Damian Collins said.

“We already have a shortage of rental stock and reducing supply further by dissuading landlords will ultimately mean tenants will find it even harder to get a property.

“The Perth vacancy rate has dipped to 1.6 per cent and extending the ban on rental increases will see a sharp price increase down the track rather than small incremental increases,” Mr Collins continued.

“In addition, sitting tenants whose rents are under market will not move, putting those who don’t have a home in an even more vulnerable position where they will face the distinct possibility that they cannot get a property.”

Mr Collins said that, rather than extend the existing legislation, extra criteria should have been added, to limit the emergency period to those most in need.

“The government has allocated $30 million for rental support and has used very little of it. The better outcome would have been to use those funds for those still affected by COVID-19 and let the rest of the market return to normal conditions,” Mr Collins said.

“In a time when we need more investors entering the market to help build up rental stock supply, we are putting up barriers to not only prevent new investors, but also not helping those currently providing a basic human need – housing for all West Australians.”

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