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Tasmania’s bold housing plan: pets, tax cuts, and eco upgrades promised

The Tasmanian Government has vowed to allow pets in rental properties, boost its Private Rental Incentive Scheme and abolish millions of dollars in stamp duty costs if re-elected in next month’s State Election.

Meanwhile, Labor has promised to help landlords make energy efficient upgrades to their properties and pledged $5 million to make improvements to 2500 public and social housing homes.

Premier Jeremy Rockliff said if voted back into power, his government would immediately take action on three fronts.

“First, we will change the laws to allow renters to have a pet. Renters shouldn’t have to choose between having a place to live, and the pet they love,” he said.

“We will immediately amend the Residential Tenancy Act to ensure Tasmanian renters can have their treasured family pet living with them, as a right.

“Second, we will boost our Private Rental Incentive Scheme to unlock an additional 200 rentals that have rents capped at between 25 and 30 per cent below median rates.

“Currently, we offer a cash incentive up to $200 a week and guaranteed rental income for two years to 300 property owners, and now we’ll incentivise 500 property owners.”

Tasmanian Premier Jeremy Rockliff.

Mr Rockliff said a Liberal government would also offer 100 per cent land tax exemptions for property owners who either build-for-rent or switch a short stay home to the long-term rental market.

“Those who build-to-rent will be free of land tax for three years, which could save them $6000, while those who switch a short stay to rent won’t pay land tax for a year and they will save $2000,” he said.

“We know it’s tough for many Tasmanians to secure a rental property in the current market, and our 2030 Strong Plan for Tasmania will take action right now on rentals.

“We will ensure that locals can both find and afford a rental in their home state so they can stay, learn, earn and raise a family right here.”

Mr Rockliff also said his government would help more young Tasmanians buy their first home by scrapping stamp duty on entry-level homes. 

“Under our Strong Plan, eligible young Tasmanians won’t have to pay a cent of stamp duty for any home valued up to $750,000,” he said.

“This is a massive doubling of the existing stamp duty discount of 50 per cent, and also a significant increase in the current property value cap of $600,000 to $750,000.

“This will help around an extra 1500 Tasmanian households into the housing market a year, with huge savings up to $28,935.

“That kind of money can literally make the difference between being able to buy a first home, or not – particularly given the need for a large upfront cash deposit when buying a house.”

Mr Rockliff said the policy would be partially paid for with a 5 per cent short-stay levy to be paid by the visitor, not the property owner.

The levy is expected to raise $11 million a year.

“Every cent of that levy will go directly to Tasmanian first home buyers,” he said.

Tasmanian Labor Leader Rebecca White said if elected her government would help landlords make energy efficient upgrades to their rental properties by providing $1000 to 2500 homes when the landlord provides a matched contribution.

All upgrades currently available under the Energy Saver Loan Scheme would be eligible.

Tasmanian Labor Leader Rebecca White.

“We also know that urgent upgrades are needed to make our public and social housing more energy efficient and that is why we will invest $5 million to make these improvements across 2500 homes,” Ms White said.

“Both initiatives will help upgrade glazing, lighting or hot water systems in homes, or allow for the installation of insulation or heat pumps.

“Tasmanian Labor is serious about providing cost of living relief unlike the Liberal Government who has had 10 years to do the work and has failed to make an impact.”

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Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Editor at Elite Agent.