Gympie agents fear rental reform will hurt market
RENTAL agencies fear the State Governments proposed reforms will turn the screws on an already tight market.
Century 21 Platinum development manager Rachael Harratt said the controversial changes “have good bones”, but need refining to keep investors from bailing out of the rental market.
Gympie’s residential vacancy rate last month was 0.9 per cent according to data from investment researchers SQM.
The national rate was 2.1 per cent.
A State Government press release on the reforms said the proposed changes will stop owner from terminating leases “without a valid reason”, require owners to give “reasonable grounds” to refuse a tenant’s request to keep a pet, and enforce minimum housing standards.
But Ms Harratt said the reforms remove “a landlord’s basic rights to have control” and was creating too many “grey areas” in the industry.
“Owners won’t have a say,” she said.
Taking away their right to refuse pets ran a close second in the concern stakes.
Requiring an owner to have grounds to refuse a pet, and seek a Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal order to exclude them posed another issue.
MORE GYMPIE NEWS
“We’re all adults in this market,” Ms Harratt said.
“I don’t believe telling rental owners they can’t refuse is the right way.
“We don’t want the reforms to drive investors to selling.”
Gympie Regional Realty property manager Jason Margetts agreed.
“If everything the that’s proposed is put in place, we’d see a lot of people put their properties on the market,” he said.
This would back up a waiting list which was already producing more than 100 inquiries at his agency every week.
“If you remove about 30 per cent of the market, that’s a lot of investors,” he said.
Mr Margetts said he could see where the State’s changes “were coming from” and proposals like the new safety guidelines were coming from but “landlords are losing a fair bit on control.
“It does leave the landlords behind.”
Real Estate Institute of Queensland chief executive Antonia Mercorella said the group was “overwhelmed” by the response they received to the proposed reforms.
If adopted, they will strip supply and push rental prices up.
“Landlords, property managers and even tenants have expressed their outrage at the lack of balance and the lack of fairness,” she said.
“Our concern is these rental reforms will destroy the rental market in Queensland.
“The REIQ has said from the very outset we do support a review, that we agree that we need more modernised rental laws, but this is not the answer.
“What these reforms do is completely erode landlord rights and in the end they will spell disaster.”