Victorian property investors are urged to unite and petition the State Government to amend the proposed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act.
Victoria’s new rental laws, announced in October 2017, are set to strip landlords of many essential rights, in favour of tenants, according to the Property Investment Council of Australia (PICA).
PICA chairman Ben Kingsley said a falling rental supply amid a booming population could leave Victorian tenants worse off.
He said the proposed changes make property investment less desirable in Victoria, which will ultimately result in fewer rental homes and trigger a rental squeeze that will dramatically increase rents.
“Landlords make a significant financial investment to help accommodate growing rental demand, especially when the Victorian Government have committed fewer funds into social and public housing over the past 10 years,” Mr Kingsley said.
“The very least the government should do is consult with important stakeholders before surprising us with these big changes. We are concerned this has more to do with politics than in addressing any serious problems with the existing Act.
"PICA, on behalf of its members, want a meeting and consultative process first as our landlords have a lot of unanswered questions regarding these proposed changes.”
Among the 14 proposed reforms by the Andrews Government, Mr Kingsley said the most concerning to landlords include:
- Changes to the notice periods around ending a lease, removing the ability for a landlord to serve a 120 Day Notice to Vacate for ‘No Specified Reason’, and removing the option to serve a 60 or 90 Day Notice to Vacate for ‘End of Fixed-term tenancy’ after the initial first term.
- Allowing tenants to make non-structural modifications to rental properties.
- Capping bonds at one month’s rent where the rent is less than $760 per week.
- Removal of the landlord’s right to consent to, or refuse, pets.
PICA is encouraging all landlords to sign a 'Rent Fair is Unfair’ petition, which has been set up to stop these changes without any consultative. The petition will later be raised in Parliament by Heidi Victoria, Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs.
*20,000 signed petitions are required by 6th February 2018.