Extension of residential emergency rental laws to make rental shortage even worse

REIWA isextremely disappointed with the WA Governments decision to extend theemergency period tenancy legislation for all residential properties, which has disregarded the needs of landlordsand will make it much harder for tenants to find a property.

REIWA President Damian Collinssaid the decision to extend the emergency period in its current form, makes noeconomic sense and will ultimately lead to higher rental prices and fewerrental properties available when the emergency period ultimately comes to anend.

“It appears that the government has used the pandemic asan opportunity to introduce rent control and meddle in the free market. Wealready have a shortage of rental stock and reducing supply further bydissuading landlords will ultimately mean tenants will find it even harder toget a property Mr Collins said.

REIWA members are responsiblefor over 160,000 rental properties in WA and have reported just one per cent ofprivate tenancies have been unable to meet their full rental obligation witharrears at record lows.

The Perth vacancy rate has dippedto 1.6 per cent and extending the ban on rental increases will see a sharpprice increase down the track rather than small incremental increases, MrCollins said.

In addition, sitting tenantswhose rents are under market will not move, putting those who dont have a homein an even more vulnerable position where they will face the distinctpossibility that they cannot get a property.

Instead of an extension withthe law as it is, the government should have included extra criteria to ensurethat those who are seriously impacted financially by COVID-19, will receive thesupport they need.

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

In a time when we need more investorsentering the market to help build up rental stock supply, we are putting upbarriers to not only prevent new investors, but also not helping thosecurrently providing a basichuman need housing for all West Australians.

While this decision isconcerning and disappointing to the industry, REIWA will continue to advocate forthe rights of tenants, landlords and property managers, to ensure that their voicesare heard.

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