NSW Government creates perfect storm to reduce housing

The Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW) has blasted the NSW Government’s decision to extend its rental moratorium saying the timing, which coincides with the end of the banks’ loan repayment waiver, will create a perfect storm and send many mums, dads and retirees broke.

REINSW Chief Executive Officer Tim McKibbin says contrary to the NSW Government’s obvious stereotyping, around 80 percent of landlords in New South Wales are mums and dads or self-funded retirees who are either paying off a single property investment, or depend on it for income.

Now they are facing an even longer period of no income, more uncertainty and for many, financial ruin, he says.

“This is a case of logic being ignored, livelihoods being placed at unnecessary risk and, worryingly, a refusal to undertake the proper consultation.

“How are these mum and dad investors, many who have lost their jobs, going to cope? The banks have already made clear that the cold hard reality for many landlords is that they are going to have to sell their property to retire debt. The nest egg people have worked so hard to achieve, and have sacrificed so much for, will be lost.

“The Department of Fair Trading has informed the REINSW clearly that if even if a landlord has lost their job, if the hot water system breaks on their property, they have to find the money from somewhere to fix it.

“For the Minister to assert that the extension of the rental moratorium is in support of both tenants and landlords is grossly insulting. To date, the Government has provided the Tenants Union $13.5 million to assist tenants. Not one cent has been provided to assist landlords. It undermines the absolutely critical role landlords play in society: providing choices for people to have a roof over their heads.

“In the end, tenants will suffer too. Fewer properties available for rent at this incredibly delicate economic time pushes more people onto the streets.

“The REINSW calls for an urgent review of this decision, particularly in the absence of any research to suggest the extension of the moratorium is an appropriate, let alone necessary, move,” Mr McKibbin says.

The NSW Government’s failure to explain the rationale for the extended rent-free period is a critical concern, Mr McKibbin says, especially given the current state of eased restrictions in New South Wales as well as the recent decrease in the national unemployment rate to 6.8 per cent.

“The REINSW has repeatedly sought to consult with the Department of Fair Trading and the Minister to explain the impacts of this measure on the state’s landlords and tenants but our efforts, despite the promises made, have been met with a closed door. Instead, the State’s largest real estate industry body, like the rest of the community, is left to process the recklessness of a decision made with no industry consultation, no basis in data and with clearly no understanding of the broader industry and market ramifications.

“We expected better from the NSW Government.”

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