Victorian property investors facing extra pressures

There are fears that the release this week of the Victorian Government’s Residential Tenancies Regulations 2021 (to underpin the Residential Tenancies Act of 1997) could trigger “an unbalanced regulatory burden on the rental market”.

Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) CEO Gil King believes mum and dad property investors across the state will be hardest hit, as they face increased costs and time needing to be spent on managing their assets.

More than 120 new landlord obligations will come into effect on March 29, 2021, just a day after the completion of a COVID-19 rental moratorium that put pressure on property owners and managers throughout the year in 2020 – leaving just two months for the real estate sector to get up to speed.

“Increasing ownership costs and making maintenance and management of property more complex is a deterrent for investment,” Gil says.

“New costs introduced through these changes are likely to result in higher rents and could see mum and dad investors exit this asset class, putting further pressure on rental availability and affordability for Victorians.” 

Gil King, REIV CEO

Having made such consequences known to property policy makers, the REIV was said to be “surprised” to see an even greater swing away from investment property owners, who will now be known as “rental providers”. 

As the changes are a now reality, Gil concedes that industry members need to face the issue, and the REIV “stands ready to help property owners, managers and stakeholders adjust accordingly”.

“The new standards will, in many cases, require substantial changes to processes, documents and systems,” Gil says, “meaning a fresh round of education is needed for the sector. 

Throughout February and March, the REIV plans to lead information sessions and courses (online and off) for members, as well as providing a range of tools and resources. 

“Self-managers of investment properties are encouraged to seek assistance from an REIV member to help navigate the new regulations,” Gil says, adding: “For decades, real estate in Victoria has managed to play well with the cards it has been dealt, with the market’s performance in a coronavirus-stricken 2020 a good example. For this reason, we should have confidence that the competent people in the industry will manage through these changes and continue to contribute to a thriving sector.” 

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