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Rent relief shots fired as stage 4 carries on

  • September 09 2020
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Invest

Rent relief shots fired as stage 4 carries on

By Grace Ormsby
September 09 2020

Victorian real estate agents are being advised to refuse to negotiate lower rental rates after the state’s six-month extension of the rental moratorium received backlash from a real estate body.

Rent relief shots fired as stage 4 carries on

Rent relief shots fired as stage 4 carries on

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  • September 09 2020
  • Share

Victorian real estate agents are being advised to refuse to negotiate lower rental rates after the state’s six-month extension of the rental moratorium received backlash from a real estate body.

Rent relief shots fired as stage 4 carries on

The Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) has slammed the decision as providing landlords with “virtually no relief while tenants get substantial support”.

“While the vast majority of tenants do the right thing, the Real Estate Institute of Victoria is seeing increasing evidence that some tenants are rorting the system put in place to protect them.”

According to the advocacy organisation, “There is growing evidence that some tenants are using the government’s moratorium to set their own rules and take undue advantage of the measures. Even when the dispute is taken to VCAT, there is often no outcome for the landlord, with the tenant effectively living rent-free until the end of the moratorium.”

It reported that the longer such a moratorium continues, the more tenants that will take advantage of the “biased” system.  

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With many reduced rental agreements now due for renegotiation, the REIV reported that it is advising members to refuse to negotiate rent reductions and force every request into the dispute system.

“With a backlog of over 4,000 cases, VCAT is not equipped to resolve disputes,” it said.

REIV CEO Gil King said he has seen, and continues to see, “illegal rent strikes with no consequences”.

“Until balance and common sense is restored, we will embark on a moratorium-strike. Let’s see how the system copes without our cooperation,” he commented.

“This demagogue decision to extend the moratorium means that for a whole year, landlords will be dictated as to how much rent they can charge – removing their right to make fundamental decisions about their own property.”

According to the institute, the decision to extend the moratorium, and the continued ban against physical inspections contained within the state’s “roadmap to recovery”, evidences a “lack of understanding by the Victorian government regarding the operations of the real estate sector”.

“In its efforts to protect the most vulnerable of tenants, the Andrews government has not only caused them long-term harm, but has also allowed many who are not suffering COVID-related financial stress to profit from the moratorium.”

As a result, the institute is calling for an independent review of the roadmap, labelling the Andrews government response as “disproportionate, alarmist and shortsighted”.

It said, “The path proposed jeopardises livelihoods and assets of hard-working Victorians who have abided by the rules and restrictions for over six months.”

Acknowledging that people who have saved and invested in an asset like property are unable to sell it to tide over these difficult times, the REIV stated that “pushing the Victorian economy to the brink of collapse cannot be the only method of preventing the spread of coronavirus”.

Mr King said, “It is mind-boggling that the government is asking people to withdraw from their superannuation to fund their living costs but won’t let them sell their property for the same purpose.”

“Wasn’t super supposed to be your retirement fund?”

Rent relief shots fired as stage 4 carries on
Rent relief shots fired as stage 4 carries on
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About the author

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Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

About the author

Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

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