Miles Property Management Spring 2018

Reforms in a tight rental market

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Melbourne’s rental market has continued to tighten in recent months, with the latest REIV data showing a vacancy rate of just 1.8% across the metropolitan area. This is the lowest vacancy rate since the REIV began collecting this data 16 years ago.

The most recent issue to impact the local property management landscape involves changes to the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA), which were passed as law on 6 September 2018.

These laws are expected to come into effect by July 2020. During the intervening months we encourage all investment property owners to touch base with your property manager to discuss potential impacts. Actions you may wish to consider include reviewing insurance policies and lease agreements, to ensure your property remains protected.

These reforms will alter the balance of responsibility between tenant and landlord. Several of the reforms are sensible, including those around minimum safety standards. Yet others send a warning signal to investment property owners, because of their potential, according to the REIV, to “swing the pendulum of rights overwhelmingly over to renters.”

Reforms to the RTA include:

  • A landlord no longer has the right to ‘unreasonably’ refuse consent for a tenant to keep pets in their property 
  • A tenant may make certain modifications to a property without the landlord’s consent
  • A landlord will no longer be able to issue a 120 day “no reason” notice to vacate for no specified reason
  • Rent increases may be restricted to once per year. 

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