Calls to end emergency rental laws

By Gerv Tacadena | 30 Jul 2020

The Real Estate Institute of Western Australia is calling for the state government to follow the original deadline of the emergency period tenancy legislation for residential and commercial properties.

Damian Collins, president of REIWA, said there is no need for the state to extend the emergency legislation, given that the state's property markets are starting to go back to normal.

"The emergency legislation was introduced on the basis that the WA economy would face a far greater shock than it actually did and while we understand that the economy is certainly not as strong as it was pre-COVID, applying emergency legislation to all tenancies is not the appropriate response to those who may need assistance," Collins said.

The state government passed the Residential Tenancies (COVID-19 Response) Act 2020 to help tenants who are in financial distress due to the outbreak. The legislation is effective until 30 September but could be extended depending on the current circumstances.

Recently, the Australian Capital Territory extended its own eviction moratorium and other tenant protections amid the COVID-19 outbreak until October.

Collins said extending the legislation in Western Australia will put landlords at a disadvantage, as they could be suffering more than the tenants and are unable to exercise their normal rights under the lease.

Furthermore, it will place their finances at risks as they can no longer defer mortgage repayments. Collins said some might be forced to sell, which would reduce the rental stock.

"With the current vacancy rate sitting at 2%, we can't afford for landlords to take their properties out of the private rental market, as not only will this impact stock levels, it may also increase the median weekly rent," he said.

Commercial landlords could face similar problems when the legislation is extended.

Collins said it is only fair that tenants be expected to meet their obligations as trading conditions return to normal.

"Landlords generally want to keep tenants in most instances, and I am sure that most landlords will work with tenants who need help regardless of whether or not they have legislation in place. However, moving forward and applying emergency legislation to the entire market is simply not warranted," he said.

Top Suburbs : west wodonga , redcliffe , mt colah , cardiff south , reservoir


Get help with your investment property

Do you need help finding the right loan for your investment?

When investing in property, it is important to make sure that you not only have the lowest available rate that you can get, but also have the correct loan features for your needs.

Just fill in a few details below and we'll then arrange for a local mortgage broker to contact you and work out what features or types of loans are right for your needs. We'll even help with the paperwork. Plus an appointment is free.

How soon would you like a mortgage?
What is your Annual Household Income i $
Do you currently own any Investment Properties?
Do you own your own residence?
How much equity do you have in all your current properties?
First Name
Last Name
Where do you live?
What number can we reach you on?
E-mail address
We value your privacy and treat all your information seriously - you can check out our privacy policy here