Concerns about changes to ACT's tenancy laws

By Gerv Tacadena | 11 Oct 2019

The Real Estate Institute of Australian Capital Territory (REIACT) expressed concerns on the upcoming implementation of the amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act, saying it could cause problems for both landlords and tenants.

The changes, which were made earlier this year, will take effect starting next month. REIACT director Hannah Gill said the ACT government has yet to facilitate educational programs that will help relay the changes to the landlords and tenants.

"We were given assurance we would get ample notice that the implementation of the amendments would be by March next year. But now it's less than a month before the amendments will be in place, and we are just really disappointed at the way it's been handled," she said.

Gill said REIACT had forwarded recommendations to the state government during the consultation process, but none were taken up. She said it is concerning that while a fact sheet was released detailing the landlord's responsibilities, the government has failed to comprehensively explain the ramifications of the amendments to tenants.

REIACT director Craig Bright said the changes have also spurred concerns whether the proposed calculations for rent increases are fair and equitable.

"The biggest fear in the real estate industry is that investors will exit the market as the costs will be too prohibitive," he said. "We already have the highest land tax rates in Australia and now landlords are concerned they will not be able to recover that, as well as rates, insurance and maintenance in rent increases."

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