Rental reforms likely to hurt investors in QLD — REIQ

By Gerv Tacadena | 31 May 2021

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) has opposed the proposed rental reforms that would cap rent increases and scrap "no grounds evictions”, saying these could potentially push investors away from the state.

The Green Party in Queensland has recently introduced a Private Member’s Bill into Parliament, which outlines changes to residential tenancy laws. Antonia Mercorella, CEO of the REIQ, said the proposed reforms would impact the investment landscape of the state.

"It’s completely unrealistic to expect that lessors will continue to invest in Queensland real estate if faced with untenable arrangements that don’t allow them to protect the value of their asset and strips them of fundamental decision-making powers and rights,” Mercorella said.

Mercorella said it is critical for the state to continue to attract property investors to improve rental supply, keep pace with demand, and maintain rental affordability.

"What we need are more incentives to better support both increased and ongoing property investor activity in the Queensland property market and the contributions they make to the state economy," she said.

Some proposed changes included in the bill include:

  • Capping rent increases to once every two years and by no more than the CPI annually
  • Scrapping "no grounds evictions" to prevent lessors from being entitled to end a fixed-term tenancy at the end of its agreed term
  • Restricting lessors’ rights to end tenancies
  • Banning rental bidding
  • Allowing tenants to make alterations to the rental property without permission from the lessor.

Mercorella said one of the most concerning proposal was the rental caps. She said this might not bode well given the high interstate migration to Queensland.

"Introduce rental caps and there will be even less stock available as it vastly reduces the incentive to supply future rental housing. The ripple effect will cause renters to be further affected," she said.

Greens MP Amy McMahon said it is about time to introduce reforms that would not only support investors but also families and renters. McMahon said these reforms would help alleviate pressure on prices, making the market more accessible for everyone.

"This bill is a crucial step in making sure that every Queenslander has a roof over their heads. Renters are facing record low vacancy rates, there are next to zero affordable properties, and rents are rising three times faster than wages," she said.

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