THE state’s peak real estate body is concerned changes to renting laws which could erode landlords’ rights would put pressure on rental availability, especially in markets such as Cairns which has maintained a rental vacancy rate below 2 per cent for years.
Real Estate Institute of Queensland chief executive Antonia Mercorella said while the Queensland property market was poised for a solid performance in 2019, investors faced uncertainty.
The State Government is set to finalise its ongoing review of the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act in the first half of this year, with a range of potential measures that are concerning to landlords.
“The public rhetoric around this review seems to focus on eroding landlord rights and creating severe imbalance with disproportionate levels of power weighted in favour of tenants,” Ms Mercorella said.
“The legislation must serve both parties equally, rather than give all the rights to one party and disadvantage the other. Distorted laws serve no one and will only create dysfunction in the rental sector,” Ms Mercorella said.
“This concerns us because more than 34 per cent of Queenslanders rent and that number is rising, and if we lose investors we may face a rental accommodation shortage.”
Equally concerning to investors are the flagged changes to the negative gearing provisions from federal Labor.
“The negative gearing policy was first announced in 2015 when Sydney and Melbourne house prices were growing at double-digit rates. It was seen as a way to limit investor activity in the market and make way for owner occupiers, creating less competition for stock and, as a result, soften price growth.
“However, prices in Sydney and Melbourne are now falling. This raises the question — does the nation really need a policy that is designed to push house prices down? What purpose do these changes serve now?” Ms Mercorella said.