More supply would render reforms redundant - The Community Leader and Real Estate New and Views
Real Estate


The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) says more legislative reform, announced by the State Government, doesn’t address the rental market pressures that have been primarily caused by a lack of new social housing and private rental supply.

While the detail remains yet to be seen, the State Government has so far released a package of reforms including:

  • Rent relief through a financial aid support package
  • Portable bond scheme
  • Rental sector Code of Conduct
  • Installing modifications to rental properties
  • Prohibiting the acceptance of rental offers higher than the listed price
  • Attaching once 12-monthly rent increase limits to the property not the tenancy

REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said the problems the State Government keeps trying to solve through constant legislative reform, were symptoms of a market with dire supply levels, which continues to be the elephant in the room.

“For the fifth time in four years, the State Government has decided to tighten rental legislation in a way that is squeezing the life out of investing in real estate in Queensland,” Ms Mercorella said.

“With this round of reform, they’re creating an administrative nightmare with portable bonds, and potentially opening the door to tenants making modifications to rental properties without the consent of the owner.

“Our position is that current laws governing modifications are appropriate – tenants require the consent of the property owner and the owner cannot act unreasonably – but by introducing a ‘free-for-all’, there could be costly consequences for property owners.

“We’ve been working closely with QDN (Queensland Disability Network) on an appropriate framework to apply in the case of a modification being required for accessibility reasons.”

Ms Mercorella said some of the legislative reforms appeared to be more for show than of real substance.

“We already have strict legislation surrounding rent bidding in Queensland, which requires a listing price be advertised and prevents real estate professionals from asking for offers above and beyond that,” she said.

“What this reform proposes to do, is to prevent rental applicants from offering more for a property to create a competitive edge. This practice has emerged due to the very tight rental market.

“If you fix supply, history shows that affordability stays in check because people aren’t compelled to offer more to increase their chances of success among a big pool of applicants. A focus on supply would render most of these reforms redundant.

“As the peak professional body for real estate professionals we would be supportive of a Code of Conduct being developed in close consultation with the REIQ and drawing from our existing Best Practice Guidelines that we promote to the real estate profession.”