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Myth Busting Rental Reform On The Sunshine Coast

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The Palaszczuk Government is standing by its proposed rental reforms and setting the record straight on myths surrounding plans to deliver fairness and certainty to the Sunshine Coast’s home rental market.

Housing Minister Mick de Brenni said more than 135,000 Queenslanders had taken the opportunity to give their feedback on the government’s Open Doors to Renting Reform.

“With any important change like rental reform that the community feels strongly about, myths and inaccuracies can take on a life of their own,” Mr de Brenni said.

“I’ve heard claims that property owners on the Coast won’t be able to end a tenancy, but that’s simply not true.

“In fact, the Palaszczuk Government’s proposed rental reforms will help owners by strengthening the legal grounds for not renewing a rental agreement.

“Being unable to refuse a request from a tenant to keep a pet is another inaccuracy.

“That’s despite a multitude of protections built into the proposed rental reforms that allow owners to say no, including the suitability of the property, health and safety and strata rules.”

Mr de Brenni said almost 29 percent of Sunshine Coast residents rented their home, compared with a Queensland-wide average of 34.2 percent.

“Let’s bust another myth,” the Minister said.

“Rents on the Coast aren’t likely to rise under the Palaszczuk Government’s proposed reforms with economic analysis showing just 6 percent of the state’s housing stock needs a basic upgrade to meet the minimum standards we all expect.

“The biggest impact on rents is the rule of supply and demand; real estate agents can only charge what the market will pay, and on the Sunshine Coast vacancy rates sits at a healthy 3 percent for renters.

“And, claims the proposed reforms give tenants the green light to make major modifications to their rental property are just plain scare mongering.

“Tenants will only be able to make minor changes, such as securing furniture or installing a lock on a door, that can easily be reversed and returned to original condition.

“It’s wrong to state tenants would have free rein to make major modifications to their rental property.

“So, if you’re thinking about painting the house a bright shade of pink, changing the carpets or putting in a new air conditioner; without the written agreement of the owner then it’s a pipe dream.”

Mr de Brenni said there was no evidence to suggest the reforms would see a flight of investors from the Sunshine Coast.

“In Victoria, where similar tenancy reforms were introduced more than two years ago there hasn’t been any drop in the supply of houses and units for rent,” Mr de Brenni said.

“The Palaszczuk Government has consulted extensively with the property sector who has indicated comfort with the reforms except for outlawing so-called revenge evictions.

“Sunshine Coast tenants are entitled to feel secure in their homes and we know rental property owners want safeguards to protect their investment.

“We also know the current system as it stands disadvantages both tenants and owners.

“The proposed rental reforms will provide certainty for owners who often lose money when their property has a high turn-over rate and renters who are up for significant financial costs every time they move.”

As a growing state, the Palaszczuk Government is proposing a staged approach to ensure there is a minimum standard of accommodation backed up with new reforms that are fair to both tenants and property owners in Queensland.

The Palaszczuk Government is seeking feedback on a Regulatory Impact Statement until December 31, 2019.

Go to: www.qld.gov.au/rentinginqld to read the Better Renting Future Reform Roadmap to have your say on the proposed reforms.