The relationship between landlords and tenants is not always simple. Unfortunately, the media is often keen to highlight the relatively small percentage of strained relationships that occur between parties. While it is true that rental properties hold value to their owners, our society needs landlords to keep the economy moving and to provide a house for others to call their home.
The rate of owner occupiers has dropped and, taking into account population increase and low vacancy rates, there’s no doubt the demand for rental properties is increasing.
Why do people rent? For many different reasons… Some may be priced out the market and simply cannot afford to buy, or perhaps the rental market offers more suitable property options within budget. It may be a lifestyle choice to have the freedom to move as they wish, without being tied to a property in one location. Or they may just want to simplify their living, with property maintenance taken care of, as an example. Regardless of the reason, therein remains a need, but the needs of both tenants and landlords must always be considered.
Take the recent rental reform laws in Victoria and Queensland, for instance, which provided a framework to support negotiations on renting with pets. Leading up to the changes there was, understandably, concern about the negative impacts on allowing pets in any property, however with strategies in place, tenants with pets could suddenly apply without fear of unreasonable rejection, and landlords had access to a larger pool of quality tenants.
There’s been a lot of talk and action when it comes to rental reforms over the past year, which at times has become somewhat heated. The flexibility to adapt where needed to meet the needs of the population is met, mostly, with encouragement from all.
While change can be daunting, ultimately it is about growing and improving the rental pool to meet the today’s demands and standards. Undoubtedly, change can bring uncertainty, however it can also bring growth.
Over the past year various states and territories have adopted varying degrees of legislative change under considerate consultation.
Pet ownership is one of the more significant. It has been a little over twelve months since Queensland introduced legislative changes surrounding pets in rentals. Victoria’s, ACT’s and the Northern Territory’s legislation also make way for tenants to not be unreasonably refused to keep pets. Similar reforms are currently in different stages of progress in both South Australia and Western Australia.
Minimum housing standards have also been subject to review and reform in various states and territories in recent years. Aiming to provide a safe, secure and functional property for tenants, changes affect both current and future tenancies.
Healthy debate has its place, particularly when it comes to significant decision-making policies affecting a large proportion of the population. But what benefits one side (landlords or tenants) does not necessarily disadvantage the other.
If you have concerns about recent or upcoming rental reforms and how it impacts your property, we welcome you to get in touch to discuss your concerns.