• Extension of the residential emergency rental laws to make rental shortage even worse


    Extension Of The Residential Emergency Rental Laws To Make Rental Shortage Even Worse | REIWA

    REIWA is extremely disappointed with the WA Government’s decision to extend the emergency period tenancy legislation for all residential properties, which has disregarded the needs of landlords and will make it much harder for tenants to find a property.

    REIWA President Damian Collins said the decision to extend the emergency period in its current form, makes no economic sense and will ultimately lead to higher rental prices and fewer rental properties available when the emergency period ultimately comes to an end.

    "It appears that the government has used the pandemic as an opportunity to introduce rent control and meddle in the free market. We already have a shortage of rental stock and reducing supply further by dissuading landlords will ultimately mean tenants will find it even harder to get a property” Mr Collins said.

    REIWA members are responsible for over 160,000 rental properties in WA and have reported just one per cent of private tenancies have been unable to meet their full rental obligation with arrears at record lows.

    “The Perth vacancy rate has dipped to 1.6 per cent and extending the ban on rental increases will see a sharp price increase down the track rather than small incremental increases,” Mr Collins said.

    “In addition, sitting tenants whose rents are under market will not move, putting those who don’t have a home in an even more vulnerable position where they will face the distinct possibility that they cannot get a property.”

    Instead of an extension with the law as it is, the government should have included extra criteria to ensure that those who are seriously impacted financially by COVID-19, will receive the support they need.

    “The government has allocated $30 million for rental support and has used very little of it. The better outcome would have been to use those funds for those still affected by COVID-19 and let the rest of the market return to normal conditions,” Mr Collins said.

    “In a time when we need more investors entering the market to help build up rental stock supply, we are putting up barriers to not only prevent new investors, but also not helping those currently providing a basic human need – housing for all West Australians.”

    While this decision is concerning and disappointing to the industry, REIWA will continue to advocate for the rights of tenants, landlords and property managers, to ensure that their voices are heard. 

    For more information about REIWA's advocacy efforts, view our advocacy page. 

    Join the campaign: A fair go for landlords during COVID-19.