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Author: REIWA President Damian Collins
a property is the biggest investment that Australians make in a lifetime and
for most of us, when we purchase a property, we also assume to have acquired
certain rights, such as the right to exclusive use, the right to sell, to build
a house upon, etc.
property owners can find themselves in situations where the rights to use their
property are changed by government policy or legislation. This can be confusing
to understand how these changes can impact the value and use of their property.
Committee of public administration is currently conducting an inquiry into
private property rights and the impact changes can have on property owners.
is often a trade-off between the rights of property owners and the community
benefit. For example, changes to bush fire ratings or assessment. Bush fire
policies are essential to ensure you, your property and your community are reasonably
protected against a bushfire. However, this can limit what can be built on some
properties and the use to which some properties can be put to.
properties that obtain a heritage listing will have limits placed on the type
of renovations and changes that can be made to the property. As we saw with
projects such as the redevelopment of the Guilford Hotel, properties that are
listed as heritage need to have their proposals reviewed by the Heritage Council
who have control over what you can and can’t do.
council zoning is another factor to consider. While in general the community
understands that we cannot have unfettered development, the zoning of your
property can significantly influence its value. For example, in residential
zones, each property generally has an R-code rating which determines the number
of dwellings that are allowed on a piece of land based on its size and
location. When a properties R-code is changed, the owner may no longer be able
to sub-divide or develop multi-unit dwellings and therefore will potentially
lose value. However the opposite is also possible, where increases in zoning
can increase a properties value.
The inquiry also provides an
opportunity to examine implications of excessive rates of taxation applied to
private properties such as stamp duties, land tax, the emergency services levy
and Perth Parking Levy. REIWA has been a vocal advocate for the abolishment of
stamp duty in exchange for a long term tax reform and welcomes the opportunity
to provide industry insight.
believes in the owner’s right to use property, and any limitations on land use
should only be where there is a clear and substantial community benefit. We
will be working closely with industry bodies and the Standing Committee to
ensure property owners are consulted about any of these changes as they occur
and are adequately compensated for any changes made to the value of their
For more information about REIWA's advocacy efforts, visit our advocacy page.