Perth vacancy rates up so it pays for landlords to be organised: David Airey

Perth vacancy rates up so it pays for landlords to be organised: David Airey
Perth vacancy rates up so it pays for landlords to be organised: David Airey

The vacancy rate for rental accommodation in Perth has climbed to 3.2%, up from a tight 1.9% at the end of last year.

There are now more than 4,000 properties available for lease in the metropolitan area.

Supply now matches demand and long queues at home-opens are a thing of the past. Preliminary data by REIWA suggests that despite the turn-around, there seems to be no significant impact on median rents at this stage. House rents are stable while flats and units have lifted by a modest $5 per week.

The median rent across Perth is now around $475 per week, but for multi-residential property its closer to $455 per week.

We still have strong population growth and the overall cost of living in Perth is higher than on the east coast, so many people still need access to affordable housing and this seems to be placing greater demand on flats, units, apartments and villas.

Property managers know that what their owners are looking for are reliable tenants who will pay the rent on time, look after the property and not disrupt the neighbours. These attributes should always take priority in applications from tenants.

This is why it pays to be organised if you are looking for a rental. Simply having your bond money, completed tenancy application and references ready to submit is attractive to property managers who might be juggling multiple applications.

Being organised gives you the best shot, particularly if you approach an agency directly and leave your details with them.

Not all agencies keep a register, but those which do generally welcome the approach from keen applicants and it often means that when a property comes into their care which might be suitable, you might get a call right away rather than having to look online or attend a viewing.

When signing a new lease owners cannot ask for or accept more than two week’s rent in advance, however they can accept additional payments if offered after the first two weeks. The bond is generally not more than four week’s rent.

Owners cannot increase the rent during a fixed-term lease, unless the contract stipulates that a rent review can occur during the period of the lease. When this happens it cannot be less than six-monthly. The increase, or a method to calculate the new rent after six months, is agreed to at the start of the lease.

For a lease with no agreed termination date, known as a periodic tenancy, rents can only increase every six months and the owner must give 60 days notice of this.

Good tenants should be respected and valued. Wise owners wouldn’t dream of losing them for short term gain.

David Airey is president of the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia.This article was originally published on

David Airey

David Airey

David Airey is president of the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia.

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