Victoria's new rental reforms could trigger surge in short stays: Strata body

Victoria's new rental reforms could trigger surge in short stays: Strata body
Victoria's new rental reforms could trigger surge in short stays: Strata body

The Victorian government’s plan for major rental reforms could turn away landlords from renting, and inadvertently lead to a surge in short stays such as Airbnb in Melbourne, says a leading strata management body. 

A response from the state government on short stays following lengthy public consultation is due on December 8, and the proposed new rental laws once again highlight the need to get short stay regulation right, according to Strata Community Australia (Vic) — the peak industry body for strata management in Victoria. 

SCA general manager Rob Beck says rightly or wrongly, stronger tenant rights could see landlords review how they use their investment properties. 

“Key proposals like the removal of no pet clauses in rental agreements, a cap on maximum rental bonds and new protections to make it easier for renters to make minor modifications to the property are ones which will likely make owners think long and hard about whether they want to keep renting or not,” said Rob Beck. 

Landlord insurance will go up after the Andrews' government pet policy for tenants is introduced in Victoria next year.

Emphasizing the need to regulate short stays, Beck said it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a shift from investor owners towards short stays if the proposals announced for new rental laws are brought into effect, and that this raised “the importance of having short stay regulation in place to new levels”.

Beck says short stays present a unique challenge for strata communities to manage compared to leasing arrangements, and SCA (Vic) wanted regulations to allow strata schemes have better control over this issue. 

More than 1.6 million Victorians live in strata properties, so potentially a huge number in Melbourne could be impacted by a spike in short stays, according to Beck.

“What we want to see as part of the regulations delivered by State Government are measures like the ability for strata schemes to create rules to regulate short stays, and the ability to recover costs such as any damage or any increased proportion of strata fees. 

“These would work to make strata schemes better able to manage these stays.” 

“Provided the right regulatory framework exists, short stays have a place in Victorian strata communities, and it will be perfect timing ahead of the summer period, for the State Government to deliver laws for the busy years ahead.” 


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