SUNRAYSIA’S mum and dad property investors on the Victorian side of the Murray River have been warned they face substantial increases in the costs and the time they will need to commit to managing their assets following the release of the Victorian Government’s Residential Tenancies Regulations 2021.

The new regulations will underpin the Residential Tenancies Act of 1997 and more than 120 new landlord obligations come into effect on March 29, just one day after the completion of an onerous COVID-19 rental moratorium that put significant pressure on property owners and managers throughout 2020.

The changes will require extensive education and engagement in just two months to help ensure the real estate sector is equipped to implement the regulations effectively.

Barry Plant Mildura has been regularly participating in information sessions, conducted by Barry Plant head office, leading up to the introduction of the new renting regulations.

The regulations were delayed by nine months due to the coronavirus, and Barry Plant property managers, like Tracy Taylor, PICTURED, in Mildura, have already completed many hours of training to prepare for the Amendment Legislation.

“Quite a few changes have been made to the proposed regulations and it is good to now have clarification on the final amendments to those,” Tracy said.

“Compliance is a strong theme in the new Residential Tenancies Amendment Act and it will be vital to keep up to date with the compliance requirements of the new Act.

“In the coming weeks we are participating in sessions outlining the compliance requirements of the new Act including the recently released regulations on smoke alarms, gas appliances, electrical safety checks and safety related activities.”

Meanwhile, Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) CEO, Gil King predicted the new standards will trigger an unbalanced regulatory burden on the rental market.

“Increasing ownership costs and making maintenance and management of property more complex is a deterrent for investment,” Mr. King said.

“New costs introduced through these changes are likely to result in higher rents and could see mum and dad investors exit this asset class, putting further pressure on rental availability and affordability for Victorians.
“The REIV has made these consequences known to property policy makers, so we are surprised to see even more of a pendulum swing away from investment property owners, now referred to as rental providers.
“That said, the changes are a now reality that the sector needs to face and the REIV stands ready to help property owners, managers and stakeholders adjust accordingly.”

The new standards will, in many cases, require substantial changes to processes, documents and systems, meaning a fresh round of education is needed for the sector.

The REIV will lead on-and-offline information sessions and courses for its members throughout February and March, as well as have a range of tools and resources available at www.reiv.com.au.

Self-managers of investment properties are encouraged to seek assistance from an REIV member to help navigate the new regulations.

Mr King added: “For decades, real estate in Victoria has managed to play well with the cards it has been dealt, with the market’s performance in a coronavirus-stricken 2020 a good example. For this reason, we should have confidence that the competent people in the industry will manage through these changes and continue to contribute to a thriving sector.”