Laws designed to protect renters during the COVID-19 shutdown will put landlords at risk of losing their own homes, a peak property body says.
Laws designed to protect renters during the COVID-19 shutdown will put landlords at risk of losing their own homes, a peak property body says.

Property owners being ‘thrown to the wolves’, says REIQ

THOUSANDS of angry landlords are begging State Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to rewrite her Government's rental protections so they don't risk losing their homes as they shoulder the financial burdens of their tenants.

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland has launched a campaign against laws set to be rammed through parliament next week they say are so skewed they strip Queensland's 600,000 landlords of their rights at a time they're also struggling financially.

REIQ chief executive Antonia Mercorella said her organisation was not opposed to a six-month moratorium protecting people from eviction, or from entitled tenants getting a rent reduction.

She said landlords wanted rent deferrals on the discounted portion of rent, rather than permanent rent waivers, allowing for tenants to make up shortfalls at a later date, if they can afford to.

They also want a concrete threshold as to how much a tenant must be financial impacted before they qualify for protection, such as a 25 per cent income reduction.

The REIQ says proposed new laws may protect renters, but they will hurt landlords.
The REIQ says proposed new laws may protect renters, but they will hurt landlords.

They also want tenants to provide proof of financial difficulty so that landlords aren't forced to negotiate blind.

"We are supportive of tenants, we don't want to see them thrown to the wolves," Ms Mercorella said. "It's not their fault they can't make their payments if they've lost their job.

"But it goes too far.

"It throws the property owners to the wolves."

She had not doubt "this will break many property investors". Ms Mercorella said banks weren't giving out mortgage pauses as easily as the Government seemed to believe and some investors would be forced to sell, likely for reduced prices as the protections meant agents couldn't show homes to prospective buyers.

The REIQ has begun a letter writing campaign to the Premier that could see thousands of letters from landlords flood her office ahead of next Wednesday's emergency parliament sitting.

Housing Minister Mick de Brenni said the laws would not be a blanket rent waiver, but allowed property owners and tenants to renegotiate rental agreements for the short term.

Deputy Opposition Leader Tim Mander said the Government had introduced the "most unfair and unbalanced system in the nation, which will lead to a breakdown in relationships between tenants and property owners and completely overwhelm the RTA".

Originally published as Property owners being 'thrown to the wolves'



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