REIV calls for a 6-month moratorium on changes to rental laws

REIV calls for a 6-month moratorium on changes to rental laws

Source & Media Release - REIV 

The Real Estate Institute of Victoria has called on the Andrews’ Government to push out the commencement date of more than 130 rental law changes due to commence on 1 July.
 
REIV President Leah Calnan stressed that Victoria’s focus needs to be solely on battling Coronavirus and keeping jobs sustainable, and now is not the time to be introducing new laws that will significantly disrupt businesses.
 
The amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 are due to commence on 1 July this year.   The regulations that underpin the new laws and provide the detail are not yet known and were scheduled to be released in mid-May.
 
Ms Calnan said, “Our concerns around the 1 July commencement date has always been about the short timeframe for training our people.   The lag time between knowing the details and having to implement the new laws was never going to be enough; now it will be impossible to upskill them in this environment of uncertainty and constant change.”
 
The REIV has written to the Premier calling for these changes to be put on hold briefly while the State is battling the Covid-19 pandemic.
 
“This suggestion is not limited to our sector, but also extends to any impending legislation that significantly impacts on the way businesses operate across the entire state,” Ms Calnan said.   “Many businesses are struggling to survive under these conditions, and many are not able to cope.” 
 
The REIV is calling on the Victorian Government to take immediate steps to push-out the commencement dates for any such legislation for at least a 6-month period; in the case of the Residential Tenancies Act to 1 January 2021 at the earliest.
  
“While the support provided to businesses is very much appreciated, they need more than just financial support at this time and a 6-month delay on these new laws is consistent with the 6-month moratorium on evictions. The entire sector needs time to adapt to these challenging times,” said Ms Calnan.
 
Ms Calnan said. “This would allow businesses and their regulator(s) to focus solely on getting through this crisis and enable a reasonable time to learn and adopt new processes and procedures, hopefully in a far better environment than exists now.”
 
VCAT, while still hearing critical matters in its Residential Tenancies List, will have a substantial backlog of applications and hearings, and a transition to new legislation will only go to exacerbate those circumstances.”
 
“To burden any business with these substantial changes at the peak of the Coronavirus crisis is unwise and likely to cause additional stress in an already stressful environment,” concluded Ms Calnan.
 
 
Source:  REIV Media Release