RE/MAX Precision Real Estate principal Scott Mackey
RE/MAX Precision Real Estate principal Scott Mackey

Agents say rental reforms could impact Bundy property market

BUNDABERG real estate agents are concerned that proposals to increase freedom for tenants could lead to increased bond and higher rental prices.

They said this could happen because these proposals could discourage investment in the property market.

The State Government’s proposals would make it more difficult for property owners to deny tenants from having pets, although there would also be the inclusion of a “pet bond”.

Tenants would also be allowed to make minor modifications to the property without needing permission, relating to health, accessibility, and security.

Deputy premier Jackie Trad acknowledged the affect the proposed legislation would have when she said more than a third of Queensland households rented.

“Tenants in my community and across Queensland are entitled to feel safe in their home, regardless of whether they own or rent,” she said.

“At the same time, we know that rental property owners need safeguards to protect their investment that provides much needed housing for an increasing number of Queenslanders.”

Real Estate Institute of Queensland zone chair Le-Anne Allan said the ability for tenants to make minor modifications was “fraught with danger”.

Lack of communication could mean that landlords would have no understanding of what changes had been made to the property.

“Would tenants invest if they don’t own it?” she said.

“It may mean the strength of the rental market could be softened by landlords concerned over their properties and the ability for the management of their properties.

“It could lead to long term increases of rental prices and less properties available for rent.”

Re/Max Precision Bundaberg owner Scott Mackey said he had a neutral position on the reforms, but that they would impact regional areas such as Bundaberg rather than Brisbane suburbs.

He said these were the biggest reforms in the property market he had witnessed in 25 years working in the industry.

These were a reflection of a change of lifestyle where people moved to communities such as Bundaberg for short periods, and therefore sought leases for three months rather than for a year.

Mr Mackey agreed that tenants should be able to have pets for company, but that there needed limitations so that large pets were not constrained in small areas.

This could cause a lot of damage to properties’ gardens which needed a lot of repair work after the tenant left.

Mr Mackey said there was an advantage for elderly tenants to make minor modifications to increase their safety and accessibility. Modifications could impact owners wanting to sell the property.