Real estate industry in chaos

Victoria’s real estate industry is coming to grips with more uncertainty following months of further restrictions announced yesterday.

This announcement, coupled with the legislated extension of the COVID-19 moratorium to 28 March 2021, have plunged the real estate industry, including commercial and residential landlords and tenants into a crisis.

With on-site inspections prohibited and auctions allowed only online, Melbourne vendors and prospective purchasers are left unable to transact.

In addition, as well as mandated rent reductions at the expense of landlords, some tenants are refusing to pay rent or negotiate with landlords at all, despite the government providing residential tenants with substantial financial support.

A backlog of around 4,000 rental cases at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal and almost 1,000 cases still to be resolved through the Dispute Resolution Centre of Victoria process.  With Consumer Affairs Victoria averaging 100 new claims daily, the system is totally overloaded with no solution in sight.

There are multiple cases of tenants claiming the government’s rent relief grant without any landlord interaction or proof of hardship being provided.  While the need to provide tenants struggling to pay their rent with support is not questioned, the evidence that the system is being abused is rife.

Victoria is not in the position it is today due to bad luck, but due to the bad decisions made by the Andrews Labor Government with hotel quarantine and failures in contact tracing.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs, Neil Angus:

“The Andrews Labor Government needs to provide a clear way forward for the real estate industry, not provide more platitudes and empty words.

“The dispute resolution process in Victoria is a shambles, with a further six month extension to an already overloaded system set to exacerbate the problems.

“Daniel Andrews must immediately address this situation and meet with industry bodies to provide a clear way out of the mess he has created through failures in hotel quarantine and contact tracing.”

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