The real estate industry in Victoria is in chaos following the introduction of COVID-19 Stage 4 restrictions, with no answers coming from the Andrews Labor Government.

“Property and real estate” are among businesses that will close for at least six weeks from midnight tonight with “online inspections permitted.”

Real estate agents across Victoria have labelled the Andrews Labor Government’s ban on the housing industry’s operations as a “cruel blow,” with the ban affecting many levels in the property sector.

The Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs in Victoria, Neil Angus has called on the Government to explain the ban, as the inability for agents to provide properties across the state to sell or lease will severely impact a large sector of our community.

Early indications are that real estate offices in metropolitan Melbourne will be forced to close, but there is confusion about the impact of restrictions.  Many of the crucial issues around providing shelter as an essential service have not been clarified.

Issues such as the finalisation of property transactions already underway, the conduct of final inspections of sold or vacated properties, undertaking of condition reports, end of lease cleaning, furniture removals, payment of rent by people who do not use electronic banking, inability of agents to conduct online auctions without accessing their offices and inability to physically conduct a property inspection are just some of the many issues that have not been addressed.

Agents have described the current situation as “clear as mud”, with uncertainty and confusion reigning supreme.

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

“Even the Consumer Affairs Victoria website, where we are constantly referred to, has not been updated since 16 July 2020.

“With the ban to come into effect at midnight tonight and the Andrews Labor Government not providing Victorians with any advice on how this will all work, when will the Minister address the industry and community’s many concerns?

“The failings of the Labor Government in hotel quarantine, in testing and in contact tracing have now led to millions of Victorians being subjected to the harshest restrictions in our history, the least Andrews could do is give some clarity.”