REIWA survey reveals new Consumer Protection laws could worsen rental crisis

Shadow Minister for Housing, the Hon Steve Martin MLC has called for Commerce Minister, Roger Cook, to reveal the details of the proposed Consumer Protection reforms.

The reforms would see changes to renters’ rights, including grounds for eviction being changed, some modifications allowed to be made to the house without permission and pets being allowed by default.

Mr Martin explained there needs to be proper stakeholder engagement and review before being introduced to Parliament.

“Don’t rush this through the Parliament, Minister. Any change to legislation requires proper review and consideration and not just a one-size-fits-all approach,” said Mr Martin.

“There needs to be time for the Opposition and all stakeholders impacted to adequately consider these changes and its effects.

“We’ve seen the REIWA survey numbers and if even one potential investor is scared away by these changes from the private rental market that would be too many.

“We need to be fair to renters as well but not in any way inhibit landlords from operating in the private market.”

The survey revealed that 61% of owners that were polled would sell their rental properties if the legislation were to be introduced.

This means between 3,500 and 8,800 houses would be taken off the rental market, which Mr Martin said would be catastrophic given the rental crisis already impacting thousands of Western Australians.

“The Government needs to find balance between providing rights to tenants and not stifling private investment in an already tight rental market.

“We’re already seeing skyrocketing rental prices in WA which would only worsen with the tightening grip of supply of houses.

“I urge the Minister to take into account the widespread affect this legislation could have without proper consideration of the implications that less rental properties will have on the market,” said Mr Martin.