inspection mask
Inspections are currently banned in Melbourne. Image – Canva.
  • REIV's CEO letter argues the ban on inspections is burdensome for all stakeholders
  • He added that the state government receives 50% of revenue from property related taxes

In an open letter to Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, the Chief Executive Officer of the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV), Gil King, has called for the resumption of house inspections, despite the extended lockdown.

In his letter, Mr King argued that Victorians have the right to undertake critical due diligence when buying or renting a property and that the ban of property inspections by private appointment is “creating (an) unnecessary burden on the property marketing, impacting aspiring homeowners and mum and dad investors.”

Gil King
Gil King, CEO of REIV

“Most critically, though, they’re stopping many people from being able to access rental properties so they can put a roof over their heads.”

Gil King, REIV CEO

While acknowledging more snap lockdowns are inevitable until a vaccination target is met, he said the industry should be able to embrace private inspections, which can be held safely.

In particular, Mr King noted the significant windfall the Victorian government makes from stamp duty and other property taxes.

“In doing so, the state will benefit through more job security for the tens of thousands of property sector employees.

And, of course, the government’s own coffers will be bolstered by the return of property taxes, which typically constitute around a half of state tax revenue.”

The REIV has also urged the state government to rethink the Commerical Tenancy Relief Scheme, noting that without proportionate support, “it will herald financial ruin for property owners”, and would impact self-funded retirees who rely on rental income.

“The fact remains that many tenants will not be required to repay waived rents and a number of others are unlikely to have the capacity to repay any deferred rents in the near term, or if ever. Both tenants and owners must be supported,” continued Mr King.

“Suffocating a sector with unnecessary rules is already impacting the health, safety and mental well-being of the community and we shudder at the thought of potential longer-term consequences.”

Mr King concluded his remarks by noting that the REIV is ready and willing to work with the state government to find solutions while maintaining the safety of Victorians.

Despite the extended lockdown, while auctions are banned, open inspections may be conducted by private appointment in Sydney one-on-one.

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