East Fremantle aerial
Come Sunday, property owners can increase rent prices. Image – Canva.
  • Sunday 28 March will see the rental moratorium end
  • Property owners can increase prices for the first time in a year
  • REIWA President hopeful more investors will be inclined to purchase property

The Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA) has welcomed that the State Government will go ahead with the ending of the rental moratorium which will occur this Sunday, 28 March.

Most notably, this means from Sunday that property investors can increase rents for the first time in a year.

The moratorium falls under the Residential Tenancies (COVID-19 Response) Act 2020 which was introduced back in April 2020 during the beginning of the pandemic in Australia and was extended in September by the State Government.

Measures include rental relief and rules governing the negotiation of rental costs and lease conditions between a tenant and landlord based on a mandatory Code of Conduct the National Cabinet announced. This includes very limited circumstances where a residential tenant can be evicted.

Damian Collins, REIWA President, said that the WA Government’s decision back in September had had repercussions on the rental market – in particular the vacancy rate, which has hit a 40-year record low of below 1%.

“There is very little available rental stock on the market and those people who are actively looking for somewhere to rent are finding it very difficult to secure a place to live.”

“Thankfully, once the moratorium ends investors will have more incentive to buy property in WA. This should increase the number of properties available to rent and help create a more balanced market.”

Damian Collins, REIWA President

Mr Collins encourages owners, tenants and property managers alike to be reasonable when negotiating rent, but added that WA is still the most affordable place to rent in the country.

“Whilst it is inevitable prices will rise, WA tenants are still paying a lot less overall than their counterparts around the country.”

“In fact, earlier this month the Real Estate Institute of Australia released their December 2020 quarter Housing Affordability Report which revealed WA remained the most affordable place to rent in the country, despite the state experiencing a rental shortage and record low vacancy rates.” 

Mr Collins concluded by remarking he is hopeful investors will be more inclined to purchase property which he says, in turn, will increase the supply of housing.

“Moving forward, we need to encourage investor activity in WA. It is continuously overlooked how important property investors are to maintaining a healthy, affordable and balanced rental market.”

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