In the ongoing inquiry into Victoria’s rental and housing affordability crisis, rental providers, property managers, and real estate agencies have expressed their views. One common complaint from landlords is that inexperienced property managers are contributing to the breakdown of their relationship with tenants and worsening the rental crisis.
Landlord Ange Kenos raised concerns about the lack of knowledge and experience of some property managers, stating that they appeared to be “barely out of high school.” This raises questions about their understanding of rental laws and regulations and their ability to effectively manage properties. Jessica Barr, a senior property manager at Harcourts Moe-Newborough, attributed this issue to low wages, stating that passionate individuals or young people looking for jobs were often hired due to financial constraints.
Carmen Littley, the director of Wyndham Property Management, reinforced this statement, explaining that low wages led to the employment of young and inexperienced staff who lacked independent living experience and attention to detail. This inexperience and lack of knowledge contribute to the mismanagement of rental properties.
The inquiry also revealed diverging opinions among landlords regarding their right to a profit on their investment. Some, like Lachlan Simpson, a rentvestor, believe that rental properties do not guarantee a consistent positive return, similar to other types of investments. However, Geoffrey Tonks, who owns six rental properties, expects to receive an annual return that justifies his investment.
Mr. Simpson also criticized real estate agents and the industry for their role in rent increases, stating that the price-setting process was “opaque,” and agents had a financial interest in raising rents. When asked if real estate agencies and property managers were disincentivized to make housing affordable, both Ms. Littley and Ms. Barr declined to answer.
The inquiry will continue with further hearings on October 10, following the revelation of tenant horror stories in August.
– Legislative Council’s Legal and Social Issues Committee.
– Sarsha Petty, Herald Sun