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Greens plan to make rental more expensive back on the table

By johnboy - 14 February 2012 67

The Greens’ Shane Rattenbury is letting us know that his plans to make renting more expensive, but more environmentally friendly, are back on the table:

This week, the Greens will bring back their Rental Standards Bill. A failure to implement the bill’s minimum energy efficiency standards for rental properties is effectively leaving 1/3 of Canberrans out of the Government’s plans to improve energy efficiency.

The bill, which was introduced last year, sets basic minimum energy, water and security standards for rental properties in the ACT, including public housing.

“30% of the ACT’s housing stock is tenanted and the Greens bill will deliver significant benefits for Canberra renters,” Greens climate change spokesperson, Shane Rattenbury MLA, said today.

What’s Your opinion?


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67 Responses to
Greens plan to make rental more expensive back on the table
harvyk1 3:20 pm 14 Feb 12

I’m still not buying the idea that renters will all be kicked out. Having tenants kicked out onto the street is probably not very high on the greens agenda, as that sort of goes against left politics ideals.

It would not surprise me if such a rule did go through, but then only enforced when a tenant moved out of their own free will. If nothing else, lets assume that there are 30,000 properties that this would apply to, I doubt you’d find enough tradespeople to do said work without landlords having to wait many months, and I doubt many landlords would be happy to have their property vacant for many months, as that would be an expensive exercise.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 3:12 pm 14 Feb 12

The trick with renovating an investment property is to be very careful in what you actually do. Renovating can pay off very well, but you can’t approach it as you would a renovation of your own home. It’s important to carefully consider each expenditure and work out whether (and by how much) it improves the rental value of the property.

Having done a few of these, getting the place is shape cosmetically gets the best results. Renovating kitchens and bathrooms needs extreme care to keep things cheap, as expensive reno’s generally don’t pay off.

In this instance, the idea would be to work out what you have to do (espeically where you have options to achieve the same outcome) due to the new rules, and then work out what else you can do that complements the work, rather than requiring lots of extra effort. Changing the order in which you do things can often keep the price low also.

devils_advocate 3:00 pm 14 Feb 12

nice_enough said :

You guys do realise landlords charge what the market is willing to pay.

Yes and that is the problem. A change in isolation in one house (upgrading the kitchen) is unlikey to impact on the market. Further, the magnitude of that change for that house is unlikely to be as large as the changes required to achieve minimum EER ratings. For some older houses I’m not even sure it’s possible within the common understanding of ‘renovation’.

This is a structural change, mandated by legislation, of the market as a whole. It’s likely to have a slightly different impact than a new kitchen at your mum’s house.

colourful sydney rac 2:58 pm 14 Feb 12

When did the Greens become a pro-Islamic, pro-landlord party?

nice_enough 2:42 pm 14 Feb 12

You guys do realise landlords charge what the market is willing to pay.

My mother recently updated the kitchen (quiet nicely as she plans on moving back in in a few years I must add) in her rental property she charges the same rent per week now as in in early 2011. Because that’s the most she could get on the rental market.

While the Greens Bill needs a bit of work in the details, the idea is solid.

devils_advocate 2:38 pm 14 Feb 12

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

harvyk1 said :

…and can then return the property to market for a much higher rental (because it will be freshly renovated AND because I won’t be bound by the rental increase maximums).

You forgot the other, more important factor that will allow you to increase rental – there will suddenly be a massive population of renters on the street scrambling to find a place to live, because all the other landlords had to do exactly what you just did.

devils_advocate 2:36 pm 14 Feb 12

“A failure to implement the bill’s minimum energy efficiency standards for rental properties is effectively leaving 1/3 of Canberrans out of the Government’s plans to improve energy efficiency.”

Well this makes no sense. Yes it is true that 1/3 (or thereabouts) is rented. But what about all the owner occupied homes that were built before the EER system even existed (let alone required minimum EERs for construction)? These would represent the vast majority of owner occupied housing – it’s not as if renters are being singled out. In fact I have seen nothing at all to suggest that the rental stock is any better or worse from an EER perspective than the owner-occupied stock.

Or are they going to retrospectively impose EER requirements on ALL established homes (i.e. not just the ones being rented out)? As retarded as the second proposition sounds, nothing would surprise me at this point.

Ben_Dover 2:22 pm 14 Feb 12

Good old Greens, thinking things through was never their strong point.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 2:04 pm 14 Feb 12

harvyk1 said :

johnboy said :

harvyk1 said :

I would expect that such work could only be undertaken between tenants whilst the property is vacant.
Otherwise I would expect the tenancy tribunal is about to get very busy as tenants enforce their rights to piece and quiet \ signing eviction orders.

Indeed. Which is going to see a lot of renters turfed out onto the street

That’s not what I meant, I meant when you chose to move out of your current property, the landlord would then be forced to do this work prior to being allowed to rent out the property again. Much the same as quite a few of the housing laws only really kick in when it comes time to sell.

What will happen in practice (and what I will probably do), is request tenants vacate the property on the basis that I’ll renovate the property at the same time as making any required upgrades. That way I can get the tradies through once, gain some discount by increasing the volume of work, and can then return the property to market for a much higher rental (because it will be freshly renovated AND because I won’t be bound by the rental increase maximums).

Ultimately, it will be a pain for everyone, but tenants will be worse off than landlords.

harvyk1 1:49 pm 14 Feb 12

johnboy said :

harvyk1 said :

I would expect that such work could only be undertaken between tenants whilst the property is vacant.
Otherwise I would expect the tenancy tribunal is about to get very busy as tenants enforce their rights to piece and quiet \ signing eviction orders.

Indeed. Which is going to see a lot of renters turfed out onto the street

That’s not what I meant, I meant when you chose to move out of your current property, the landlord would then be forced to do this work prior to being allowed to rent out the property again. Much the same as quite a few of the housing laws only really kick in when it comes time to sell.

Affirmative Action M 1:45 pm 14 Feb 12

I had great hopes for this lot of Greens when they were first elected to the Assembly but I reckon they are collectively totally wasted space. Think I’ll vote for the Abolish Self Government Party next time

Morgan 1:40 pm 14 Feb 12

I bet Shane owns his house.

Some of us would love to live in warmer and more energy efficient places – But this comes at a cost.

johnboy 1:35 pm 14 Feb 12

harvyk1 said :

I would expect that such work could only be undertaken between tenants whilst the property is vacant.
Otherwise I would expect the tenancy tribunal is about to get very busy as tenants enforce their rights to piece and quiet \ signing eviction orders.

Indeed. Which is going to see a lot of renters turfed out onto the street

Someonesmother 1:35 pm 14 Feb 12

I’m with you Johnboy. Not everyone in the ACT owns their own home and some of us choose to rent for various reasons. The rental market in Canberra is hard enough without placing more barriers in the way of affordability. Not everyone is an SES in the APS and can afford $900 a week for a dog box. Maybe someone could purchase a block of land and let us all camp there.

harvyk1 1:33 pm 14 Feb 12

I would expect that such work could only be undertaken between tenants whilst the property is vacant.
Otherwise I would expect the tenancy tribunal is about to get very busy as tenants enforce their rights to piece and quiet \ signing eviction orders.

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