This Weeks Featured Article
Some thoughts on this week in politics…
Owning v Renting
From time to time the rights of the renters is raised and then the rights of the owners is pushed down, yet without owners there is nothing to rent for the renters. The conflict between the two groups must be resolved so that fair rights are for all both renters and the owners. Let us end the conflict between so that it will no longer be owning v renting but rather owning and renting. A report in the Newcastle Herald speaks of those who want to introduce the removal of no fault evictions. Is there wisdom here as we see far too much over regulation and divisive spirit in our communities. I think there is a better way and it is about repairing our communities of so many ills that remove responsibility from where it should be to where it is in today’s world. Lets look to the report:
NEW RULES FOR HUNTER RENTERS ON
BY MICHAEL MCGOWAN
THE number of people renting in Newcastle now outnumber home owners, and advocates in
parliament want the shift in demographics recognised by introducing reforms to the system to
remove so-called no grounds evictions.
Data from the 2016 Census reveals that the inner suburbs of Newcastle are made up of a
majority of renters, with 52 per cent – or 2500 people – in the suburbs of Newcastle, The Hill,
Newcastle West and Cooks Hill now renting compared to the state average of 32 per cent.
And as house prices in the city continue to rise, the Census data also shows the Newcastle
electorate has one of the highest proportions of renters in NSW outside of Sydney, with 39 per
cent of people renting.
In NSW landlords can terminate tenancies without stating grounds for doing so as long as they
provide 90-days notice. While the rule is favoured by landlords as providing “certainty that they can regain possession of their property”, tenant advocacy groups like the Hunter Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service say the rule results in renters “putting up with breaches of the agreement” because of “fear” of no grounds termination.
The Berejiklian government is currently considering a review of NSW rental laws, and while a
discussion paper released in June recommended making no changes to no grounds eviction
powers there is growing pressure from the opposition and cross-bench for changes to the law.
At its state conference last month NSW Labor passed motions supporting the introduction of
new protections for renters including a requirement for landlords to justify rent increases above
the inflation rate and an end to no grounds evictions.
And the NSW Greens say they will propose amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act to give renters more security when the act is reviewed by parliament later this year.
“The review of NSW rental laws that is currently underway offers an opportunity to give renters
more security and stability. Ending no grounds evictions is an immediate step that can be taken
to help renters throughout this state,” Greens MP and housing spokeswoman Jenny Leong said. “Large numbers of people in the Hunter are renting – but while you are renting you do not have the same kind of housing security as people who own their home.
“When you are renting, you can be evicted for no reason, with just 90 days notice, and rents can be increased.” It comes as the government considers the introduction of a “build to rent” sector of property development in NSW which would see investors build apartments to lease on a long-term or indefinite basis.
All the plans of government prove that the housing pricing is out of control and the upward push of prices is continuing to push housing ownership beyond more and more people. The price increases continue to assist the real-estate market as the commission based sales return higher profits at higher sale prices; and the Government has a tax interest in the higher prices as a % tax is imposed on both the purchase prices and the loans that are needed to purchase the property. The plans that are offered are only band-aide solutions that are no solutions at all. There real approach is to take housing affordable seriously and to apply pressure to bring prices down. The elements to reduce prices are restrict the buying side of the market with the removal of non Australian purchases as well as to remove the first home owners grant away from the purchasing transaction. The supply side need to have the cost of development reduced as well as making more land for housing available at more affordable prices. Other things that will assist in reducing house prices include developing fast and efficient transport – including VFT trains, Decentralization that is effective with high speed transport back to major cities.
The direction of government on these matters are not about solving the problems but rather the applying of band-aids that are less and less effective each time they are rolled out.
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