There are a lot of eyes on the rental market and there is a lot of concern about rents going up, the low number of available properties and the long queue of prospective tenants in snakelike lines outside open houses.
With this attention comes anxiety and when these three levers move in the wrong direction people grab their blame gun and start firing.
Late last year, among the hysteria, some political and community members tried to blame the real estate agents. It was laughable – as acceptable as yelling at the shopping centre clerk about overcharging for lettuce. They stood on their soap boxes behaving like the agents can just turn up prices by 30 per cent overnight.
Property managers are the service providers to the market, landlords and tenants. Sure they are the face of the rent increases or lack of available properties, even the ones holding the iPads or shutting the door because time is up at the open house. But they are not hte ones that created this rental price spike.
Last week Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe articulated the real driver of the issue: there is not enough rental accommodation. This can only be fixed two ways: we need more housing and it’s either from the government or the private landlords.
If the government builds more community housing or changes town plans/policy to allow for more density, we have a solution. But that will take too much time. The quickest way is to encourage, not penalise, private landlords. Stop overtaxing and fee grabbing the private landlords and encourage them to keep, rent out or convert available properties to rental accommodation. With available properties comes choice for tenants and with choice we see the aggression removed.