Commonwealth proposed rent reforms unambitious and leave renters exposed to astronomical rent increases and evictions, say Greens


Rent reforms proposed to National Cabinet by Federal Labor show Greens pressure on the government is working, but reveal an unambitious reform agenda that would still leave renters exposed to unlimited rent increases and unfair evictions. .

Rental increases are already limited to once per year in every state and territory except the Northern Territory and Western Australia, with Western Australia announcing a change to limiting rental increases to every twelve months earlier this year. 

Without caps on rent increases, National Cabinet will continue to allow no-grounds evictions every 12 months through massive annual rent increases. No-grounds evictions have already been banned in most states and territories across the country, but landlords continue to use massive rental increases as a loophole to evict tenants. 

This comes after research by the Parliamentary Library showed that Australian renters would save $4.9 billion over the next 12 months if rent increases were frozen. 

Quotes attributable to Max Chandler-Mather, Greens spokesperson for housing and homelessness

Greens pressure and pressure from renters around the country have put rental rights on the National Cabinet agenda, but the reality is these are minor reforms that won’t stop a single massive rent increase. 

“Unlimited rent increases once a year are still unlimited rent increases, and landlords can and will use unfair rent increases to kick tenants out, or push them into financial stress.

“If this is where National Cabinet lands tomorrow, then renters outside of WA and NT will see almost zero change to their rights: everyone in the country outside the ACT will still be exposed to unlimited rent increases and unfair evictions.

“With wall-to-wall Labor governments across the mainland, National Cabinet could have given renters reprieve from unfair rental increases months ago. So if this is where National Cabinet lands tomorrow, every rent increase from tomorrow onwards is on Labor. 

"Rents are increasing at the fastest rate in 35 years and are due to rise even faster in the next year, so it would be  simply breathtaking if Labor decides to lock in unlimited rent increases.

"There is a $4.9 billion rent increase tsunami heading our way over the next 12 months, and Labor seems to have decided to do nothing to stop it. 

"The Greens will keep fighting to freeze and cap rent increases, and give the millions of renters doing it tough some light at the end of the tunnel."