- Real estate body REIV calls for the Victorian government to loosen its COVID-19 restrictions to allow in-person property inspections
- In parts of Victoria, in-person inspections cannot take place during the lockdown, they can only be conducted remotely
- REIV also expressed its concerns over The Commercial Tenancy Relieve Scheme, which was recently announced, criticising it as a “one-sided”
- “In-person inspection is a fundamental aspect of property transaction due diligence,” REIV President Leah Calnan says
The Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) has mounted a campaign over the Victorian government’s COVID-19 restrictions which prevent one-on-one home inspections
In full-page adverts in major metropolitan newspapers, the real estate body expressed the industry’s concerns, asking premier Dan Andrews to “please give us our keys back”.
“Victorians are being denied their basic right to rent, buy and sell a home […] The financial and emotional stress of losing deposits, defaulting on contracts and not being able to secure appropriate living arrangements is leaving families in distress and endangering lives,” the advertisement said.
The campaign was launched by REIV Chief Executive Officer Gil King in response to the Victorian government’s ‘reluctance to recognise that the property industry can function securely during a pandemic’.
“Ever since the beginning of COVID-19, the REIV, on behalf of the sector, has outlined that private property inspections — residential and commercial — can occur safely,” Mr King said.
“We have made dozens upon dozens of representations to the Victorian Government but are repeatedly ignored. We are determined to ensure the message gets through, and if taking a more public stance means the voices of Victorians are heard, then we are prepared to invest resources into that approach.”
In parts of Victoria, in-person inspections cannot take place during the lockdown, they can only be conducted remotely.
REIV also expressed its concerns over The Commercial Tenancy Relieve Scheme, which was recently announced, criticising it as a “one-sided” scheme that would put a number of small and medium-sized property owners in financial hardship.
The scheme allows eligible tenants to claim rent relief from landlords if they have suffered a decline in turnover of 30 per cent of more.
“When Victorians buy, sell or rent a property, they are making some of the most significant financial decisions of their lives,” REIV President Leah Calnan said.
“In-person inspection is a fundamental aspect of property transaction due diligence. Without it, buyers and renters are flying blind, and sellers and rental providers aren’t able to position their asset at its best.
“Lockdown regulations that ban property inspection by private appointment are creating an unnecessary burden on the property market, impacting aspiring homeowners and mum and dad investors. Most critically, though, they’re stopping many people from being able access rental properties so they can put a roof over their heads.”
Mr Calnan said banning inspections effectively shuts down the property sector which “rubs salt into the wounds on an industry that has been excluded from government financial support”.
Across the week ending September 5, REIV recorded 324 property sales.