Property Owners Association Victoria
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Property Owners' Association of Victoria

For media inquiries: Phil Spencer 0403008090



Typical commercial and mixed residential-commercial


Media release by Property Owners' Association of Victoria. August 4, 2021

On Coronavirus and Commercial Rent

"The Property Owners' Association has extreme sympathy for victims of the Coronavirus Government Restrictions including self-funded retirees who have a reliance on rent to fund their daily costs & pay the many constantly increasing bills associated with a property. In many cases, the profit margin is less than 10% of rent for a property owner.

The POA expresses extreme dissatisfaction that the Andrews Govt is evidently putting a bill to Parliament this week, to mandate that owners of commercial retail properties provide social welfare to tenants without proper compensation of full exemption from rates, taxes, interest charges or loan instalment costs, for that purpose.

The proposal takes absolutely no account of the property owners capacity to survive the foregone rent.

The State government has increased Land Tax, water and council charges, yet takes away the only means of paying those bills from mostly self funded retirees who hold property for superannuation and are ineligible for government pensions.

Details of the Govt Proposal.

It is evidently proposing that the rent be reduced compulsorily for commercial tenants forced to lose business by covid lockdowns but the detail of the bill is still unknown. The devil is always in the detail.

"Legislation will shortly be introduced to enact the Scheme, " Could you please note our extreme concern with the forced expropriation of money by the Govt, without any just reason. Small property owners have done nothing wrong to deserve this.

It's not a tax. It's theft.

They wouldn't say to Coles or Bunnings to halve their prices. It would go straight to Court and the High Court would say it was unconstitutional expropriation of property.

If you think it's a fair thing, imagine trying to pay your family bills with high outgoings and income halved, robbing Peter to pay Paul!

The Govt is shooting itself in the foot. Many of the owners simply won’t pay the Govt bills and the Govt will suffer reduced revenue from Property Taxes. There will be increased objections to biased valuations from the Government for shops that provide a valuable service to the community that Councils want. Businesses cannot exist without small investors renting out properties. More capital will transfer to Queensland to avoid our high taxes.

This is also a devious device to force 3rd tier small commercial property owners to sell out cheaper to developers, much like Labors previous scheme of extended clearways.

Most small businesses won't want to do this, they respect the owners' business and that a contract is a contract and understand the risk of being in business, but will be targetted by govt backed tenants unions to do it. It's straight communism.

We request therefore it be voted down as against the Charter of Human Rights and the Federal Govt Constitution!

Property Owners' Association of Victoria

For media inquiries: Phil Spencer 0403008090


The POAVIC Committee

2014 POAVIC Committee
The Committee is truly representative of mainstream Australia - the Silent Majority.
Some are fifth generation Australian, others are the first members of their families to be Australian.
National origins include the UK, Central Europe, the Middle East, and the Indian Ocean.
And female members too !

We know that property owners -- the owners of residential and commercial property -- are often the victims of selective and inequitable charges -- and are not compensated by tendentious planning decisions.

Examples include:
    Deliberate attacks on the amenity of our property by Government endorsement of
    • heritage zoning without compensation
    • the running of suburban trains express -- directly impacting both residents and small businesses clustered around the station. Notable examples include express trains bypassing Toorak and
    • capricious description of classes of property as Commercial" so as to be subject to multiple Fire Levy Charges.
    • subjecting residential property privately owned to vexatious and iniquitous land tax. At the same time offering various priveleged entities exemption from land tax for offering the very same community service.

    To support our membership with property in the inner-belt we favour government initiatives which will enhance the accessibility and amenity of this region. Thus we are opposed to the government endorsed practice of running suburban trains express through this region, and most heartily endorse the city link tunnel as it will reduce the Hoddle Street congestion and pollution while giving vastly improved access -- via the tunnel -- to the North and South components of this belt.

    Join Us for a Better Melbourne and a Greater Victoria
    Share our common experience and source experts in property management. Give support to individual property owners in particular cases of hardship. Lobby to repeal or modify relevant laws to provide better protection in the future.
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     GST - Basics
Lessors cannot charge GST on rental income they receive from tenants of residential properties. The supply of the residential property by a lessor to a tenant is an input taxed supply. Input taxed supplies are not subject to GST. Residential lessors pay GST on some property expenses, such as insurance premiums and repairs and maintenance but cannot claim a refund of the GST included in the cost of these items. The lessor is treated as the final consumer who pays the GST.
The renting of commercial properties is a taxable supply. Commercial rents are subject to GST, and GST included in the expenses of commercial renting can be claimed back as an input tax credit.
So Where the lessor rents a residential property and commercial property the expenses and rents relating to residential property must be separately recorded. Only the rentals and expenses from commercial property rentals are recorded in the Business Activity Statement (BAS).
§ Where commercial property is rented for residential use, the rent is not subject to GST, and GST included in the expenses can not be claimed back as an input tax credit;
§ GST is payable on rents from a residential property rented for commercial use, and GST included in expenses relating to that property can be claimed back as an input tax credit.
§ Special provisions apply to caravan park owners and to the proprietors of certain classes of rooming houses.

It is notable that residential rents are free of GST, but residential lessors can't claim GST paid on expenses.
But doctors and dentists, whose fees are also GST free can claim back the GST paid on their expenses.
Advertising space for services for property owners is available both on this website and in our newsletter.
Phone 04 13 99 52 06
We will place on our website free of charge the business card of enterprises offering discounts to our members.

Welcome to Property Owners Association Victoria

Do you own residential or commercial rental property in Australia?
If you own residential property, you are one of the thousands of small business operators who privately house over a quarter of all Australians. If your property is commercial then you play a vital role in support of small business, which employs some 30% of the Australian workforce.

The Property Owners Association of Victoria Inc., is a non profit organization formed by property owners who wished to assist each other obtain a fair NET rental income from their property investments.

Whereas certain other groups of property owners, such as farmers, have banded together most effectively in gaining almost total relief from such imposts as council rates and land taxes; the owners of land used for residential or commercial purposes are now faced with a range of imposts not faced by other small business operators and representing wealth and operating taxes.

One such impost is the increasing legalism imposed on the residential rental operation, demanding far greater knowledge of the lessor. Rental bonds are now held by the state generating much interest income under the control of the government. The interest derived from rental bonds-- clearly belonging to both lessors and lessees -- have been applied (quite properly) to fund the Tenants Union and like groups that represent in a professional manner without charge lessees involved in tenancy disputes. Yet from this interest not a cent has gone towards the support and training of lessors [aka landlords]. POA-Vic does successfully assist our fellow lessors - but lacks the resources to fund the full-fledged training sessions required of a lessor not supported by an estate agent.

Land Tax -- an intolerable impost
Land tax is an intolerable impost on both residential and commercial property owners. In Victoria we are faced with a Land Tax regime not applied anywhere else in the world. And in fact, the Land Tax system is far more oppressive in Victoria than in other states. A property owner in Victoria who owns as an informal superannuation fund just three houses will find that following the scheme of aggregating values, a property tax of some 2.25% is currently applied in Victoria. What is at once apparent is that this impost will especially interfere with the development of private rental housing for low income families. In NSW for comparison, aggregation is also done -- but Land Tax is capped at 1.7% -- and in addition there are certain (in 2006 limited) exemptions where residential housing is involved. Already there is significant evidence of major property development in Australia bypassing Victoria. It is notable that the Bracks government has given some relief to the very top end of the Land Tax Table. However, the small scale property owner has been bypassed. The POA-Vic is endeavouring to reverse this situation -- but to be fully effective we need more members and supporters. Our contention is that residential housing - that is actually leased to tenants - should be entirely free of land tax.

Protecting the Basic Human rights of Property Owners
The POA-Vic recognises that the development of the state and endeavours to protect both its natural and cultural heritage may properly lead to limitations on the use and in some cases lead to the resumption (forced sale) of land. In both these cases the POA-Vic is very concerned that the owners get proper and full compensation for their total loss -- not just some deflated value but the true cost - including such imposts as stamp duty for the acquisition of equivalent property and all necessary relocation costs - incurred. To a limited extent the Australian constitution protects property owners by requiring compensation be paid in the event of resumption. However the Bracks Government has proposed a Charter for Human Right with the following feature: The proposed Bill includes this proviso:
Clause 20 - establishes a right not to be deprived of property other than in accordance with the law. This right does not provide a right to compensation.
The POA-vic considers the Bracks Charter for Human Rights Bill to be in fact a Denial of Rights because of this proviso, and in various forums are expressing our opposition. To put our position in context: Recently there was much publicity about the routing of the Frankston Freeway extension requiring the cutting down of a 400 year old tree. But at the same time there was no publicity whatsoever re the situation of those property owners whose land is being resumed in part or in whole to further these works. Individual owners may or may not have been treated unfairly, but all know that the media will treat any moderately comfortable individual who suffers losses in this way with little sympathy -- our society has cultivated what the Germans called schadenfreude -- especially if the victim can be described by the pejorative term landlord.
Help make the POAVIC strong so that we can
  • Share our common experience and source experts in property management.
  • Give support to individual property owners in particular cases of hardship.
  • Lobby to repeal or modify relevant laws to provide better protection in the future.

The Relentless Growth in Residential Tenancy Cases (in VCAT)
         Join the POAVIC Now
The POAVic offers its members seminars, training, an opportunity to meet and exchange ideas, and a source of reliable information on issues affecting the owners of residential property - including not only houses and apartments, but boarding houses and backpackers. By joining -- your support will enhance and strengthen our scope to influence governement (and opposition) policies that affect us. We supply practical help and advice on the various issues affecting property management. Its wise to join now in advance of any sudden issues.

Click here to download our brochure. as a PDF.
     Notes on the Retail Leases Act
What is included in the RLA?
The Act covers far more than shops -- it covers any business that sells a good or service, so it can include all retail premises, most offices and some industrial.
Security Bonds/Deposits
These monies must be held in a specific interest bearing account and the interest needs to be partly distributed to the tenant. Statements need to clearly show the interest paid.
Land Tax is excluded
Land Tax is not recoverable under the Act and to attempt to do so is in fact now an offense.
Leases and Disclosure Statements
A draft lease and disclosure statement needs to be provided to a prospective tenant as soon as negotiations commence. This is a chore -- but keeping to the book avoids later problems.
Either budgeted itemised outgoings for both the year past and upcoming and copies of outgoings invoices are to be supplied to the tenant.
Lease periods under 5 years
If the lease term and the first option period are under 5 years you must request permission from the Small Business Commission.
Compliance Issues
Whether the paperwork required under the RLA is appropriate or ultimately workable is immaterial. This new regime is the law. Penalties are substantial and the mediation process is very time consuming. It is a lot easier to comply.
These notes are derived in part from remarks made by Mr Richard O'Callaghan Chairman of the C&I Chapter of the REIV.

     Combined Residential/Retail
The above is a pix of two typical suburban shop cum dwellings. It is possible for the owner to become embroiled in dealing with both the Residential Tenancy Tribunal and the Retail Tenancy Tribunal in dealing with such a property - despite leasing the combined shop and dwelling to a single occupier. The POAVIC aims to both inform members as to present issues and to make representaions on their behalf as to ways in which regulations etc can be improved and clarified.

Land tax relief doesn't soothe

Download this Jun 1 2006 article from the Herald-Sun.

A member of POAA network
Property Owners Association of Victoria Inc.
PO Box 620, South Yarra, Victoria 3141
General Enquiries: 0403 008 090
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