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.
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
-- especially if the victim can be described by the pejorative term landlord
Help make the POAVIC strong so that we can
The Relentless Growth in Residential Tenancy Cases (in VCAT)
- 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.