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Queensland property chiefs warn rise in land tax will hurt more than the rich



Brisbane Tax News

NEW Queensland Treasurer Jackie Trad has defended the Government’s planned “Robin Hood” property tax ahead of her first Budget update tomorrow.

Ms Trad dismissed claims from the Property Council that the planned 2.5 percent land tax on properties worth more than $10 million would hurt jobs growth and property values.

“This is a very modest increase… we think it’s fair that those that can pay a little bit more, do pay a little bit more,” Ms Trad said.

Overnight, The Sunday Mail quoted property chiefs as warning Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s last-gasp election tax grab would destroy jobs and wipe more than $41 billion from land values in Queensland.

A 2.5 percent extra slug on owners of land worth more than $10 million was part of a suite of tax measures in Labor’s final campaign announcement, two days before last month’s state election win.

The Premier compared herself to Robin Hood, targeting only the richest.

But the Property Council says ordinary Queenslanders will pay the price, with a risk to employment and businesses forced to pass on the cost to consumers.

The land tax measure will be included in the Mid Year Fiscal and Economic Review to be presented tomorrow by Ms Trad, who was handed the role of treasurer in last week’s Cabinet reshuffle.

It is expected to raise an additional $227 million for the state’s coffers.

“The inconvenient truth for the Government is the vast majority of properties that will have to wear this tax are commercial, retail, industrial and tourism properties,’’ Property Council Queensland executive director Chris Mountford said.

It would inevitably flow on to tenants.

“We heard all through the election campaign that business cost pressures are particularly acute because of price increases like electricity … making it tougher for businesses to employ people. Now Queensland businesses will need to add land tax to their list of concerns before they think about hiring staff.”

Economist Nick Behrens said the amount raised through land tax had risen faster than any other tax in Queensland in the past decade – up 10percentnt, compared to the 66 percent Australian average.

The new measures mean only South Australia and Western Australia will have a higher rate. That will make it harder to lure businesses to set up in the Sunshine State.

“We’re in a race to attract and retain investment. Now we’re putting lead in our saddlebags that will impede our ability to compete,” Mr Behrens said.

Ms Trad said the extra land tax would apply only to the wealthiest 850 payers of land tax.

“It does not include farms, and it does not impact on the family home. The land tax ensures that those who are benefiting most from our growing economy and rising land values make a fair contribution to frontline services in Queensland.”

Ms Trad defended the Palaszczuk Government’s employment performance, saying 143,400 jobs were created in the first term of office.

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Property Management

Why buyers are flocking to Morningside



Why buyers are flocking to Morningside
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Property Management

Disputes between Queensland landlords and tenants at record high



brisbane property management

DISPUTES between tenants and landlords in Queensland have reached a record high as fed-up renters fight back against unfair treatment.

The Residential Tenancies Authority was forced to intervene in 27,405 disputes between tenants and property managers or owners during the 2016/17 financial year.

Half of those disputes related to bond distribution, 17 per cent to compensation in excess of the bond and 8 per cent to property repairs.

More than 800 agents and owners were also investigated for non-compliance with some of the most common breaches including failing to lodge a tenant’s bond to the RTA, not providing documents such as entry reports and tenancy agreements and unlawful entry to properties.

Brisbane woman Jessica Thomas has taken agents and landlords to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal six times over rental disputes and has won every case.

“Landlords taking the bond for no good reason happens all the time and most people just accept that they lose their bond at the end of a rental and that’s just wrong,” Ms Thomas said.

REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella blames mum-and-dad investors.

“It is quite a scandal as far as I’m concerned.”

From entering her property without warning to harassment in her home, refusal to undertake repairs and even legal threats, Ms Thomas has seen it all.

“Last year when I moved into a new property, the real estate and the landlord lied to me about the state of the property,” she said.

“As soon as I turned the water on, water started seeping out of the walls and I found mould was growing everywhere.

“The majority of us aren’t those terrible tenants you hear about, we just want a safe place to live in peace.”

REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said the increase in disputes corresponded with an increase in renters and that most landlords were mum-and-dad investors.

“For these landlords every expense can exert additional financial pressure and increase friction between landlords and tenants,” she said.

Do Not Rent Me founder Anthony Ziebell

“Both sides can become more litigious in such a high pressure economic environment.”

Anthony Ziebell who founded Don’t Rent Me, a website dedicated to helping tenants expose bad landlords and agents, said renters were becoming more confident standing up for themselves.

“It’s very difficult because landlords hold all the power and that’s because a lot of people can’t afford to own their own houses,” Mr Ziebell said.

“Unless we’re prepared to stand up and do something together, we won’t see any change.”

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Property Management

Brisbane squeezing pets out of city



FURBABIES are being squeezed out of the Queensland capital, with latest data showing over 80 per cent of Brisbane rental properties banned families with pets.

The restrictions have put pet owners under pressure, facing higher bond costs and red tape like the need to produce “pet resumes” to compete for a shrinking pool of properties. Others unable to find the right property have had to make the ultimate decision to either urgently rehome or put down the family pet.

Analysis of data on showed that despite the wild popularity of furbabies, they were only permitted in 19.1 per cent of rental listings ins Greater Brisbane.

The situation gets worse closer to the CBD, with pet friendly properties making up less than 15 per cent of rentals in inner Brisbane.

More than 8100 properties were currently listed as available for tenancy in Greater Brisbane, with pets allowed in just 1563 of them. Over 800 listings made particular mention of a strict no pets policy.

Desperate owners have resorted to giving animals away via shelters, Facebook and sites like Gumtree where a free English Staffy has remained available for two weeks. The anguished owner was moving to a place where pets were not allowed and said “I don’t give away my animals easily this has been a very hard decision”.

Carolyn Parrella, Terri Scheer Insurance executive manager, agreed the situation was becoming more commonplace.

“A number of animals have to be relinquished and sadly destroyed,” she said. “People say all the time, I have to move, we can’t take the pet, we don’t want to have him or her put down. It’s terrible to see but seems to be more and more common.”

She said there was an opportunity for landlords given the lack of pet-friendly properties, but there was also a lot of fear over damage that could be done by pets with irresponsible owners.

Brisbane couple Victoria Lightfoot and John Hawkins resorted to building their rescue dog Annie a “pet resume” detailing her training and behaviour.

“It definitely has been hard,” Ms Lightfoot said. “We’re very lucky in our current property because my friend owns the house and she offered it to us because we had Annie. Previous to that we had a property that allowed pets but it was very hard to get anyone to say yes.”

Ms Lightfoot’s tips to get a foot in the door including getting a detailed pet character reference.

“It’s legit, they asked for it. I kind of get it because you could have a hideous beast that wreaks the property. But we’re happy to pay more bond if that makes us more desirable applicants.”

Another strategy, she said, was to go for a higher costing property.

“Even though it would be a push to pay rent, we thought perhaps that would be easier, more space in a nicer area and people are less likely to think the worst of you. We didn’t want to choose something so far away just because we had a dog.”


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