With his announcement to do away with option fees for tenants making applications on properties, WA Labor leader, Mark McGowan has already shown what the real estate Industry can expect if he is installed as Premier according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.
“People should see this for what it is, a cynical vote grab with no consideration for property owners or the industry that has to administer this challenge”, Mr Baldwin said.
“Some meaningful consultation with the real estate industry would have enlightened Mr McGowan to all the influences around option fees and enabled him to come up with a less one sided proposal.
“Although I support REIWA President David Airey in his proposal to reduce the option fee to $50 there is definitely a need for rental applicants to be compelled to provide some meaningful consideration.
“I doubt any agent would argue that tenants are faced with challenges when searching for rental properties however property managers don’t want to be overrun with people placing multiple applications forcing them to administer an ongoing series of property lotteries.
“Tenants having to pay option fees is only half of their challenge with the other, and often bigger problem being the legislated requirement for these fees to be processed through the agents trust account and often taking days to clear before they can be refunded.
“I doubt property management agents would have an issue with a substantially reduced option fee that can be held and immediately refunded should the applicant be unsuccessful but to propose no option fee at all shows a complete lack of understanding of the matter and invokes deep concerns about Labor’s record of making ill considered decisions on the run.”, Mr Baldwin said.