Aussie real estate agent gets $2m for condo that he had to remove after he discovered ‘foreign’ tenants

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AUSTRALIA’S second-largest city is preparing to crack down on overseas landlords with the launch of a new program that will see landlords who have not complied with local requirements removed from the market.

The Sydney-based Residential Property Investor Protection Scheme will see a landlord fined up to $2 million and lose their franchise.

The scheme, which is currently in the early stages, was launched in the wake of the coronavirus scare last year.

In an emailed statement, Sydney Housing said the scheme would be in place for “a short period of time to protect the community from unscrupulous foreign landlords and to prevent rental scams and unfair practices”.

It said the new scheme was in line with “existing measures to prevent and reduce the impact of foreign ownership on Sydney’s rental market”.

“We have taken this action as part of our ongoing commitment to make Sydney the best place to live, work and play in the world,” a spokesperson said.

In a statement, the NSW Government said the measures would not apply to owners who have been convicted of serious offences, but would not be used for those who are living overseas, or who have already been convicted.

“It is the intention of the Government to remove foreign ownership from the Sydney rental market in a meaningful way, in line, and through the processes, of the Residential Property Owners Protection Scheme,” the statement said.

The NSW Government has said it plans to introduce legislation in the next 12 months that would prohibit foreign ownership in rental properties.

The legislation will include the requirement that foreign owners pay a foreign buyer’s premium and a “fees for foreign ownership” levy.

The Victorian Government has also said it will introduce legislation within a year.

“There are still steps to be taken to ensure foreign owners who are not paying their own fair market value, or are in breach of the law, can no longer get a licence to operate a rental property in Victoria,” a Victorian Government spokesperson said in a statement.

“Victoria is a state with a long history of dealing with foreign ownership, including the Australian Government’s Fair Work Act, which requires foreign owners to pay the same rate of income tax as locals.”

Topics:housing,business-economics-and-finance,housing-industry,property-management,residential-property,housing,tas,sydney-2000,nsw,australiaFirst posted May 08, 2019 11:34:23Contact Rebecca Satterfield

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