Home' API Magazine : January 2014 Contents 14
API JANUARY 2014
JANUARY 2014 API
Mackay investors vow
A group of property investors in central
Queensland is considering a class action
lawsuit against a council that hiked
property rates just for landlords, writes
Mackay Regional Council recently
introduced a new rates category
specifically for properties that aren’t
The classification includes an extra
$205 yearly cost on average, taking
the typical annual rates bill for landlords
to about $3000.
Rates for owner-occupiers remained
unchanged at around $2795 per year on
average in the council’s 2013-14 budget.
Many investors say they weren’t aware
of the increase until the latest round of
rates notices hit their mailboxes.
Estimates of how many landlords are
affected vary, but council issues around
9700 total rates bills for investors in the
region, or approximately 18 per cent of
Council insists the new category makes
levying rates fairer and will help fund
vital infrastructure and services for the
rapidly growing regional city.
In addition, the rise is helping to keep
property rates low for pensioners and
owner-occupiers, the council says.
However, a growing number of
landlords are angry and one man is
leading a coordinated attack against the
new category, collecting more than 1100
petition signatures so far.
In November, protest group organiser
Ayril Paton told Australian Property
Investor that he’d received little
response from council, leading him
to seek legal advice on behalf of local
investors who are “hurting” due to the
“This is a straight out money grab by
council, hitting the minority to pay for
an increase that should be worn by the
entire community,” Paton says.
“For this reason, myself and a
committee have started a class action
against the new category, enlisting
landlords to contribute $100 each to
fund the action.”
Paton says he’s already received
enough funding from 800 local donors
to run a “bare minimal case” but wants
to fundraise more to cover all bases.
He’s already spoken to a “senior
barrister” about the opposition group’s
next course of action.
“We require all landlords to get behind
us, as without sufficient funds we won’t
be able to proceed.”
And that’s just the start. Paton is
encouraging landlords in other regional
Queensland councils to consider
“This is a statewide issue and, if not
stopped, will spread to all councils.
Similar (investor-specific) rates have
been introduced in about 10 councils
This year, Rockhampton Regional
Council increased rates for non owner-
occupied properties by 25 per cent, while
the Isaac Regional Council hiked landlord
rates by 20 per cent.
The Isaac region includes the mining
town of Moranbah, which has been
hard hit by a dramatic plunge in rental
demand that’s contributed to a house
prices slump of 37 per cent in the 12
months to September.
Mackay Regional Council director
of corporate services Dan McKinlay
defended the increase, saying that
the council is one of a dozen with an
investor-specific rates category.
“A key outcome of this budget was to
keep rate increases as low as possible to
provide relief to pensioners and those
residents who live in their own home,”
Some real estate agents in Mackay
have expressed concern that the rates
hike could deter future investment
activity in the region.
æThis is a straight out money grab
by council, hitting the minority to pay
for an increase that should be worn by
the entire community.Æ
The amount above guide price
that SYDNEY homes achieved
at auction in September.
SOURCE: INTELLIGENT PROPERTY SERVICES GROUP
The number of settled dwelling
sales in MELBOURNE in the
eight months to August 2013,
up seven per cent on the same
period in 2012.
SOURCE: VICTORIAN VALUER GENERAL
The number of weekends in
spring that SYDNEY auction
clearance rates topped 80 per
cent, up to the second weekend
16out of 18
SOURCE: AUSTRALIAN PROPERTY MONITORS
The increase in BRISBANE
property prices in the September
quarter, which experts say could
finally signal a market recovery.
SOURCE: RP DATA
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