Long-term leases could soon hit Canberra – but who benefits?

Long-term leases, extending over years or even decades, are a mythical beast in Australia—either non-existent or as rare as unicorns. Unlike in Europe, where tenants can live in the same rented apartment or house for decades, Australian renters are often faced with short-term leases and seemingly constant moves.

Changes to rental laws in Victoria have recently passed, and are set to be implemented from 2018. In the analysis of a recent article in Melbourne’s The Age newspaper, the benefits seem to be in favour of renters, allowing them to ‘put down roots’. The jury is still out on these changes in Victoria, but it would be interesting to see what would happen if similar laws were implemented in the ACT.

We at Perspective are a mixed bunch of renters, home owners and former share-house sub-letters who have moved our collective possessions around quite often. So we have a few thoughts on the topic of long-term leases.

Long-term leases could potentially be a great way to offer stability to renters, especially families and people on low incomes who perhaps can’t afford to be paying movers every year. Continue reading

Autumn agenda for house and garden

The weather is cooling off, leaves on the trees are turning from fresh summery green to warm tones of orange and brown, and throw rugs are reappearing from random cupboards. It must be autumn!

Actually, autumn is a favourite season of the Perspective team, since we can enjoy the Aussie outdoors without either getting sunstroke or being completely soaked through in a sudden thunderstorm.

We here at Perspective are especially excited (ahem, sure we are) about cleaning out our homes and getting organised for the cooler weather, when more time is spent indoors. Whether it’s clearing space in wardrobes, tidying the garden or home repairs, this can be a good time of year to tackle those annoying but essential household organisational tasks.

In house and property terms, it’s a great time to get onto those essential home maintenance jobs you’ve been putting off over the summer months. It’s also a fantastic time to sell. Whether your goal is simply improving your home or getting ready to for the market, there are a few tasks that will make your property sparkle, potentially add value and stand out from other homes in your suburb. Continue reading

Is Canberra still the bush capital, and should we be?

Of late, it has been impossible to miss the new additions to Canberra’s skylines—towering cranes and the buildings they’re creating. With all this growth, much of it skyward, it begs the questions: is Canberra still the bush capital, and should it be?

Here at Perspective, Canberra’s distant horizons, expanses of open space and abundant trees are near and dear to our hearts. They’re one of the many things we love about this city and we don’t think that should be changing.

Even major roads and thoroughfares are bordered by groves of natives trees and exotic ones, changing colours from autumn reds to spring wattle yellows and leafy summer greens. This abundance of foliage, the numerous winding lakes and the occasional sight of kangaroos by the road are striking to those who’ve lived for years in a big city, like Perspective colleague, Samara.

“Some of the wealthier suburbs of Melbourne have gorgeous, tree-lined streets, but just as often it’s concrete and pavement with little nature to combat it. I’ve been in Canberra for a year now, and every afternoon when I drive home, I’m still struck by its beauty.”

Canberra is unique in Australia, planned around belts of native bushland providing welcome respite from urban sprawl. Those spaces share their identity as elements of Canberra Nature Park, a many splendoured, many tendrilled thing that crops up in the most unexpected places. For it’s not one park but many … consider that Black Mountain and pretty well all the other hills that dot Canberra, along with open urban forest and bushland areas, wildlife reserves, wetlands – all 30 plus of them – are part of the same park.

There aren’t many places in the ‘burbs more than a quick walk away from the park in any of its guises. With that come opportunities for social interaction, proximity to nature, to rare and endangered species, to a quality of life all too often abandoned in the big smokes.

But the current state of Northbourne Avenue, with its trees cut down and jail-like fencing in preparation for the light rail network, makes one wonder how long this natural beauty will last as the city expands. Continue reading

It’s time for both houses to come together…for houses.

It’s the nJohn Minns_rgb (w)ews headline with more staying power than the Kardashians – Australia’s housing affordability crisis. The content may change—current suggestions include removing the need for deposits for first home buyers—but the main message remains the same.

What are governments planning to do about it?

We at Perspective have weighed into this debate on a number of occasions, and today we’re bringing out the big gun—Independent Property Group COO John Minns, who feels it’s time for parliamentary representatives at all levels to stop playing politics on housing affordability. It’s time for a bipartisan approach to the issue.

This is a national problem … where does it stem from?

Politics aside, a significant part of the issue is simply a lack of supply. This is so in any state and territory where land and planning policies mean there is insufficient affordable land available for people to build affordable houses.

Australia’s a big place – why the shortage? Continue reading

A parent and pet owners’ guide to fixing common damage.

A few weeks ago we here at Perspective wrote an article on what’s harder to rent with, kids or pets. Much of the conversation was about the damage our babies and fur babies could cause. In the interest of everyone getting their bonds back when things go wrong, we’ve compiled a list of DIY repair hack for some of the most common damage issues.

wall repairRepairing holes in plasterboard.

Whether it was football through particularly thin wall, or a restless dog kept inside on a scorching day, a hole in plasterboard can seem like an incredibly difficult and expensive problem to fix. Not so. Bunnings has simple instructions.

Cost: $45 approx. plus paint.   Time: 2 hours (excluding drying time) Skill level: 2/5 Continue reading