The Real Estate Institute of the ACT has hit back at comments made by Chief Minister Andrew Barr after he called views from the institute as "out of touch".
In a statement, the institute said it was disappointed by the comments from the Chief Minister, which it said inferred the industry was self-serving.
"To infer that real estate agents have self-interest is simply ridiculous" Real Estate Institute of the ACT chief executive Michelle Tynan said.
Mr Barr made the comments on Friday after Real Estate Institute of the ACT president Craig Bright said the ACT's rent reduction scheme was "problematic" for landlords on ABC Radio.
When asked to respond to the comment, the Chief Minister said the "pain is going to be shared by everyone".
"There is no world where landlords are going to skate through this without experiencing some pain," Mr Barr said.
"Landlords need to be part of the solution.
"Those comments were particularly unhelpful and particularly out of touch. They represent a small sectoral interest and frankly the broader community is starting to get a little sick of people trying to protect their patch and refusing to budge."
The ACT's rent reduction scheme, expected to cost $39 million, would see tax relief given to landlords who reduce rents for tenants experiencing financial hardship by more than 25 per cent.
The scheme was announced as part of the COVID-19 Emergency Bill.
"Government must understand that whilst our members will not see anyone homeless, a reduction in rent is not always a solution that will be attainable," Ms Tynan said.
"Landlords are 50 per cent of this equation and it is simply unacceptable for the government to threaten that they will 'drag them to the table'.
"Many landlords are experiencing job losses or significant reduction of income but still have mortgage payments, statutory charges and maintenance obligations they must meet."
The institute also said it had not received any directive from the ACT government beyond "sit down and work it out".
"The ACT government has still not released the framework for the implementation for the eviction moratorium," Ms Tynan said.
"Without this vital framework, how are agents able to guide both tenants and landlords on the best outcome for what is an unknown duration of the of the COVID-19 crisis."