Victoria’s new rental laws are now in full effect, and apply to all new tenancies from the 29th of March. Renting continues to grow in popularity, as Australians enjoy the flexibility and lifestyle associated with leasing a home. One of the most noticeable changes to legislation is the renter’s ability to make select modifications to the premises. As part of our vision to make real estate #BetterForEveryone, TP&Co match renters to their ideal home and ensure they feel comfortable. This latest blog highlights changes you may make to a rental property under the new reforms.
Under the new rental legislation, renters will be able to implement modifications to make their space more personalised. This applies to rental properties not listed under the Heritage Act 2017 – you will be informed before signing a lease if your home falls under this category! Examples of permitted changes include:
- Adding picture hooks, screws, wall mounts, shelves and brackets to surfaces that aren’t brick walls.
- Wall anchoring devices to safely secure furniture. Again, only to surfaces other than brick walls.
- LED light globes that don’t require new light fittings.
- Security systems including lights and cameras that don’t impact on neighbours’ privacy and can be easily removed from the property.
- Installing a dishwasher.
- Installing a pet door or flyscreens.
- Adding a vegetable or herb garden to your outdoor space.
So you can hang up that gorgeous painting, dive into composting or install some new shelves to show off your book collection. While these changes promote greater freedom for renters, it is worth noting that all changes need to be reversible. Unless agreed upon when signing your lease, the renter would be responsible for returning the property to its original condition. Making any modifications will requires considered decision making. Do you feel like painting the kitchen cupboards flamingo pink? How quirky – we love that! Note however that this is an example of a modification that won’t suit everyone, and would be costly to remedy when you vacate the home.
Remember that your rental provider still have grounds to refuse a modification, although they must have a sound, fair and sensible reason for doing so. Examples of these grounds would be the modification breaking Owner Corporation rules, not complying with the Building Act 1993, or that it will result in further maintenance costs beyond the scope of the rental agreement. Rental providers can also approve modifications so long as they meet certain conditions. This could mean asking renters to engage a licenced professional to install the modification, for example.
While many modifications to rental homes are now permitted, we always recommend checking with your property manager or rental provider first. This would be a meaningful conversation to have, especially if your changes require rectification when you vacate. Think Property & Co are always on-hand to answer your questions and concerns.
The complete set of changes can be found on the Consumer Affairs Victoria website here.