Victoria’s leasing laws are set to change dramatically as of July 1st, 2020 as our industry ushers in and implements a full suite of legislative reforms. These changes are a direct response to community feedback during the Victorian Government’s Fairer Safer Housing consultation to review the 1997 Residential Tenancies Act. In this month’s Think Property & Co blog, we break down the primary changes of new these regulations, and how they will affect you.
The amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act aim to increase protection for renters (tenants), whilst ensuring rental providers (landlords) maintain the ability to manage their properties effectively. So, who will be most impacted upon by these new laws? Namey, residents of public and private rental properties, caravan parks, rooming houses and residential parks.
What’s The Minimum?
Proposed minimum standards will apply, holding property providers (landlords) responsible for ensuring their rental property meets particular requirements on or before the tenant’s move-in date.
The proposed minimum standards include:
– A fixed heater in the property’s main living area, which includes an energy efficiency requirement in standalone rented premises. This standard relating to heating with be implemented over a three year period, allowing rental providers and industry professionals sufficient time to adjust.
– Efficient hot and cold water supply
– All toilets in working order
– Electrical safety requirements to meet rooming house standards
– Safeguard privacy in bedrooms and the main living area with window coverings
In relation to window coverings and electrical safety, rental providers will be granted appropriate time to upgrade properties in line with these standards.
All remaining rental minimum standards will apply to rental agreements entered into from 1 July 2020.
Don’t Ask That:
There are a number of questions that landlords, property managers and real estate agents will be prohibited from asking rental applicants. It is proposed that this includes information regarding the applicant’s bond history and legal history as it relates to past properties – particularly whether previous legal action has been taken against a rental provider.
Have Your Say:
To support the changes to the laws, the Victorian Government is consulting with the community on the proposed Residential Tenancies Regulations 2020, urging those impacted by the new laws to provide written feedback. Visit Engage Victoria to view the proposed rules and help shape the Residential Tenancies Regulations 2020 by submitting your feedback in writing by 5pm, December 18 2019. Anonymous submissions are accepted.
Changes outlined in the reforms are planned to be rolled out gradually between now and July 1st 2020. Think Property & Co are dedicated to supporting tenants and landlords through this period of transition. We will continue to provide our premium service in accordance with the new legislation, and provide updates as further details arise. To learn more about the proposed amendments and how they will affect your specific situation, get in contact with our friendly team today.
(References: consumer.vic.gov.au, engage.vic.gov.au)