Victoria’s Rental Reforms: Everything You Need to Know

Victoria’s Rental Reforms: Everything You Need to Know

By now you may have heard about Victoria’s updated rental laws coming into effect from the 29th of March. A much-needed update to the Residential Tenancies Act 1997, these new regulations will align with modern standards of living and promote a fair and safe rental experience for all parties involved. This latest Think Property & Co blog will unpack the most important changes.

The 3 R’s.

A simple one to remember! New terminology has been introduced in the updated legislation, with the most notable changes referring to what we traditionally called landlords and tenants.

  • Tenants – renters
  • Landlords – rental providers
  • Tenancy agreements – rental agreements

Rent increases.

Changes in rental price can only occur once every 12 months. If the rental provider wishes to increase the rent, they must provide a notice of proposed rent increase which includes the amount, the method by which the increase was calculated, and a statement detailing the renter’s right to apply to Consumer Affairs Victoria should they have an issue.

Safety and privacy matters.

This is perhaps the most impactful change that rental providers should be aware of. In order to ensure all residents enjoy safe and comfortable living conditions, a number of minimum safety standards have been introduced.

Under the new reforms, all rental properties will be required to include: a vermin-proof rubbish bin, functioning toilet, hot and cold water connections in the kitchen, bathroom and laundry, functioning oven, cooktop, sink and food preparation area, functioning heating, window coverings in bedrooms and living areas, and locks that can be secured from the inside.

Gas and electrical safety checks will also need to be performed every 2 years by a qualified tradesperson. The meaning of these terms have also been re-defined to assist everyone in understanding their safety maintenance obligations.

While it may sound overwhelming and costly, these changes will ensure all Victorian homes are safe and secure for residents. Rental providers also do not need to rush into implementing these changes – they can be actioned as early as the beginning of a new tenancy or lease renewal.

Keys, please!

Rental providers will need to provide each renter on the lease with a set of keys or security fobs. If keys are lost or additional sets are requested, they can be charged at a reasonable price via the Owner Corporation managers or our office if spare keys are held.

The name’s bond. Rental bond.

Taking into account factors such as inflation, the rental cost threshold will be increased. This relates to rental providers who wish to request more than one month’s rent as a bond or rent in advance. Long-term rentals that continue for more than 5 years can incur an additional bond at the rental provider’s discretion, and they must provide 120 days’ notice of this request.

The full list of changes can be accessed on the Consumer Affairs Victoria website here.

We understand this can be a lot of information to process all at once! However, our clients can rest assured knowing the Think Property & Co team are only a phone call or email away should you have any concerns. We truly believe these are positive changes that reflect the modern renting experience, and will ultimately be #BetterForEveryone!

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