Victorian Rental Rule Changes In A Nutshell
On the 29th of March, there are a lot of reforms in Victorian renting laws that will be coming into effect. These new changes are to create a fairer, safer system for the tenants and for the landlords.
The New Terminology
Tenants – are now – Renters.
Landlords – are now – Rental Providers.
Tenancy Agreements – are now – Rental Agreements
Why Are There Rule Changes?
Rental providers will benefit from changes that clarify what renters are accountable for, and updated obligations that are easier to understand and support quicker action if there is a problem. This will give rental providers a more transparent relationship with renters and greater confidence that their rental property will be maintained.
Notable Reforms Include:
- Rentals can now only be offered at a fixed price. Rental providers and agents cannot invite rental bids for higher rent. For more information, view the Fixed price advertisements and offers, and ban on inviting rental bids guide.
- Rental providers and agents cannot make false or misleading representations to encourage someone to sign a rental agreement.
- Before entering into a rental agreement, the rental provider must disclose to the renter whether the property is on the market for sale or is being repossessed, or if they are not the owner of the property, and information about any embedded energy network. For more information, view the Disclosure requirements before entering into a rental agreement guide.
- It is unlawful to discriminate against renters based on their personal attributes, such as age, race, religion, or disability. For more information, view the Inappropriate questions and discrimination disclosure guide.
- Rental providers cannot ask for or accept more than one month’s rent as a bond, or require renters to pay more than one month’s rent in advance, for properties with a rent of $900 per week or less. For more information, view the Maximum bond amount and rent in advance guide.
- New minimum standards ensure that rental properties meet basic standards of cleanliness, security, and privacy. A staged requirement for rented properties to have energy-efficient heater so renters can stay warm without worrying about their electricity bills. These are the things most people would reasonably expect in a rental property – and most already have them. For more information, view the Rental minimum standards guide.
- Rental providers must provide each renter who signed the rental agreement with a free set of keys or security device.
- Pets cannot be unreasonably refused, although renters must still ask for permission.
- An expanded definition of urgent repairs, which includes serious faults that impact on safety and use of the property. More things are now considered an urgent repair, such as a broken cooling appliance, a functioning smoke alarm, pest infestation, mould and meeting the rental minimum standards. For more information, view the Rental provider must pay renter back for cost of urgent repairs within seven days guide.
- Rental providers are responsible for conducting gas and electricity checks every two years. For more information, view the Electrical and gas safety guide.
- Rental providers must ensure that smoke alarms are in working order and that they are tested according to the manufacturer’s instructions once every 12 months (including replacing batteries)
- Renters can make simple modifications without seeking permission, such as attaching child safety devices or replacing curtains. Allowing other modifications that a rental provider cannot unreasonably refuse, including allowing the planting of a vegetable or herb garden, painting, securing gates, and installing security systems and flyscreens at the renter’s own cost. For more information, view the Making modifications in rental properties guide.
- Rental providers must give renters seven days’ notice of a general inspection and pay at least $30 for each sales inspection that takes place. A renter can object to the production of advertising images or videos that show their possessions in certain circumstances. For more information, view the Rights of entry to a rental property to take advertising photos and conduct sales inspections guide.
- Rent can only be increased once a year.
- Renters can no longer be evicted for no reason – a valid reason is required, including a sale, change of use, or if the owner is moving back in. For more information, view the Rental providers must give a reason to end a rental agreement guide.
- A renter can be evicted if they are violent or threatening towards a rental provider, agent, contractor or neighbour. For more information, view the Guidelines for notice to vacate for endangering safety guide.
- Renters experiencing family violence will be able to change or terminate their rental agreement and not be held liable for damages in some circumstances.
- Introducing new standard rental agreements, conditions reports, and forms, which rental providers should ensure they are using from 29 March 2021.
You can see a full list of all the reforms on the Consumer Affairs Victoria website.
So What Now?
If you are looking for a property management team in Melbourne, Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo or South-east Queensland, you will find that Reventon Property Management is ready to work with you.
Always professional, efficient and communicative, as well as having strong processes in place, with Reventon you can have peace of mind that your property is in good hands. With a proven track record of efficient property management, we are invested in your investment. We never cut corners and we guarantee that we have a strong understanding of the market we work in. You can always have confidence in how our property managers handle your rental property. Our past clients can vouch for us!
Want to find out more about how Reventon can provide you with great property management? Fill out our contact form and let us see what we can do for you and your investment property.