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Tenants get more power as major rental laws pass in Victoria

Rental laws, Victoria, rental market

A law that puts more power in the hands of tenants has passed in Victoria, handing investors more rights and restricting opportunities for rental increases.  

First announced in October 2017, the “Rent Fair” reforms aimed to make renting fairer for tenants, according to the Victorian government.

The main changes for property investors to be aware of include:

Pets

- Landlords cannot unreasonably refuse pets; they also cannot refuse consent for assistance dogs.

Modifications

- Landlords cannot unreasonably refuse minor modifications.

Rent pricing

- Rent increases are allowed once every 12 months, as opposed to every six months; and

- Rental bidding is not allowed.

Rent security

- Removed the 120-day “no specified reason” notice to vacate;

- Only allow for landlords to end tenancies via an “end of fix term” notice to vacate and the end of the fixed term.

Tenant rights

- Introduced a commissioner for residential tenancies and a landlord blacklist to give tenants further protections.

Bonds

- Bonds will be repaid if both tenant and landlord agree within 14 days;

- The bond can be released up to 14 days early before the tenancy is over, up from seven days;

- Bonds for rents less than double the median weekly rent (totalling $760) can only be four weeks rent; and

- Reimbursements for urgent repairs need to be made within seven days, down from 14 days.

Tenants get more power as major rental laws pass in Victoria
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