Renters' rights raised under new rental reforms

Last updated: 10 October 2017

The Victorian Government has announced reforms to make renting fairer for Victorian tenants.

More than one in four Victorians rent. The proposed rental reforms will give renters more rights, help them stay on longer leases, make bonds smaller and fairer, and crack down on dodgy landlords.

Every tenant will have the right to own a pet. Landlords will still have to give consent; but they only will be able to refuse in certain circumstances.

It will be easier for tenants to make minor modifications, like installing hooks for picture frames.

Tenants will also have more rental security:

  • Rental increases will be limited to one a year
  • Landlords will no longer be able to end a tenancy for ‘no specified reason’
  • Landlords will only be able to use an ‘end of fixed term’ notice to vacate at the end of the first fixed term.

Other changes include:

  • A crack down on rental bidding
  • Faster reimbursements for tenants who pay for urgent repairs
  • Where the rent is less than twice the median weekly rent (currently about $760 per week), bonds and upfront rent will be capped at one month’s rent
  • Tenants will be able to apply for return of the bond without written consent from their landlord.

A landlord and estate agent blacklist for renters will be created to crack down on dodgy landlords.

A new Commissioner for Residential Tenancies will be set up to champion the rights of Victorian renters.

The process to amend the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 for these changes is underway.

Visit the Rent Fair website for more information about the proposed changes. Share your thoughts using the Making rent fair online form.

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