The Andrews Labor Government has unveiled landmark new laws to make renting fair for all Victorians.

In the biggest change to the Residential Tenancies Act since it was implemented more than two decades ago, the Labor Government has announced more than 130 reforms that will strengthen renters’ rights, better protect vulnerable tenants and enable people to turn the house they rent into a home.

More than one in four Victorians rent their home, a number that is increasing as it becomes more difficult for many Victorians to break into the housing market.
Reforms in the Bill will ensure every rental home meets basic standards – with functioning stoves, heating and deadlocks. It will also require landlords to meet basic safety standards for gas, electricity and smoke alarms.

The legislation will also crack down on rental bidding, limit rent increases to once a year and cap bonds at fourweeks rent.
Renters will be given the right to make minor modifications – such as nailing a hook on the wall or installing anchors to stop furniture falling on children – without first obtaining the landlords consent.

Protections for pet owners will be stronger, with residential rental providers only able to refuse the right of a tenant to have a pet by order of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
Rights of entry and photography when a rental property is being sold will be clarified, as will rules to deal with goods left by a renter at the end of a tenancy.

To make it quicker for renters to get their bond back, tenants will be able to apply for the release of bond without written consent from their landlord, who will have 14 days to raise a dispute before it is repaid automatically.
People will also be able to terminate rental agreements in situations of family violence. The change will ensure victims are not held liable for the debts of their abusers, implementing the Royal Commission into Family Violence’s recommendation to better protect and support victims of family violence living in rental housing.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “We said we’d make renting fair, and we’re delivering.”

However… There is always two sides ….

REIV to fight ‘Nanny State’ changes to rental laws

The so-called ‘Rent Fair’ legislation, which will be introduced into the Victorian Parliament this week, has the potential to deplete Victoria’s rental housing stock, which is worth $519.2 billion, as landlords pull their supply from the market.

The Victorian Government’s attacks on property owners are unfathomable: these are usually mum and dad investors or young people trying to get ahead, not property mogul ‘fat cats’. Figures from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) show that one quarter of 25-39 year olds own an investment property and most rental property owners are on incomes below $150,000.

REIV Resident Richard Simpson said the proposed Residential Tenancies Act would swing the pendulum of rights overwhelmingly over to renters.

“The idea that landlords cannot have a say if pets are permitted to live in their houses or if modifications are allowed is completely unreasonable considering the possible negative impact on landlords’ properties.

“REIV also objects to capping bonds to four week’s rental, the withdrawal of the 120 day ‘no reason’ notice to vacate and burdening landlords with the expense and responsibility of disposing of abandoned goods and furniture.

“There is no doubt that Rent Fair in its current form will result in greater screening of applicants and increased rents. Numerous members have already told us they will remove their investment property from the private rental market if these reforms are passed.”

REIV will continue discussions with Victorian Members of Parliament to make sure these draconian changes do not become law and cripple Victoria’s rental housing market.

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Paul Basso

Author Paul Basso

Established in 2000, First National Basso is a business based on transparency, honesty, personal service and trust. With a commitment to innovation, First National Basso has continually evolved and grown to become one of the longest running and most trusted real estate teams on the Mornington Peninsula.

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