Renting in Victoria? Here are some reforms to look forward to!
Good news for Victorian tenants – there are several reforms in motion designed to make life easier for renting residents!
The reforms will require amendments to Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (RTA), and this process to amend the RTA is underway. So improved renting conditions and regulations are on the horizon!
Here’s what Victorian tenants can look forward to in the near future:
Less frequent rent increases.
Regulations for increasing rent prices will be changed to an increase every 12 months, rather than every six months. The increases must be reasonable, and tenants have the right to appeal to VCAT if they believe an increase is excessive (when compared with the market rent).
Crack down on rental bidding.
Landlords will need to settle on advertising a realistic, fixed price. Eliminating ranges or ‘price plus’ advertising means applicants can broadly rely on the advertised price.
Landlords and agents will not be able to invite prospective tenants to make an offer at a price higher than the fixed price.
Tenants will be given the right to keep pets as long as they have the landlord’s written consent. Getting that consent will be easier, as landlords will not be able to unreasonably refuse the request; and they obviously cannot refuse consent for assistance dogs. Outgoing tenants will hold responsibility for cleaning and sterilising if there is pet-related damage.
Commissioner for Residential Tenancies
A Commissioner for Residential Tenancies will be selected to look after the rights of Victorian tenants in the private sector. They will consult with tenant and consumer advocacy groups to identify problems and necessary changes.
A ‘landlord and agent blacklist’ will be available to all tenants to identify landlords and agents who have previously breached their obligations under the RTA. It will be based on a similar structure to the ‘tenant blacklist’ currently in place that lists tenants that have breached their RTA obligations.
For more information about the rent reforms, visit the Rent Fair Victoria website.