New tenancy laws, effective July 1 2020, will have a material change to property occupation in Victoria.
There are changes to the rights of tenants, and the responsibilities for landlords.
As legislation for these changes was passed last week, State Minister for Consumer Affairs Marlene Kairouz stated: “These new laws are the biggest reforms to renting in Victoria’s history and are about ensuring everyone who rents has a safe and secure home to call their own.”
The legislation update is comprehensive, with some key highlights below:
• Rental “bidding” will be banned – landlords must accept the price that they advertise.
• Review of rentals may only occur on a yearly basis, meaning that rental increases can only at this time and not on the current six (6) monthly basis.
• Standards for Property maintenance are now enshrined into law. With basic equipment standards prescribed (i.e. heating, deadlocks, smoke alarms and safety standards for utilities). In additon, landlords may no longer unreasonably refuse consent to minor modifications.
• The amount of bond that can be charged will now be capped at four (4) weeks’ rent.
• A green light for Pets. Landlords will now need an order from the Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal to refuse a tenant the right to have one on the property. This change is actually effective from 2 March 2020.
• Landlords will have 14 days to dispute the release of a bond, otherwise it will be repaid to the tenant automatically after that time.
• Tenants that are victims of family violence will be able to terminate rental agreements. This ensures they won’t be liable for the debts of their abusers.
• The legislation will extend to caravan and mobile home owners, who will be offered compensation if their place of residence closes.
These changes are material for tenants and landlords alike.
We wait to see how these will be regulated and the extent of the impact it will have in what is currently a tight residential rental market.
For more information:
p: (03) 9620 2001