Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews announced yesterday that the biggest rental reform in the history of the state had passed parliament. The changes to the Residential Tenancies Act aim to strengthen renters’ rights, better protect vulnerable tenants and enable people to turn the house they rent into a home.
We said we'd make renting fair – and we've done it.Minimum safety requirements. Ending rental bidding. A cap on bonds….
A press release says this has been a priority as the number of Victorians renting their homes is continuing to grow as it becomes harder to break into the housing market. The new laws promise better safety and utility requirements for homes, bond caps, no more rental bidding, as well as rights to hang pictures and have pets.
Even though housing prices have begun to fall, safe and affordable rental properties are becoming harder to find in major Australian cities. These amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act hope to change that.
What’s going to change?
The laws will now ensure all houses meet basic requirements and have functioning stoves, heating and deadlocks. It will also require landlords to meet basic safety standards for gas, electricity and smoke alarms.
They will also limit rental increases to once per year, as well as cap bonds at 4 weeks maximum. Renters will now also be able to request their bond back without contacting the property owner.
“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.”
Minister for Consumer Affairs, Marlene Kairouz.
Residents will now also be able to make minor changes to homes such as hanging pictures and anchoring furniture without having to request permission from the landlord. Protection for residents with pets is now far greater with any dispute over pets having to go through a tribunal.
For a full lowdown on all the amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act in Victoria, go here. To reminisce on that time a real estate company thought offering a year of free smashed avo when you purchased a house would make young people start buying, go here.