Helping Renters Make A House Into A Home

The Andrews Labor Government is giving renters the security of a long-term lease as part of its plan to make housing more stable and affordable for Victorians.

The Residential Tenancies Amendment (Long-Term Tenancy Agreements) Bill 2017 will pave the way for new long-term tenancy agreements and an online matching service for landlords and tenants.

Currently, the Residential Tenancies Act only covers rental agreements of up to five years. This forces many families to move from house to house – disrupting their child’s education, their friendships, their sense of community.

The Bill, which will be introduced into parliament this week, will change the Act to allow landlords and tenants to enter into agreements of more than five years.

An online matching service will also be created to connect tenants and landlords interested in long-term leases.

The changes will provide stability, security and certainty for tenants and is part of the Labor Government’s Homes for Victorians strategy to make it easier for more Victorians to put a roof over their head.

The strategy includes a range of initiatives to make it easier for people to buy their own home, including:

  • Abolishing stamp duty for first time buyers on homes up to $600,000 and cuts to stamp duty on homes valued up to $750,000
  • Doubling the First Home Owner Grant to $20,000 in Regional Victoria to make it easier for people to build and stay in their community
  • Creating the opportunity for first home buyers to co-purchase their home with the Victorian Government.

The Victorian Budget 2017/18 provided $1.25 million over four years to establish the matching service and develop the new standard long-term tenancy agreement, which is expected to be implemented by the end of the year.

The Labor Government continues to evaluate feedback on its broader review of the Residential Tenancies Act.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“Long term leases will give tenants the stability, certainty and time they need to make their house into a home.”

“It’s part of our comprehensive strategy to make housing more secure and more affordable for Victorian families.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Consumer Affairs Marlene Kairouz

“Right now, too many families are forced to move from house to house, year after year, because they can’t find a long-term lease.”

“The new online matching service will connect tenants and landlords, making it easier for people interested in long-term leases to get the certainty they want.”