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New Rental Standards To Help Tenants And Landlords

25 January 2021

The Andrews Labor Government is taking another step towards making renting fairer for all Victorians, with new rules to ensure every rental property meets basic standards.

With more than one in four people renting in Victoria, it’s crucial that basic amenities such as hot and cold water in the bathroom and laundry, functioning ovens, stovetops and sinks in the kitchen, a permanent – and working—heater in the living room, are available to all tenants.

These minimum standards are the things most people would reasonably expect in a house – and most rental properties already have them – but we are now enshrining these standards in law with new regulations.

We are also increasing the ways in which renters can make their house feel like a home by setting out simple modifications they can make to their rental property.

Renters won’t have to ask for permission to attach child safety devices such as blind or cord anchors and pressure- mounted child safety gates. They also won’t have to ask to install picture hooks on walls, to replace curtains, or to increase the energy efficiency of the house with new LED globes.

Other modifications that a rental provider cannot unreasonably refuse include allowing the planting of a vegetable or herb garden, painting, securing gates and installing security systems and flyscreens.

These regulations come into effect on 29 March and are part of the more than 130 rental reforms the Labor Government is introducing to residential tenancies to strengthen renters’ rights, better protect vulnerable renters and enable people to turn the house they rent into their home.

The changes to the regulations have been made after carefully listening to feedback from over 700 written submissions as part of the public consultation process on the initial proposed regulations.

Landlords will also benefit from these reforms through stronger accountability for renters, clearer obligations and modern regulation and processes.

To help ensure the smooth transition to the new residential tenancy laws, the regulations provide specific guidance on minimum standards, the modifications that can be made, and safety maintenance obligations.

The regulations also set out information that rental providers must disclose prior to entering a rental agreement, terms which cannot be included in a rental agreement, and questions that cannot be asked of rental applicants.

The Residential Tenancies Regulations 2021 will be formally made on 27 January and can be found from that date on Link .

Quotes attributable to Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation Melissa Horne

“We’re delivering on our promise to make renting fairer for all Victorians. Renters have a right to a safe, secure and affordable home they can call their own and landlords should have peace of mind with stronger accountability from those renting their properties.”

“These are the biggest reforms to renting in Victoria – setting out the minimum standards that must be provided in all rental properties, to better protect vulnerable tenants and turn rental properties from a house into a real home.”

Reviewed 24 January 2021

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