Rental providers (landlords) and estate agency property managers: Getting ready for the new rental laws

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Whether you’re a renter or rental provider (landlord), the new rental rules will create a fairer, safer system for all Victorians. The new rental came into effect on 29 March 2021.  

This is a guide to the key changes that have come into effect.

Many of these changes also apply to caravan park, residential park and rooming house operators. This is noted where applicable. 

New advertising and sales requirements 

Rental properties can only be advertised with a fixed price from 29 March 2021. 

For more information see our Fixed price advertisements and offers, and ban on inviting rental bids guide.

New requirements for rental applications 

There are a number of changes to the rental application process you will have to implement from 29 March 2021. 

You must provide a disclosure statement about discrimination to all applicants.   

In addition, there are certain questions you are banned from asking during the application process.

This also applies to rooming houses, caravan parks and residential parks. 

For more information see our Inappropriate questions and discrimination guide

New disclosure requirements 

Before signing a rental agreement, you must disclose certain information about the property to the renter. This will apply to all new agreements signed on and after 29 March 2021. You will need to have gathered this information and disclosed it before they sign an agreement. 

This also applies to rooming houses, caravan parks and residential parks. 

For information on these requirements see our Disclosure requirements before entering into a rental agreement guide.

New rental agreements, mandatory condition report, new summary guides and new forms 

Rental agreement  

The new Residential Tenancies Regulations 2021 provide for new prescribed rental agreements (less than five years, and greater than five years) which must be used as the basis for any rental agreements from 29 March 2021.  

You can download a copy of the residential rental agreement - no more than 5 years, or download a pack of all new forms containing all of the agreements.

Condition report 

From 29 March 2021, when you provide the required condition report to renters, you must use the prescribed condition report. 

This also applies to rooming houses, caravan parks and residential parks. 

You can download a copy of the condition report here.

Summary of rights and duties

The Summary of Rights and Duties documents (also known as the 'Red books') provided to all renters on or before occupation day have been revised and reissued. They are now shorter and more succinct, guiding renters to the CAV website for more detailed information.  

This also applies to rooming houses, caravan parks and residential parks.  

These guides will be developed as web content. You can view all of the renting guides here.

Forms 

All the rental forms provided by CAV have been revised and you can download a copy of all the forms here.

This includes as form for rooming houses, caravan parks and residential parks. 

Distribution of forms and guides

CAV no longer distributes paper forms and guides. If you wish to use paper forms or guides, please download them from the CAV website and print them. They may also be used electronically where the renter and rental provider have agreed to electronic communications.  

This also applies to rooming houses, caravan parks and residential parks. 

New rental minimum standards 

For all new rental agreements signed on or after 29 March 2021, or any fixed rental agreements which roll over into a periodic (month to month) agreement on or after the 29 March 2021, the rental property must meet minimum standards.

There are some rental minimum standards that have been delayed for 1-2 years to give rental providers time to get the property ready.

For a list of the minimum standards and when they start see our Rental minimum standards guide.

Gas and electrical safety checks 

For all new rental agreements signed on or after 29 March 2021 rental providers will need to conduct regular gas and electrical safety checks.

For more information on the conduct of these checks please see our Gas and electricity safety checks guide.

Smoke Alarms

Rental providers must ensure that smoke alarms are in working order and are checked regularly.

For all new rental agreements signed on or after 29 March 2021 rental providers have specific obligations to regularly test and maintain smoke alarms. 

For more information on smoke alarms see our Smoke alarms guide.

Urgent repairs

The monetary limit on what renters can expend on urgent repairs will be $2,500 from 29 March 2021. Rental providers (landlords) must pay renters back for urgent repairs within seven days of them claiming the cost of repairs.

This also applies to rooming houses, caravans, caravan parks and residential parks.

For more information see our Rental provider must pay renter back for cost of urgent repairs within seven days guide.

Sales inspections 

From 29 March 2021 new rules apply for inspections on rental properties for the purpose of property sales. You have the right to arrange to show the property to a prospective buyer or conduct an open inspection of the property but must ensure the privacy and safety of sales inspections and compensate renters for inspections. 

For more information see our Rights of entry to a rental property to take advertising photos and conduct sales inspections guide

Changes to notices to vacate  

There are changes to certain types of Notices to Vacate that can be issued from 29 March 2021. Notices to Vacate for “no reason” can no longer be issued, the process for Notices to Vacate for late payment of rent have changed and there are new guidelines that may assist rental providers in deciding whether to give a new Notice to Vacate for endangerment. 

Changes related to issuing a Notice to Vacate for “no reason” and the Notice to Vacate for endangerment also apply to rooming houses, caravan parks and residential parks. 

For more information see here: 

Renters can initiate a bond claim 

A renter may apply to the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA) to have all or part of the bond released.  

However, the new process will take at least 14 days and generally the fastest way to get a bond refund is a joint claim by the renter and rental provider.

This also applies to bond in rooming houses, caravan parks and residential parks.

For more information see our New options for renters claiming their bond guide.

Goods left behind 

From 29 March 2021 Consumer Affairs Victoria will no longer conduct Goods Left Behind inspections. You should familiarise yourself with the new process. 

This also applies to rooming houses, caravan parks and residential parks. 

For more information on the new process, see our Goods left behind guide.