Main differences between the types of agreements

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The Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) residency agreement is new and designed to provide greater protections for residents.

The Residential tenancy agreement is currently used by Victorian tenants renting a standard home.

The table below outlines the main differences between an SDA residency agreement and a Residential tenancy agreement.

SDA residency agreement Residential tenancy agreement
The resident does not pay a bond.

You can ask the resident to pay a bond. A bond acts as a security that the resident will carry out their duties in the agreement. If they do this, you will need to return their bond at the end of the agreement. View Lodging the bond.

You may claim some or all the bond at the end of the agreement if the resident:

  • does not keep the home clean
  • causes damage to the home
  • owes rent.

View Releasing or claiming the bond - landlords and owners.

You can increase the rent every six months. View Rental payments in SDA.
You can increase the rent every 12 months. View Rent increases.

The resident does not pay for damage to the property if the damage is because of:

  • fair wear and tear
  • their disability
  • any equipment they need to help them with their disability.

The resident must take reasonable care to avoid damaging the property. They will have to pay for any damage they cause, except for fair wear and tear.

You can claim part or all the bond to cover the costs to repair any damage. You can also make a claim at VCAT.

The resident can end the agreement at any time by giving you a Notice of intention to vacate. View Notices to end an SDA residency.
If it is a fixed-term agreement, the resident cannot end the agreement before the lease end date. If they do, you may charge them ‘lease-break fees’. View Tenant giving notice of intention to vacate.
You cannot ask a resident to leave the property without first finding them suitable temporary accommodation. View Notice of temporary relocation on Notices to end an SDA residency.
You can serve a Notice to vacate for the reasons outlined under Victorian rental laws. View Landlord giving notice to vacate.