Consumer Affairs Victoria

Whether you’re a renter or rental provider (landlord), the new rental rules will create a fairer, safer system for all Victorians.

New rental laws are now in effect.

The changes to the law clarify the rights and responsibilities of renters and rental providers – from before you sign a rental agreement until after the agreement ends – and apply to all types of tenancies, private rentals, caravan and residential parks, and rooming houses.

The law changes include a ban on rental bidding, new rental minimum standards, no eviction without a reason, allowable modifications by renters and urgent repairs.

Rental rule changes in Victoria – the quick guide

The quick guide below covers some of the key changes, with links to handy guides that provide more information.

There are also changes relating to:

  • family violence
  • rooming houses
  • caravan parks
  • movable dwellings

Read about these changes by viewing All changes to renting laws.

Applying for a rental agreement

Fixed price advertising and ban on rental bidding

A rental property must be advertised at a fixed amount. A property cannot be advertised for rent with the costs listed within a price range.

Rental providers are also banned from soliciting or inviting offers of rent higher than the advertised price.

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

Inappropriate questions and discrimination disclosure

A rental provider or their agent cannot request inappropriate information in a rental application – for example, the renter's bond history.

Rental application forms must include an information statement that educates applicants, rental providers and agents about unlawful discrimination.

For more information, view the Inappropriate questions and discrimination disclosure guide.

Signing a rental agreement

Before signing

Before entering into a rental agreement, the rental provider must disclose to the renter whether the property is on the market for sale or is being repossessed, or if they are not the owner of the property, and information about any embedded energy network.

For more information, view the Disclosure requirements before entering into a rental agreement guide.

Maximum bond amount and rent in advance

Rental providers cannot ask for or accept more than one month’s rent as a bond, or require renters to pay more than one month’s rent in advance, for properties with a rent of $900 per week or less.

For more information, view the Maximum bond amount and rent in advance guide.

Moving in

Rental minimum standards

Rental minimum standards are changing, including your rights around heating and door and window locks in the rental property.

Rental providers have a duty to ensure their rental property meets the rental minimum standards.

For more information, view the Rental minimum standards guide.

Keys and security

Rental providers  must provide each renter with a free set of keys or security device. Rental providers can only charge a reasonable fee for additional or replacement keys or devices.

Caravan park owners and residential park site owners must not charge a fee for the supply of a key to enable car access to the park.

For more information, view the Rental provider must provide a free set of keys for each renter guide.

Modifications

Renters can make certain modifications without the rental provider’s consent. There are other modifications which a rental provider cannot unreasonably refuse consent to renters making.

For more information, view the Making modifications in rental properties guide.

Urgent repairs

More things are now considered an urgent repair, such as a broken cooling appliance, a functioning smoke alarm, pest infestation, mould and meeting the rental minimum standards.

Rental providers must pay back renters for the cost of urgent repairs (or replacement if the fault cannot be repaired) within seven days of the renter giving written notice of the reasonable cost of the repairs.

This applies to urgent repairs to all rental properties including rooming houses, caravans, caravan park sites and residential park sites.

For more information, view the Rental provider must pay renter back for cost of urgent repairs within seven days guide.

Inspections and rights of entry

Rental providers must give renters seven days’ notice of a general inspection and pay at least $30 for each sales inspection that takes place.

A renter can object to the production of advertising images or videos that show their possessions in certain circumstances.

Rental providers must also comply with more detailed rules around rights of entry, including a longer notice period for some grounds, restrictions for renters protected under personal safety and family violence legislation, and length and frequency of entry.

For more information, view the Rights of entry to a rental property to take advertising photos and conduct sales inspections guide.

Electrical and gas safety

Renters and rental providers must undertake safety-related activities set out in the rental agreement. Where necessary, they must ensure the activity is carried out by a suitably qualified person.

Rental providers must comply with requirements for keeping and producing records of gas and electrical safety checks conducted at the property.

For more information, view the Electrical and gas safety guide.

Notice to vacate (all changes)

Rental providers cannot issue a 120-day ‘no specified reason’ notice to vacate. To end a rental agreement, they must provide a valid reason such as sale, change of use or demolition of the rental property, or the rental provider moving back into the rental property.

For more information, view both related guides below:

Reasonable and proportionate test for VCAT

VCAT must not issue an eviction possession order without first considering whether it is reasonable and proportionate in the circumstances of the application to do so.

This reform also applies to all rental types, including rooming houses, caravan parks and residential parks.

Claiming bond

 Renters can apply to the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA) to get their bond back, if they cannot get their rental provider’s agreement, to have all or part of their bond released

For more information, view the New options for renters claiming their bond guide.

Notice to vacate for endangering safety

Rental providers can issue a notice to vacate if the renter or their visitor endangers the safety of neighbours, the rental provider or their agent, or a contractor or employee of either the rental provider or their agent.

For more information, view the Guidelines for notice to vacate for endangering safety guide.

More information

For more information about the new renting changes, you can view:

For information on new laws affecting specialist disability accommodation (SDA) residents and SDA providers, view Specialist disability accommodation.