Victoria’s renting laws are changing, with more than 130 reforms to be implemented by 1 July 2020. The reforms will increase protections for tenants, while ensuring landlords can still effectively manage their properties.
The proposed Residential Tenancies Regulations 2020 are part of this reform package. They will affect all types of rental housing currently regulated by the Residential Tenancies Act 1997: public and private rental housing, rooming houses, caravan parks and residential parks.
The proposed Regulations set out, among other things:
- new standard form rental agreements, to better inform tenants and landlords of their rights and responsibilities
- prohibited terms that rental agreements must not include; for example, a term that states the tenant is liable for the landlord’s VCAT application costs
- information a landlord must disclose to a tenant before entering a rental agreement; for example, if the property is part of an embedded electricity network
- information a landlord must not require a rental applicant to disclose; for example, if the applicant’s previous landlord claimed part of the bond
- rental minimum standards that all rented premises must meet – most of these standards will be implemented from 1 July 2020 for new rental agreements. Some standards will be phased in between 1 July 2020 and 1 July 2023 to allow landlords to adjust
- a maximum bond amount of one month’s rent for tenancy agreements and site agreements if the weekly rent is $900 or less
- standard form condition reports tailored to reflect the different requirements of different types of rental accommodation
- modifications tenants can make to rented premises without asking the landlord for consent; for example, adhesive child safety locks on drawers and doors
- an updated amount of $2,500 for the cost of urgent repairs that tenants, rooming house residents and caravan residents can authorise
- safety-related activities of both tenants and landlords that must be included in the standard tenancy agreement; for example, landlords would be responsible for arranging regular electrical safety tests.
Members of the public, industry and community groups were encouraged to provide feedback on the proposed Regulations.
As part of the consultation process, we also prepared a Regulatory Impact Statement. It assessed the impact of the proposed regulations on the community, including the costs and benefits of any alternative options.
A note on terms used in the Regulations
The proposed Regulations and the Regulatory Impact Statement use new terms that will apply from 1 July 2020. These are:
- renters – currently called tenants
- rental providers – currently called landlords
- rental agreements – currently called tenancy agreements
- rooming house operators – currently called rooming house owners.
This consultation closed on 18 December 2019.
To view the proposed Regulations and Regulatory Impact Statement, visit the New regulations for rental housing page on the Engage Victoria website.
The Regulations and submissions will be available to view on the Engage Victoria website in April 2020.