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Victoria’s new tenancy rules explained

The Victorian Government has recently passed new laws under the Residential Tenancies Act that will increase the rights of renters. These new changes will come into effect on July 1, 2020.

As a renter or investment property owner, it is important you understand what the planned changes are and how they may impact your decision-making.

Key Points:

  • Landlords will only be able to raise rental payments every 12 months instead of the current six-month legislation.
  • It is finally good news to tenants who would like to own a pet with landlords no longer allowed to automatically include a ‘no pets clause’ into the rental agreement. Landlords will now need an official order from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal to refuse the tenant the right to own a pet.
  • Rental bidding will not be allowed. This means that when there are several applicants for the property, a landlord cannot accept any bids that are higher than what is advertised.
  • Landlords must ensure that the property is maintained and meet basic standards of living such as providing functioning stoves, heaters and toilets.
  • The bond payment will now be capped at a maximum of four week’s rent.
  • Family violence victims will be able to terminate rental agreements to ensure they aren’t liable for the debts of their abusers.
  • Tenants will have the capacity to make certain modifications without first obtaining consent from the landlord such as installing picture hooks and furniture anchors.
  • New laws will also allow caravan and residential park residents to seek compensation if their park closes.

These changes shift some more power towards the renter and away from the property owner. This reflects the changing dynamic within society with more people than ever renting within Victoria.

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