Please find below a quick guide into the amendments to the Victorian Rental Tenancies Act from 29 March 2021. The changes affect any new tenancy agreements commencing after 29 March 2021 or a current fixed term agreement that is rolled-over after this date.
The most important steps a Landlord should undertake from 29 March 2021 is to review if their current property manager is up to date with the changes and to investigate taking up or reviewing their current Landlord insurance.
Under the amendments the minimum standards required for a rental property include:
- All external entry doors fitted with a key-locked device,
- Bathroom connected to reasonable supply of hot and cold water and contain a wash basin, shower or bath and working toilet,
- Kitchen that provides a dedicated area for cooking and food preparation, working sink connected to hot and cold water and working oven and cooktop,
- Interior rooms, corridors and hallways must have access to adequate natural or artificial light,
- Each habitable room have adequate natural light during daylight hours and adequate artificial light during non-daylight hours.
Tenants are now known as “Renters”.
- Renters can keep pets at a property with the written consent of Rental Providers.
- Renters allowed to make minor modifications to property without Landlord permission, however the Renter will need to pay unless they are a repair or needed to meet a safety standard. The repairs include replacing lighting, water-efficient shower-head, child safety gates and security lights.
- Renters need to reverse them when they vacate or cover the cost of removing unless agreed with Landlord.
- Renters able to apply directly to the Rental Tenancies Board Authority to claim all or part of their bond.
- Renters would need to continue to ask permission to make modifications such as painting, planting a herb and/or vegetable garden and installing flyscreens.
Landlord (Rental Providers)
Landlords are now known as Rental Providers.
- Rental providers only advertise/offer properties at a fixed price.
- Rental providers to provide at least one available fee-free payment method.
- Rental providers cannot increase rent more than once every 12 months.
- Rental providers must give renters 7 days’ notice of a general inspection & pay at least $30 for each sales inspection that takes place.
- Rental providers must provide a valid reason to end a rental agreement.
- Rental providers need to organise Gas and Electricity safety checks every 2 years. They are also required to organise annual inspections of Smoke Alarms.
- Rental providers will also need to undertake any urgent repairs including broken air-conditioning, smoke alarms, pool fences, pest infestations and mould.