Last weekend, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced a heap of changes to make renting easier and fairer for the one-in-four Victorians who rent. Paired with a series of awesome memes and the caption ‘Share If It’s Only Fair’, the Premier shared a number of posts about the new renting laws.
“One thing I hear over and over again: renters feel utterly powerless. And that’s no way to live,” wrote Daniel Andrews on his Facebook page.
Blacklist for dodgy landlords and agents
For years, tenants have been blacklisted by their landlords and agents – often unjustly. The new change will ensure the Victorian government can blacklist landlords and agents who are abusing their authority. This will maintain rental fairness for both sides of the agreement.
Landlords must disclose plans to sell
There’s few things worse than moving into a new rental and finding out the property you’re renting will be going up for sale. Under Daniel Andrews’ new plan, landlords will be legally obligated to tell their tenants if they have any intentions of selling the rented property. Equally importantly, landlords and agents must report of any known asbestos at the property.
Tenants can own pets (eep!)
Doggo-lovers and crazy cat peeps, your time has come. By far the most popular Facebook post, all tenants in Victoria can now own pets at their rental properties. Landlords will still need to provide consent for your furry friends, but they only have a right to refuse in certain circumstances. As tenants already have an existing duty not to damage the rental property, the same rule will apply with their pets.
Agents are banned from soliciting rental bids
Everybody hates that seedy real estate agent who pits tenants against each other, while also helping to drive up rental prices across Victoria. Agents will now be banned from soliciting rental bids and properties must be advertised with an exact price. That means ‘rent range’ and rental bidding apps will be scrapped!
‘No Specified Reason’ letters banned
A horrible fate many renters have to face is opening up their mailboxes and discovering a ‘notice-to-vacate’ letter with ‘no specified reason’ printed on it. Many of these tenants then go on to see their exact same property listed weeks later, at an exorbitantly higher price. The previous ‘no reason’ eviction policy has served as a loophole for many landlords, which allowed them to practice unethical behaviour and shatter their tenant’s stability. Under Daniel Andrews’ new changes, landlords will now be required to provide a real and valid reason for terminating a tenancy.
Smaller Bonds Returned Faster
Many tenants currently have to pay an excessive amount of money for the bond of their rental property. A bond is due to serve as a security deposit against damage, yet many landlords hold the bond for months too long – some even after their tenants have moved out. Bonds and upfront rent will now be limited to one month’s rent for the majority of properties. After a tenant lodges a bond form, if it is not disputed by the landlord within 14 days, the bond will be reimbursed to tenants in full by the RTBA. Renters can also seek arrangements with their landlords for their bonds to be released up to two weeks before the end of their lease. Bonds don’t seem so scary anymore.
Tenants can make minor modifications
All people, be it home-owner or renter, should be able to make their house a home. The new rental plan will allow for tenants to make minor modifications to their rental properties. These means tenants can now hang pictures, have modern communications technology, and safely install furniture. To make sure that this change isn’t abused, tenants will require their landlord’s written consent to modify the property. But no changes can be unreasonably refused by the landlord.
Check out more details about Victoria’s fairness rental package here!