Late last year the Andrews Government passed the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA). The new Act is the most comprehensive change to residential tenancies in 20 years.
The new legislation will ensure that every rental property meets basic standards. Some of these new measures, which will come into effect on 29th March 2021 and are part of the more than 130 rental reforms the Labor Government is introducing to Residential Tenancies to strengthen renters’ rights, better protect vulnerable renters and enable people to turn the house they rent into their home, include:
- New terms to be used for tenants and landlords as renters and rental providers
- Rental provider must supply a set of keys to each renter
- Renters can keep pets at a rental property with the written consent of the rental provider. A rental provider can apply to VCAT for an order that it is reasonable to refuse permission
- Renters can make prescribed modifications without the rental provider’s consent
- Rental providers must give a valid reason to end a rental agreement. Rental providers (landlords) cannot issue a ‘no specified reason’ notice to vacate
- Urgent repairs now include repairs or replacements relating to air conditioning, safety devices, pest infestations or mould.
- Electrical safety check of all electrical installations, fittings and appliances every two years by a licensed or registered electrician.
- Gas safety check of all gas installations and fittings every two years by a licensed or registered gasfitter.
- Correct installation and annual testing of smoke alarms.
- Permanent and working heater in the living room.
- Locks to external doors and latches to all external windows.
- Window coverings to all windows in a room likely be used as a bedroom or living area
As noted above, renters will be allowed to carry out simple modifications to their rental property without having to apply for permission. Such modifications include:
- Attaching child safety devices, such as blind or cord anchors and pressure-mounted child safety gates
- Installing picture hooks on walls
- Replacing curtains
- Increasing the energy efficiency of the house with new LED globes
- Planting a vegetable or herb garden
- Securing gates, installing security systems and flyscreens
For the full list of changes, the new Residential Tenancies Regulations 2021 can be found on engage.vic.gov.au/rentingregulations or https://www.consumer.vic.gov.au/housing/renting/changes-to-renting-laws/all-changes-in-place-from-july-2020.
If you’d like to know more or discuss your property needs, be it leasing or selling, please feel most welcome to contact us on 9840 7700 or send us an email at [email protected].