There are 132 reforms in total. Here’s a breakdown of the main changes in the new Victorian residential tenancy laws.
Pets in rental properties
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.
Compensation for sales inspections
A minimum of $30 compensation is required to be paid to renters per inspection.
Gas and electricity safety checks
A licensed or registered electrician and gas fitter must have conducted an electrical or gas safety check within the past two years — and every two years — while the property is rented.
- From 29 March 2021 until 28 March 2023, a rental property must have a fixed heater in good working order in the main living area. If a fixed heater has not been installed yet, an energy-efficient fixed heater in good working order must be installed (unless it would be unreasonable to do so in a Class 2 building)
- From 29 March 2023, an energy-efficient fixed heater in good working order must be installed in the main living area (unless it would be unreasonable to do so in a Class 2 building)
- It would be considered unreasonable if the cost was significantly higher than the average price of installation in a Class 2 building or the owner’s corporation rules or compliance with any other Act or local law prohibited the installation
Renters will be able to make prescribed modifications without the rental provider’s consent and rental providers cannot unreasonably refuse consent to some modifications.
- Without their landlord’s consent, renters will be able to install:
- Picture hooks or screws for wall mounts, shelves or brackets on surfaces other than exposed brick or concrete walls
- Wall anchoring devices on surfaces other than exposed brick or concrete walls to secure furniture
- LED light globes that don’t require new light fittings
- A water-efficient showerhead if the original shower head is retained
- Blind or cord anchors
- Hardware-mounted child safety gates on walls other than exposed brick or concrete walls, or pressure-mounted child safety gates
- Adhesive child safety locks on drawers and doors
- Security lights, alarm systems or security cameras that do not impact the privacy of neighbours, can be easily removed and are not hardwired to the property
- Non-permanent window film for insulation, reduced heat transfer or privacy
- A wireless doorbell
- A lock on a letterbox
- Replacement curtains if the original curtains are retained by the previous renter
- Landlords must not unreasonably refuse consent for:
- The installation of picture hooks or screws for wall mounts, shelves or brackets on exposed brick or concrete walls
- The installation of hardware-mounted child safety gates on exposed brick or concrete walls
- The installation of wall anchoring devices on exposed brick or concrete walls to secure items of furniture
- Draught proofing in homes without open-flued gas heating, including installing weather seals, caulking or gap-filling around windows, doors, skirting and floorboards
- A suitably qualified person to install a security system that does not impact the privacy of neighbours, if the landlord is provided with an invoice with the name of the installer at the time consent is requested
- The installation of fly screens on doors and windows
- The planting of a vegetable or herb garden
- The installation of a secure letterbox
- The painting of the rented premises
- Modifications to secure external gates in rentals that are not multi-unit buildings
Urgent repairs now include repairs or replacements relating to air conditioning, safety devices, pest infestations or mould
The end of no-grounds evictions
To end a rental agreement, rental providers must provide a valid reason such as sale, change of use or demolition of the rental property, or the rental provider moving back into the rental property. Rental providers cannot issue a ‘no specified reason’ notice to vacate. For change of use, rental providers must attach documentary evidence to a notice to vacate, as specified by the Director of CAV
Other changes include:
- New terms to be used for tenants and landlords as renters and rental providers
- Each room must be free of mould and have appropriate lighting and ventilation
- Rental properties to provide a three-star showerhead, a working stove, food preparation area, sink in the kitchen and a vermin-proof rubbish bin
- The rental provider must supply a set of keys to each renter
- Locks to external doors and latches to all external windows
- Window coverings to all windows in a room likely to be used as a bedroom or living area
- From 29 March 2023, all power outlets and lighting circuits must be connected to a compliant switchboard-type circuit breaker and a compliant switchboard-type residual current device
For existing rental agreements signed before 1 July 2020, rental providers and renters will be exempt from some of the new rental laws until that agreement is terminated and a new agreement is signed.
To view the Residential Tenancies Regulations 2021, click here.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the changes outlined in this article, please contact our team here.