Rental reforms: good news for animal loving tenants

October 18, 2017

The Victorian Government has announced a new package of residential tenancy reforms.

As one in four Victorians rent, this initiative aims to make renting fairer and give tenants more rights. The reforms are expected to be introduced to Parliament in 2018 and include:

Welcoming pets – Tenants will have the right to keep a pet with the landlord’s consent, and the landlord will not be able to unreasonably refuse the request.

Fair priced rent – Rent will only be allowed to be increased every 12 months, and the increase must be reasonable. Landlords and agents will also be banned from inviting prospective tenants to make offers higher than the advertised rental price.

Rental security – Landlords will be banned from issuing the 120 day “no specified reason” notice to vacate, and will be required to give the tenant a reason specified in the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA) for ending a lease. Landlords are also required to disclose certain important information to prospective tenants such as asbestos found on the property and their intention to sell the property.

Landlord and agent blacklist – Landlords and agents who have breached their responsibilities under the RTA will be placed on a publicly available blacklist.

Faster repair and bond reimbursement – Tenants who have paid for urgent repairs will be entitled to reimbursement after 7 days. Tenants will also have the right to apply to have their bond repaid 14 days before the end of the tenancy.

Allowing modifications – Tenants will have the right to make minor modifications with the landlord’s consent, and the landlord will not be able to unreasonably refuse the request.

These reforms will allow tenants to stay longer in their leases as entering into the housing market has become increasingly difficult.

If you have any queries about your rights as a tenant, please contact our Property team on (03) 9870 9870.

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