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Minimum standards for Vic rentals rejected

25 August 2014 Staff Reporter

The Victorian parliament has thrown out a bill to introduce minimum standards for rental properties, such as requiring they have a toilet.

Victoria also currently has no requirements that a rental property be heated or even weatherproof, according to the Tenants Union of Victoria.

The rejection means Victorian tenants will now be worse off than those in Tasmania, which is scheduled to introduce minimum standards from October 1.

Greens MP Greg Barber, who lodged the bill with parliament, said minimum standards for rental properties would remain an issue for the party leading into the Victorian state election later this year.

Mr Barber noted Victoria would now be left behind on rental property minimum standards by Tasmania, which would become the first state to introduce them from October 1.

“There’s now a requirement that rental properties have toilets, but only in Tasmania,” Mr Barber told parliament.

Johan Scheffer, MLC for the Labor Party, rejected the bill on behalf of his party.

Mr Scheffer said the bill provided “good initial ideas”, but lacked evidence of sufficient research or costing for the Opposition to back it.

Tenants Union of Victoria policy and liaison officer James Bennett said some Victorian tenants were living in substandard homes as a result.

“You can rent out a house with no heating or weatherproofing at the moment,” Mr Bennett said.

“The underlying issue is the severe lack of affordable housing. People often don’t have a choice; either they live in substandard property or become homeless.”

The Tasmanian legislation will set requirements that tenanted homes be:

·        Weatherproof and structurally sound

·        Clean at the start of the tenancy

·        Adequately ventilated

·        Have a bathroom and toilet

·        Have cooking facilities

·        Have window coverings

Minimum standards for Vic rentals rejected
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