A tenants' lobby group has called on the government to make it harder for tenants to be evicted and easier for them to keep pets.
The Tenants Union of Victoria (TUV) has called for renting to be made a more secure housing option in a submission made to a review of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 being conducted by the Victorian government.
One key change the TUV is calling for is the abolition of evictions for ‘no specified reason’, which the TUV said is having a major impact on renters’ security.
TUV policy officer Yaelle Caspi said ‘no reason’ evictions contribute to the power imbalance between tenants and landlords since tenants know they can be evicted at any time.
“The fact is that the presence of ‘no reason’ notices allows landlords to side-step the law,” she said. “While these notices exist, tenants are at risk of being unfairly evicted due to retaliation or discrimination.”
According to the TUV's submission, landlords will often use ‘no reason’ notices to evict a tenant even though the act provides more than 20 reasons to evict somebody.
The TUV has also called for reforms that would affect rented properties and pet ownership, noting that the current regime presents considerable difficulties for pet owners.
According to the submission, local laws regulate safety, registration and noise complaints, and nuisance and cleanliness provisions to put landlords at ease with pet owners.
“Additionally, the tenant‘s bond is kept as a safeguard to cover any potential damage to the property; this should be more than sufficient protection for a pet,” the submission said.
[Related: To pet, or not to pet]