All 130-plus rental standard reforms from the Victorian government are now available for viewing, in a bid to make renting “fairer” for both tenants and landlords from March this year.
The biggest overhaul within the Residential Tenancies Regulations 2021 is the requirement for a number of basic amenities in each and every rental property.
Among these minimum standards that should be available to all tenants are “hot and cold water in the bathroom and laundry, functioning ovens, stovetops and sinks in the kitchen, and a permanent — and working — heater in the living room”.
Further, the reformed regulations set out simple modifications that tenants can make to their rental property.
Under the new rules, tenants won’t have to ask permission to attach child safety devices, install picture hooks on walls, replace curtains or use new LED globes to increase energy efficiency.
Landlords will now be prohibited from unreasonably refusing other modifications, including planting of a vegetable or herb garden, painting, securing gates and installing security systems and flyscreens.
According to Melissa Horne, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation: “These are the biggest reforms to renting in Victoria — setting out the minimum standards that must be provided in all rental properties, to better protect vulnerable tenants and turn rental properties from a house into a real home.”
The new Residential Tenancies Regulations also include information that rental providers must disclose prior to entering a rental agreement, terms that cannot be included in a rental agreement and questions that cannot be asked of rental applicants.
The Victorian government also flagged landlords as set to benefit from stronger accountability for renters, clearer obligations and modern regulation and processes.
“We’re delivering on our promise to make renting fairer for all Victorians. Renters have a right to a safe, secure and affordable home they can call their own, and landlords should have peace of mind with stronger accountability from those renting their properties,” Ms Horne said.
All up, more than 130 rental reforms are included in the new Residential Tenancies Regulations, which are set to come into effect from 29 March.