In July 2019, The Victorian State Government introduced the first wave of changes to the Residential Tenancies Act. The reforms to the act, the first in over 20 years, have come about as a result of changes in how we live today.
From 2nd March 2020
A rental provider cannot unreasonably refuse consent to a renter keeping a pet. If a rental provider (landlord) wants to refuse, they have 14 days to apply for a VCAT order. VCAT may order that, either:
If the rental provider does not apply to VCAT within 14 days of receiving the written request, consent is taken to have been granted for the renter to keep a pet on the property.
From 19th June 2019
In fixed-term or periodic tenancy agreements entered into on or after 19 June 2019, landlords must not increase the rent more than once in any 12-month period.
When fully enacted later in 2020, the changes to the act will include:
- Removal of the Notice to Vacate for 'No Specified Reason'
- Limiting the use of 'end of fixed-term' notices to vacate
- Bond capped at one months' rent for all tenancies less than $760/week
- Landlords unable to unreasonably refuse consent for pets
- Allowing tenants to make minor property modifications
- Landlord and estate agent blacklist
- Requiring pre-contractual disclosure by landlords regarding asbestos and intention to sell
- A new Commissioner for Residential Tenancies
- Early release of bonds by agreement before the end of tenancy
- Faster tenant reimbursement for urgent repairs
- Automatic bond repayment within 14 days when a claim hasn't been disputed
- Ban on rental bidding and rental bidding apps
- Rent increased restricted to once per year
- Prohibiting false, misleading or deceptive representations by landlords or agents prior to a tenancy
More information on the reforms to the Residential Tenancies Act can be found at Rent Fair - Rental Reforms for Victorians