Updates to rental legislation

February 25, 2021 BY

Alrighty gang, a quick little update on some new legislation that is about to come into effect.

Most of these changes were slated to come into effect in July 2020, however were put off due to COVID.
So, you may already be across some of these updates, but here is a general summary with what to expect.
Advertising a property:
The rules surrounding advertising a rental have tightened up. The major changes address false advertising, privacy of information and discrimination, essentially working towards transactions that are fairer and more transparent. Additionally, prices must be fixed (no rental bids accepted) and the maximum rent upfront and bond amount will be adjusted to reflect inflation.
Tenancy changes:
Updates include the fact that rental increases cannot occur more than every 12 months, pets cannot be reasonably refused in a rental property and the parameters surrounding the issuing of breaches have changed to outline when a breach can be issued and what a tenant must do in response. There have also been updates regarding the payment of utilities in shared properties.
Vacating:
There have been updates to the acceptable grounds upon which a tenant can be issued with a Notice to Vacate, updates aimed to protect both tenant, property manager and landlord. Clarifications surrounding break lease situations, limiting the fees that property managers can charge and changes to the circumstances under which VCAT can grant a warrant of possession.
Maintenance:
Updates have been made regarding what is considered an urgent repair and the timeframe during which it must be acted upon. There have also been updates to when permission is required for a tenant to make a modification to the home (eg. picture hooks – go for it, kitchen remodelling – ask your property manager). This section also clarifies in what condition a house should be left when vacated and the importance of Condition Reports for this purpose.
Safety Compliance:
Under the new legislation, as of the 29/03/21 regular safety checks for smoke alarms, gas, electrical and pool fences are compulsory, not just recommended. These checks must legally be completed and documented. Chat to your agent today who can automate these checks through third party safety compliance companies.
Family and personal violence:
Legislation has been enacted that has been put in place to better assist and protect those that are enduring violence in their household. This includes a number of exceptions and provisions to help to support someone going through this. If you find yourself in a violent household please don’t hesitate to contact your property manager call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732), or contact one of the following profession services bethany.org.au or safesteps.org.au. You can check out more info about the upcoming changes consumer.vic.gov.au/housing. Alternatively, if you would like to have a chat to a real-life person about the upcoming changes, give us a buzz at PropertyOwners to discuss how the changes may affect your particular property on 03 5223 1657.