Renters will get a fair go un­der ten­ancy changes

The Cobram Courier - - NEWS -

The Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment will make rent­ing fairer, with a swag of ten­ancy re­forms.

More than one in four Vic­to­ri­ans rent their home, a num­ber that is in­creas­ing as it be­comes more dif­fi­cult for many Vic­to­ri­ans to break into the hous­ing mar­ket.

The gov­ern­ment’s rental fair­ness pack­age gives ten­ants more rights, helps them stay on longer leases, makes bonds smaller and fairer, and cracks down on dodgy land­lords.

The gov­ern­ment will crack down on rental bid­ding — a scourge that forces would-be ten­ants to out-bid each other on rent — and will limit rent in­creases to on­cea-year to give renters more fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity.

Renters will get bet­ter long-term se­cu­rity by abol­ish­ing ‘no spec­i­fied rea­son’ no­tices to va­cate, and new re­stric­tions will be placed on end­ing leases with­out a rea­son at the end of a lease when that lease has lasted more than one fixed term.

These mea­sures build on the An­drews Gov­ern­ment’s in­tro­duc­tion of long-term leases to give ten­ants se­cu­rity.

To end dis­crim­i­na­tion against renters with pets, the gov­ern­ment will give ev­ery ten­ant the right to own a pet, and while land­lords will still need to pro­vide con­sent, they will only be able refuse in cer­tain cir­cum­stances.

It will be eas­ier for ten­ants to make mi­nor mod­i­fi­ca­tions to the rental prop­erty, such as in­stalling hooks for pic­ture frames — and there will be faster re­im­burse­ments for ten­ants who pay for ur­gent re­pairs.

Bonds will be capped at one month’s rent where the rent is twice the cur­rent me­dian weekly rent — cur­rently equiv­a­lent to $760 per week or less.

This re­form will also ap­ply to rent that is paid in ad­vance.

The gov­ern­ment will also en­sure faster re­lease of bonds at the end of a ten­ancy.

Un­der the re­form, ten­ants will be able to ap­ply for the re­lease of bond with­out writ­ten con­sent from their land­lord, who will have 14 days to raise a dis­pute be­fore the bond is re­paid au­to­mat­i­cally.

There will be a crack­down on dodgy land­lords with the in­tro­duc­tion of a land­lord and es­tate agent black­list avail­able to renters. False, mis­lead­ing, and de­cep­tive claims by land­lords will also be out­lawed.

A new Com­mis­sioner for Res­i­den­tial Te­nan­cies will be set up to help cham­pion the rights of Vic­to­rian renters and give them a voice in fu­ture re­form of rent­ing laws over the years to come.

For more in­for­ma­tion about the rental fair­ness pack­age, visit: rent­fair.vic.gov.au

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