Tenancy law experts describe draft regulations as a ‘mixed bag’ for renters

Media Release
28 Nov 2019

Victoria’s specialist tenancy community legal service, Tenants Victoria, has released its report card on the top ten issues addressed in Victoria’s draft rental regulations.

The report card identifies a number of positive inclusions as well as areas where the proposals fail to meet community expectations around safety, security of tenure and privacy.

Additional limits on the amount owners can charge for rental bonds was the only area that received full marks. The failure to introduce energy efficiency standards and reductions in renter control over who enters their homes during property sales received failing grades.

The remaining areas, including minimum standards, property modifications, unfair lease terms, unfair application questions, family violence protections, mould/damp issues and the disclosure of property issues were identified as areas where some positive steps had been taken but where more work was required.

Tenants Victoria CEO, Jennifer Beveridge, said that the Victorian Government had made big promises to around 2 million Victorian renters and the draft rental regulations were not strong enough to deliver on them.

“For these regulations to meet the high expectations created by the Premier and Consumer Affairs Minister, we would need to see some big improvement in protections for renters.”

“Key areas like minimum standards and reasonable modifications are weaker than expected – and there are even gaps when it comes to family violence protections, property safety and unfair lease conditions.”

“One in three Victorians rents their home and I think everyone would agree that the Victorian community has a fair and reasonable expectation that rental homes should be safe, stable and private.”

“We will keep working with Consumer Affairs Victoria to fix the issues we have identified. We also encourage renters to have their say on these issues via www.tenantsvic.org.au/regulations or engage.vic.gov.au/rentingregulations

“This is our last chance to get these laws right before they come into operation.”

Enquiries: Daniel Scoullar, 0402 596 297, dscoullar@tenantsvic.org.au