New renting laws now in force in Victoria
August 27, 2019
Under new tenancy laws in Victoria, landlords face tighter rules around raising rents while property managers can go digital with renting guides.
The first renting law change means landlords can only increase rent once every 12 months rather than twice a year for tenancy agreements that started on or after June 19, 2019.
Landlords are not allowed to increase the rent before the end of a fixed-term agreement either, unless the agreement terms allow for this, according to Consumer Affairs Victoria.
However, six-monthly rent increases are still allowed for leases starting before June 19 on existing periodic/month-by-month tenancy agreements and fixed-term leases of less than five years.
The other rule change frees up property managers to electronically send the prescribed renting guide, Renting a home: a guide for tenants, to renters rather than providing a printed copy.
Property managers need written consent from tenants to receive notices and documents electronically, whether it’s a specific form or in the lease terms. They will have to send them a link to the online version of the guide.
The rule changes, which took effect from June 19, 2019, are part of more than 130 reforms to the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 that were passed in the Victorian Parliament last year.
While some changes have already been rolled out, all of the new reforms are scheduled to be in effect by July 1, 2020.
Some of the rules already implemented include a new commissioner for residential tenancies and the option for tenants and landlords to agree to leases lasting more than five years.
Some of the more interesting changes include new rules for pets in rental properties and the removal of ‘No specific reason’ notices to vacate for periodic leases.
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