Rental Reform – What Landlords need to know

More than 130 new rental laws came into effect in Victoria on 29 March 2021. In Victoria, 1 in 4 people rent their home. 

The Victorian Government says the reforms will “make renting fair for all Victorians”.  

The changes to the law clarify the rights and responsibilities of renters and rental providers. 

The team at SSKB have summarised some of the main changes below from before you sign a rental agreement until after the agreement ends 

Before you sign a lease  

Fixed price advertising and ban on rental bidding 

A rental property must be advertised at a fixed amount. Rental providers are also banned from soliciting or inviting offers of rent higher than the advertised price. 

For more information, view the Fixed price advertisements and offers, and ban on inviting rental bids guide.  

Maximum bond amount and rent in advance 

Rental providers cannot ask for or accept more than one month’s rent as a bond or require renters to pay more than one month’s rent in advance (for properties with a rent of $900 per week or less). 

For more information, view the Maximum bond amount and rent in advance guide.

Moving in 

Keys and security 

Rental providers must provide each renter with a free set of keys or security device. Rental providers can only charge a reasonable fee for additional or replacement keys or devices. 

For more information, view the Rental provider must provide a free set of keys for each renter guide.

During a rental agreement

Modifications
For rented premises that are not listed under the Heritage Act 2017 (this must be disclosed before signing the rental agreement), renters can make the following modifications without needing the rental provider’s consent:   

  • picture hooks or screws for wall mounts, shelves or brackets on surfaces other than brick walls 
  • wall anchoring devices on surfaces other than brick walls to secure items of furniture 
  • LED light globes which do not require new light fittings 
  • low flow shower heads if the original shower head is kept 
  • blind or cord anchors 
  • hardware mounted child safety gates on walls other than brick walls 
  • security lights, alarm systems or security cameras that: 
  1. do not impact on the privacy of neighbours,  
  2. can easily be removed from the rented premises, and  
  3. are not hardwired to the rented premises. 

For properties under the Heritage Act 2017, property owners will need to seek a permit.   

The following modifications can be made by renters without consent in all properties, including heritage properties:   

  • non-permanent window film for insulation, reduced heat transfer or privacy 
  • a wireless doorbell 
  • replacement curtains if the original curtains are retained by the renter 
  • adhesive child safety locks on drawers and doors 
  • pressure mounted child safety gates 
  • a lock on a letterbox 

Please click here for more information.

Ending a rental agreement   

Notice to vacate  

Rental providers cannot issue a 120-day ‘no specified reason’ notice to vacate. To end a rental agreement, they must provide a valid reason such as sale, change of use or demolition of the rental property, or the rental provider moving back into the rental property. 

For more information, view both related guides below: 

More information about all changes 

For more information about the new rental changes please click here 

If you have any questions about how these changes may affect your specific scheme, please contact your Community Manager directly. 

Why over 37,000 lot owners choose SSKB

Since 1995, SSKB has been the industry leader in strata management. Servicing clients through Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, we have a broad portfolio of schemes under management and pride ourselves on having the most experienced and skilled management team in the industry.

As a lot owner, you will have access to our expert Client Solutions Team who are on hand to deal with general enquiries. This team works on a “one call resolution” policy, aiming to resolve any issues on your first call to us. The team have a 94% rate of answering questions on the spot. By having our Client Solutions Team assisting lot owners, It allows our Community Managers and Assistants to be on hand to better deal with the requirements of the committee.

If you are not a client of SSKB and would like to see how easy it is to make the switch, click here

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