What you need to know about Victorian rental reforms: Part II

In Part I of What you need to know about Victorian rental reforms we covered some of the 132 legislative changes that are due to be introduced on March 29 2021; now we’ll take a look at what else you need to know.

Modifications without consent

Tenants will now be able to make minor modifications to the home they are renting without the landlord’s permission. These include, but are not limited to:

Modifications with consent

If consent is given the landlord may request a larger bond to cover the reversal; they may also require the works to be undertaken by a qualified professional. Upon vacating the premises, the tenant is required to return the property to same condition it was when they moved in; fair wear and tear will be taken into consideration. If the tenant fails to do this they will be required to pay the landlord an amount equal to the cost of reversing the modifications.

Electrical safety

From March 29 2023, all lighting circuits and power outlets must be connected to a switchboard type circuit breaker that complies with Australian Standards and a switchboard type Residual Current Device (RCD) that complies with AS/NZS3190 or AS/NZS61008.1 OR AS/NZS 61009.1.

Sales inspections

Tenants will now be compensated for sales inspections at a rate of one half of the daily amount of rent payable under the rental agreement, or a minimum of $30 per inspection. For example, if their rent was $700 per week, that would be $100 per day, so the amount payable would be $50 per inspection. This is not applicable to bank valuations, building inspections or final inspections.

Compensation for lease break

Where a renter terminates a rental agreement earlier than the required notice period, the tenant will be liable to compensate the landlord for lease breaking. The rental provider can apply to VCAT for an order that the renter pay certain amounts and types of compensation.

Pets

Changes to the legislation regarding pets in rentals came into effect on March 2 2020; however, there is still some confusion surrounding the rules. A tenant must use the Consumer Affairs Victoria’s approved form to officially ask the landlord before they keep a pet on the rented property. The landlord cannot unreasonably refuse consent. If they have reason to they must apply to VCAT for permission to refuse within 14 days from receiving the request. If this isn’t done approval is assumed. For comprehensive information about the topic of pets in rental property visit https://www.consumer.vic.gov.au/housing/renting/applying-for-a-rental-property-or-room/pets-and-renting

For more information a summary of all changes can be found at https://www.consumer.vic.gov.au/housing/renting/changes-to-renting-laws.

Consulting your Noel Jones Property Management specialist can also provide you with information and assistance regarding Residential Tenancies Regulation rules and changes, ensuring the transition is a smooth and cost-effective one.