On 29 March 2021, Victoria made significant changes to Residential Tenancies Act 1997. Landlords will be renamed as rental providers and tenants are now called renters. Leases are now called rental agreements. The rental providers and estate agents must ensure they are compliant with the new laws.

We would like to capture some important summaries in this article. Rental agreements must be in the “prescribed form”. Additional conditions can be included if the renter or rental provider requests them, but there are some conditions that are not allowed.

If one of these prohibited conditions is included in the agreement, it is not valid. The rental provider may also have to pay penalties for including a prohibited term in the agreement.

For example, renters cannot be required to:

  • Take out any form of insurance
  • Pay additional rent or penalties if they break the rules in the agreement
  • Pay for the rental provider or agent to prepare the agreement.

The changes to the law clarify the rights and responsibilities of renters and rental providers – from before you sign a rental agreement until after the agreement ends – and apply to all types of tenancies, private rentals, caravan, and residential parks, and rooming houses.

The law changes include a ban on rental bidding, new rental minimum standards, no eviction without a reason, pets, allowable modifications by renters, and urgent repairs. Some of the new rental laws which came into effect on 29 March 2021 will not apply to renters who are already in a fixed-term or periodic rental agreement before that date. A list of the changes that will not apply to existing rental agreements.

Want to know more changes in the new agreements?

If you would like to check your rights, we can arrange a lawyer to assess you shortly.

Contact us at nevileco@nevile.com.au to discuss further.