March 10, 2017
Residential Tenancies Act review
The Residential Tenancies Act was last reviewed in 1997 and with so much changing over the past twenty years, another review is well overdue.
In the digital age, an Act that considers email an unacceptable form of communication is certainly out of date. With property marketing the key to the success of a rental campaign, an Act that fails to provide agents with the ability to access a property for photography is just not practical.
The new RTA aims to create a more even balance in the rights and responsibilities of owners and tenants. As a result, there are a number of proposed changes that property owners need to be aware of, including rental property minimum standards. This change currently lacks clarity but is likely to include mandatory safety switches in all properties, a minimum number of power points per room and options for cooling.
Another possible change that owners need to be aware of is the potential loss of their right to serve a 120 day notice on a tenant to terminate a lease for no reason. While owners would lose this right, it would be retained by the tenant. Further proposed changes include giving tenants the option to extend a lease without an owner’s approval.
Repairs have also come under review, with one of the possible changes proposing that every owner must lodge $1,800.00 per property for the tenant to draw on when an urgent repair is required. This change would not take into consideration whether the owner has been responsible and timely with repairs in the past, all would be required to lodge this amount.
With over 20 years since a review, it is important that all the right changes are made to the RTA. To have your say or to voice any concerns, contact your local member. You can access the latest documentation at http://fairersaferhousing.vic.gov.au/renting/documents.