Victoria’s rental reforms were passed in Parliament last week. This suite of new laws is intended to strengthen tenants’ rights – but while the bill has been passed, the legislation is not expected to come into effect before July 2020.
These reforms are the result of a review of the Residential Tenancies Act conducted by the Andrews Government. The new laws require landlords to provide clear reasons for ending tenancies, protect against lease termination when tenants seek to enforce their rights, and give tenants more flexibility to end a tenancy early when they receive a notice to vacate – among many other changes.
Our current rental laws are more than 20 years old, and a review is reasonable given the significant market changes during this time. However, stakeholders such as the REIV have been vocal critics of the proposed amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act, claiming they’re unfairly weighed towards tenants.
With property management an important part of our business at Greg Hocking, staying abreast of these changes and their potential impacts for both landlords and tenants is a key priority. At this stage, it’s clear that the reforms generally favour tenants – for example, tenants will be able to make minor modifications to their rentals and own pets without landlord consent – but there’s still a lot that’s not known.
For now, our advice to landlords is it’s essentially “business as usual”. While the outcomes of these reforms are not fully known just yet, we’re keeping a close watch on this issue and will keep you updated as more information becomes available.
At Greg Hocking, we take our responsibility to our landlords seriously. We’re here to help you to protect and improve the value of your investment property, and are committed to providing you with guidance as the effects of these changes to the Residential Tenancies Act become clearer. Please get in touch with your local office if you’d like to chat about what they might mean for you.