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Rental reforms to benefit landlords and their tenants

By September 10, 2018 News

Changes will bring much needed reform by removing unnecessary complexity that currently exist in the Australian rental industry. Simple things such as allowing tenants to have pets with written consent from their landlords and the ability to install additional picture hooks in the home that they live in without causing damage to the property just makes sense.

The Victorian Parliament has recently passed the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill 2018, which includes more than 130 reforms designed to increase protections for renters, while ensuring those who provide rental housing can still effectively manage their properties.

Consumer Affairs Victoria will oversee the implementation of the new laws as they progressively come into play; at OurWalls we believe that these changes to be common sense for fair and reasonable landlords.

The Residential Tenancies Act will also outline the requirements for landlords, by clearly detailing the obligations and level of standards that must be maintained with their investment property. These reforms are becoming increasingly important with the increasing number of Australians that are renting. Approximately, one-third of tenants nationally have been continuously renting for over 10 years. The majority who are considered long-term tenants are made up of either older people or families with children.

The short term rental landscape has also changed over the last 5 years with several on-line platforms allowing much higher short term returns for investors, however this can come with its own problems linked to the high turnover of occupants with up to 20% experiencing issues (including upsetting neighbours and damage to property).

These much needed reviews extend on the existing legislation that has been in place since 1997, and a number of the reforms were announced as part of the Government’s ‘Rent Fair’ campaign in October 2017 which included:

  • allowing animals to be kept in rented premises
  • allowing renters to make prescribed minor modifications to a rental property
  • bolstering security of tenure and ending ‘no fault’ evictions by removing the ‘no specified reason’ notice to vacate and restricting the use of ‘end of the fixed-term’ notices to vacate to the end of an initial fixed term agreement
  • establishing a non-compliance register ‘blacklisting’ residential rental providers and agents who fail to meet their obligations
  • providing for the early release of bonds with the consent of both parties to the tenancy agreement
  • restricting solicitation of rental bids by residential rental providers and agents
  • providing for yearly, instead of six-monthly, rent increases
  • providing for faster reimbursement where renters have paid for urgent repairs
  • increasing the number of properties to which the statutory maximum cap of four weeks for bond and rent in advance applies
  • enabling automatic bond repayments, which will be available to a renter within 14 days where the parties are not in dispute
  • requiring mandatory pre-contractual disclosure of material facts, such as an intention to sell the rental property, or known presences of asbestos
  • prohibiting misleading or deceptive conduct inducing a person into renting a property.

As more improvement comes to the growing number of renters here in Australia, our property industry will become more inline with international markets that are simply doing it better than we are today.

At OurWalls we are embracing this changing landscape and presenting better opportunities for landlords and tenants to connect via our state-of-the-art platform.

Find our more today at www.ourwalls.com.au