Compliance Corner with Simon Kinsey | April 2021

New Victorian Legislation Changes

New Victorian renting rules came into effect on 29th March 2021, this post provides an overview of the main rules and actions that Yabonza are taking to ensure all properties are compliant. Please note, Landlords and Tenants have been amended as part of the changes to Rental Providers and Renters.

The new rental rules are aimed to create a fairer, safer system for all Victorians by helping to clarify the rights and responsibilities of both Renters and Rental Providers, from before the rental agreement is signed, to after the tenancy agreement ends.

The new laws include minimum rental property standards and allow renters to make simple modifications without seeking permission. Rental Providers benefit, too, from clearer accountabilities for Renters, clearer obligations, modern regulations and processes.

As part of the changes there are also updates to standard tenancy agreements, condition reports and notices that are used by Renters and Rental Providers.

Notable reforms include:

Renters can no longer be evicted for no reason – a valid reason is required, including: a sale, change of use, or if the owner is moving back in

• Rental minimum standards are changing, including renters’ rights around heating, door and window locks in the rental property

Rental Providers have a duty to ensure their rental property meets the rental minimum standards including basic standards of cleanliness, security and privacy. These are the things most people would reasonably expect in a rental property - and most already have them. These apply in all new rental agreements after 29 March 2021

• If a rental is not up to minimum standards, renters can request an urgent repair

• Some rental minimum standards have been delayed to give Rental Providers more time to prepare - these include standards for window coverings, electrical safety, and energy efficient heaters

•Rent can only be increased once a year

• It is unlawful to discriminate against renters based on their personal attributes, such as age, race, religion or disability

• Pets cannot be unreasonably refused, although renters must still ask for permission

• A Renter can be evicted if they are violent or threatening towards a rental provider, agent or neighbour

Renters experiencing family violence will be able to change or terminate their rental agreement and not be held liable for damages in some circumstances, by applying to VCAT

• More things are now considered an urgent repair, such as a broken cooling appliance, a functioning smoke alarm, pest infestation, mould and meeting the rental minimum standards

Rental Providers are responsible for conducting gas and electricity checks every two years for all new rental agreements after 29 March 2021

• There is a staged requirement for rented properties to have an energy efficient heater so renters can stay warm without worrying about their electricity bills

The full list of rental reforms is available at: consumer.vic.gov.au

How yabonza is adapting to the new changes

As a proptech business, building the future of home experiences, a lot of changes have been rolled out by our software providers to meet these changes.

Forms and Templates

The forms and templates used at yabonza for rental agreements, condition reports and notices such as for breaches and evictions are sourced from industry leading software providers.

All of the Forms and Templates provided by our suppliers have been updated with the applicable changes and were rolled out on 29th March.

Rental minimum standards

One of the most significant changes is a requirement for all rental properties to meet minimum rental standards.

This ensures the Renters have a safe place to live and benefits Rental Providers as the happier a tenant is at a property, the longer they are likely to stay.

The rental minimum standards are a list of questions that include a number of questions that were already included in the Yabonza agency agreement. The list of answers to these questions must be provided to the applicant before they enter into a new residential tenancy agreement.The systems we are using as part of the application process have already been updated to ensure the tenant will get this list when they first apply.

Preparing Victorian Rental Providers

To ensure we have all of this information at hand for when your property next goes on the rental market, we are going to send out the list of questions to all our Victorian Rental Providers. The email will have a link to an online form which just requires you to click yes or no. This information will then be stored and ready for when the property next comes on the market. We will be in contact soon to kick off this update.

Cheers,

Simon

Simon Kinsey 
Head of Compliance
Yabonza Smart Property Management
simon@yabonza.com

SiKinsey

 

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