The Victorian government is making it easier to rent property, especially if you have pets

Photo: John W Grover/Getty Images

Victoria’s Labour government is looking to make renting in the state easier for tenants as more than a quarter of the population now rent their properties.

Premier Daniel Andrews announced a raft of changes to renting in the state, including a crackdown on rental bidding and in a turn of the tables, a “blacklist” of dodgy landlords and estate agents blacklist for renters.

The government also plans to change the Residential Tenancies Act to allow long-term rental agreements of five years or more and a new Commissioner for Residential Tenancies will be introduced to protect the rights of renters.

Tenants with pets will also have greater rights, with landlords only able refuse renters with animals in certain circumstances, while if you want to put up picture hooks, it will be easier to make minor modifications to a property.

Victorian consumer affairs minister Marlene Kairouz said tenants deserved “a fairer deal”.

“More people are renting than ever before and for longer,” she said.

“These changes will crack down on rental bidding, make it easier and faster for renters to get their bond back, and will better hold landlords and agents to account for their actions.”

The government’s changes to rentingwill limit rent increases to once a year and abolish “no specified reason” notices to vacate.

New restrictions will be introduced on ending leases without a reason at the end of a lease when that lease has lasted more than one fixed term.

Bonds will be capped at one month’s rent where the rent is twice the current median weekly rent — currently equivalent to $760 per week or less, and bonds will be released faster at the end of a tenancy. Tenants will be able to apply for the release of their bond without written consent from their landlord, who will have 14 days to raise a dispute before the bond is repaid automatically.

Premier Daniel Andrews says landlord and/or agents will be prohibited from false, misleading, and deceptive claims in an attempt to induce someone to sign a residential tenancy agreement and if the breach is serious enough, tenants will be able to go to Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal to end the tenancy or seek compensation.

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