Hodges Real Estate

Residential Tenancy Act Reforms

October 13, 2017 Uncategorised

NEWS + Hodges

On 8/10/2017, 14 new reforms were announced in relation to the Residential Tenancy Act under the Andrew’s Government. As a valued customer of Hodges Real Estate, we want to inform, and keep you updated with the latest real estate news to ensure you are aware of any implications these latest reforms may have on your current situation. The reviews have been mixed since the news was received. The REIV are extremely concerned these reforms will only leave landlords exposed and tenants paying more, and have since been publicly vocal about their objections. It’s important for both landlords and tenants to be aware of their rights and the position they hold, as it enables them the opportunity to voice their opinion, before the reforms are legalised.

The Key Reforms are as follows:

  • A ban on rental bidding. Agents will now advertise properties using a single price and, along with landlords, will not be able to implore rental bids from potential tenants.
  • Removal of the Notice to Vacate for ‘No Specified Reason’. Landlords are now required to provide a reason to terminate a tenancy.
  • Landlords are now unable to unreasonably refuse consent for pets.
  • Faster tenant compensation for urgent repairs. Landlords are now required to reimburse tenants within 7 days when the tenant is out of pocket, as opposed to the previous 14 days.
  • Automatic bond repayment within a 14-day time window, when a claim hasn’t been lodged.
  • Permitting tenants to more straightforwardly make minor alterations to the property. Examples of minor modifications include fitting picture hooks, air conditioning or reasonable security measures.
  • Rent increases are limited to once every 12 months as opposed to every 6 months.
  • Limiting the use of ‘end of fixed term’ notices to vacate; landlords will need to supply reasons for terminating a tenancy.
  • An updated bond cap and up-front rent cap for most properties.
  • Earlier release of bond money by arrangement prior to the end of a tenancy, this applies where both parties have agreed to a division of the bond.
  • Prohibiting misleading or deceptive representations by landlords prior to a tenancy.
  • Requiring pre-contractual disclosure by landlords of the known presence of asbestos in premises, as well as full disclosure on intention to sell.
  • A new Commissioner for Residential Tenancies.
  • A landlord and estate agent blacklist.

For further information regarding the above please visit http://www.vic.gov.au/rentfair.