New rental laws

Victoria’s rental laws for residential properties changed in March 2021. Read about what the changes mean for renters and how they might affect you before, during and after your tenancy.

Laws for renters of properties

The information on this page is about changes to Victoria’s Residential Tenancies Act 1997 for people who rent residential properties.

It does not cover people who live in rooming houses, caravan or ‘part 4A’ parks or specialist disability accommodation.

Also see the Victorian Government’s information on the new laws on the Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) website.

Government information

Before you rent

New laws affect renting at the start of a tenancy:

  • Rent bidding is banned
  • There are restrictions on what you can be asked – for example renters cannot be asked about their bond history
  • Renters must be given information about unlawful discrimination
  • Renters must be given information about the property to help them decide whether to apply, such as whether the rental provider (landlord) intends to sell it
  • Minimum standards have been introduced, which include the rental having a fixed heater and curtains and blinds in bedrooms and living rooms
  • There are new bond limits. The rental provider cannot ask you to pay a bond worth more than one month’s rent if your rent is $900, or less, a week.
  • New standard rental agreements (leases) have been introduced
  • There is a new form for condition reports that requires rental providers to give renters more information

Find out more on our Starting your tenancy pages.

While you rent

Here are some of the changes in new laws in effect from March 2021 that affect renters during their tenancy:

  • Renters must be given a ‘fee free’ way to pay their rent, including by EFT or, for renters receiving Centrelink payments, via Centrepay
  • Renters can make some modifications to their homes
  • Broken air conditioners and mould and damp issues are now treated as urgent repairs
  • The notice period that agents or rental providers must give renters before sales inspections has been increased
  • Agents or rental providers must pay renters compensation for sales inspections

Find out more on our During your tenancy and Common problems pages.

End of the tenancy

The new rental laws also include changes at the end of a tenancy:

  • Rental providers giving renters a notice to vacate must now provide evidence in some circumstances.
  • Changes to notices to vacate for overdue rent (rent arrears), will result in some notices not being valid if the overdue rent is paid before the termination date
  • For evictions, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) must consider if it is ‘reasonable and proportionate’ that a renter be evicted before they can make an order allowing this.
  • The claims process to get a bond back has changed, including that renters can make a bond claim direct to the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA).

Information on these and other topics is on our Ending your tenancy

Related pages

Also see these pages on our website for detailed information about some common issues for renters.

Bonds – Tenants Victoria
Repairs and maintenance – Tenants Victoria
Minimum standards – Tenants Victoria
Overdue rent – Tenants Victoria
Notice to vacate – Tenants Victoria

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