This information is a guide and should not be used as a substitute for professional legal advice.

Minimum standards

Rental providers (landlords) now have a duty to rent out properties that meet basic minimum standards to renters who move into new properties from 29 March 2021. After that date renters who move into a home that does not meet all the standards have new rights.

What the law says

From 29 March 2021, the rental provider must:

  • Make sure your home complies with the rental minimum standards on or before the day you get the keys [section 65A]
  • Make sure your home continues to comply with the rental minimum standards throughout the lease agreement

If your home does not comply with the minimum standards you have a right to:

  • End the agreement if you have not moved in. That is, you have not stayed at the property, even if you have already moved your belongings in
  • Or request urgent repairs [section 65A]. For more information see our page Repairs and maintenance

The rental provider must carry out urgent repairs for anything that does not comply.

Note that on this page sections in brackets, such as [section 65A], refer to sections in Victoria’s Residential Tenancies Act 1997.

Exceptions – heritage listed properties

If a property is heritage listed the rental provider may not have to meet some of the minimum standards. Heritage listing is one of the things you must be told before you rent the property – see our page Applying for a private rental property. Various exceptions for heritage listed properties are set out in the minimum standards below.

Rooming houses and caravan parks

The minimum standards do not apply to rooming houses, caravans, caravan parks or ‘Part 4’ sites. Rooming house minimum standards can be found on Consumer Affairs Victoria’s website.

Rooming house standards

The minimum standards

Some minimum standards will have a delayed start, but most will apply if a renter moves into a property from 29 March, 2021.

Properties that already have renters in them before 29 March, 2021 do not need to meet the minimum standards. However, if those renters move out, rental providers must make sure the property meets the minimum standards before renting to another person.

Locks

All external entry doors, other than screen doors, that are not able to be secured with a functioning deadlock must be fitted with a lock that is operated by a key from the outside.

Exceptions are:

  • Heritage listed properties where the request for permission to change locks has been refused
  • Public lobby doors which open onto common property

Bins

A rubbish bin and a recycling bin must be supplied which are:

  • Provided by the local council, or
  • Vermin proof and compatible with local council collection

Toilets

Your home must have a toilet and it must be:

  • In good working order and connected to an appropriate sewerage/wastewater treatment system
  • In a room or separate enclosed structure that is intended to be used as a toilet area, whether separately or as part of the bathroom or laundry

Bathrooms

Your home must have a bathroom and it must:

  • Be connected to a reasonable supply of cold and hot water
  • Have a washbasin
  • Have a shower or a bath

If there is a shower, the shower head must have a 3-star water efficiency rating unless one:

  • Cannot be installed, or
  • Would not work effectively due to the age, nature, or structure of the plumbing

If a 3-star rated shower head cannot be installed, one with a lower star-rating can be installed.

Kitchens

Your home must have a dedicated area for cooking and food preparation that has:

  • A sink in good working order that is connected to a reasonable supply of hot and cold water
  • A cooktop in good working order with 2 or more burners

If there is an oven, it must be in good working order.

Heritage exception

There is an exception for heritage listed properties where the request for a permit to make the required changes has been refused.

Laundry

If laundry facilities are present, they must be connected to a reasonable supply of hot and cold water.

Structural soundness

Your home must be both structurally sound and weatherproof.

Mould and dampness

Each room in your home must be free from mould and damp caused by, or related to, the building structure.

We offers support and assistance for mould issues in rental properties through our mould advice service. An income test and other eligibility requirements apply. Find out more on our Mould advice service page.

Electrical safety – standard does not start until 2023

This minimum standard only applies to renters who move into new properties from 29 March 2023.

By 29 March 2023, any property offered for rent must have all power outlets and lighting circuits connected to a circuit breaker and a residual current device that complies with Australian standards.

Window coverings – standard does not start until 2022

This minimum standard for window coverings only applies to renters who move into new properties from 29 March 2022.

By that date, any property offered for rent must have curtains or blinds fitted to each window in any room that is likely to be used as a bedroom or living area.

The curtain or blind must:

  • Be able to be opened and closed
  • Reasonably block light
  • Provide reasonable privacy

Windows

All external windows capable of opening must:

  • Be able to be set in a closed or open position
  • Have functioning latches to secure them against external entry

Lighting

Interior rooms, corridors and hallways are to have access to sufficient light, whether natural or artificial, appropriate to the function or use of those rooms.

All habitable rooms must have access to sufficient natural light during daylight hours and sufficient artificial light during non-daylight hours.

Heritage exception

There is an exception for heritage listed properties where the request for a permit to make the required changes has been refused.

Ventilation

All habitable rooms, bathrooms, shower rooms, toilets, and laundries must have ventilation which meets the Building Code of Australia ventilation standards.

Heating

Minimum standard from 29 March 2021

The main living room of your home must have a fixed heater that is in good working order – that is, not a portable heater. An existing fixed heater is not required to be energy efficient.

If there was no fixed heater in the main living room and one needs to be installed to meet this standard, it must be energy efficient. However, for class 2 buildings, such as an apartment building, the heater does not need to be energy efficient if it would be unreasonable to install such a fixed heater.

Minimum standard from 29 March 2023

From 29 March 2023 any property being offered for rent must have a fixed heater that is energy efficient in good working order installed in the main living area of the home. However, for class 2 buildings, such as an apartment building, the heater does not need to be energy efficient if it would be unreasonable to install such a fixed heater.

Energy efficient heaters

An energy efficient heater is:

  • A non-ducted air conditioner or heat pump with at least a 2-star energy rating
  • A gas space heater with at least a 2-star energy rating
  • Ducted/hydronic heating with an outlet in the main living area
  • A domestic solid-fuel burning appliance

Resources

Related pages

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