Published: August 2023

Parliament inquiry into rental housing

Tenants Victoria gives evidence on challenges for renters

Today, close to 30% of Victorian households – around 2 million people – rent, with nearly 90% of all tenants relying on the competitive private rental market to find their homes. Many are renting for longer, or renting for life.

Victoria has some of the better rental laws in Australia – in March 2021 over 130 reforms to the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 were implemented, such as introducing a range of ‘minimum standards’. These standards include requirements for a rented home to have a fixed heater, ventilation which meets the Building Code of Australia, and a working cooktop.

Yet while renting is commonplace, life as a renter remains hard for too many Victorians amid record low vacancy rates. Unaffordable rent increases, late or no repairs, and chronic delays at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT)  to resolve disputes means that rental law reforms are an unfinished project in our state.

Tenants Victoria has recently made 15 recommendations in a submission to the Victorian Parliament Inquiry into the Rental and Housing Affordability Crisis in Victoria to improve the rental housing system.  Read our submission to the inquiry.

Our CEO Jennifer Beveridge, along with our Director of Community Engagement Farah Farouque and Director of Client Services Amy Frew, were also invited by the Legislative Council’s Legal and Social Issues Committee to give evidence in person – and there we shared a shocking story of a tenant left without electricity for 9 weeks.

Watch the hearing:

 

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