Wellways was involved in the recently successful campaign calling for Victorian renters to get a better deal. New laws were finally passed in state parliament last week allowing 1.5 million tenants to make minor changes to a property and have pets, among other advances.

The Make Renting Fair campaign lasted more than two years and called on the government to approve the new laws before moving into caretaker mode for a November election. It came down to the wire, with the new laws passing just one week before the deadline.

Consumer Affairs Minister Marlene Kairouz said the laws were “the biggest reforms to renting in Victoria’s history and are about ensuring everyone who rents has a safe and secure home to call their own.”

While accepting the laws were out of date, the Real Estate Institute of Victoria opposed the changes as being “not fair for investors, property owners and landlords”, REIV President Richard Simpson said.

“The (laws) will deliver an unfair, unworkable and impractical system which would rob landlords of their right to consent to what goes on in their properties, burden them with unrealistic expenses to upgrade appliances and could mean they are not paid their rental on time for four out of every 12 months without any recourse.”

The new laws, which won’t come into effect until 2020, include:

  • Minimum health, safety and efficiency standards 
  • Abolishing ‘no reason’ notices to vacate
  • Limiting end of fixed-term lease evictions
  • The right for tenants to make fair modifications
  • The right for tenants to have pets
  • Ensuring existing safeguards against unfair eviction for vulnerable tenants are maintained
  • Strengthening privacy protections for tenants.