Victoria’s ‘landmark’ rental reforms pass Parliament in win for tenants

Victorian renters will enjoy the strongest protections in the country from July 2020, after the Andrews government’s highly-anticipated rental reforms passed Parliament late on Thursday night.

The rest of the country will be watching Victoria to see how implementing the laws over the next two years will play out, Swinburne University associate professor Wendy Stone said.

The next two years were shaping up to be a messy implementation period, because investors were already less than thrilled with the news.

“Property Investment Professionals of Australia are surprised by the urgency of the Andrews government to rush through this legislation,” chairman Ben Kingsley said. “We can’t help but feel it’s more political than suitable for the rental market.”

“These changes will only make the tenancy selection process more rigorous because all of the power lies with the renter,” said Mr Kingsley. “The net result is it’s going to be more expensive for renters to rent in Victoria.”

The changes to the laws were first promised during the Northcote by-election and the bill’s passing has paved the way for a suite of new tenant’s rights, including controversial rules allowing pets by default and allowing for modifications that do not require a landlord’s consent.

“We said we’d make renting fair, and that’s what we’re delivering,” consumer affairs minister Marlene Kairouz said on Friday.

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