How The Residential Tenancies Reform Act Affect Landlords: What you need to know

//How The Residential Tenancies Reform Act Affect Landlords: What you need to know

How The Residential Tenancies Reform Act Affect Landlords: What you need to know

Hundreds of new significant revisions to rental and property management law were enacted in March of this year, resulting in a slew of changes for landlords, tenants, and property management businesses alike.

Fortunately for our landlords, our team at Marker Realty and our director, Kazween Marker, has spent a substantial amount of time learning about these new rules and ensuring that our team is up to date.

So, what are the notable changes for landlords, and how will they change the way your property is managed?

What do the reforms mean for landlords and residential property investors?

With 132 amendments, it goes without saying The Residential Tenancies Reform Act 2018 will have a significant impact on landlords.
The new laws create a wide range of changes that change every single facet of renting in Victoria.

This includes:
  • Starting or entering a lease
  • Living in a rental property
  • Leaving a rental property
  • Repairs and modifications to a property
  • Property conditions
Six major amendments that affect landlords

Minimum Standards

Rental providers (landlords) must verify that their rental property fulfils basic rental standards in terms of amenity, protection, and privacy before a renter moves in, and condition monitoring is needed regardless of whether a bond is taken.

If the rental property does not satisfy the basic rental standards, the renter may either cancel the rental agreement before moving in or seek an urgent repair at any time after moving in.

Rental property owners now have a legal duty to guarantee that their rental property satisfies the new legislation’s rental minimum criteria, covering a wide range of aspects at the property, including:

  • door locks
  • ventilation
  • vermin-proof bins
  • toilets
  • structural soundness

The above is a very limited selection of aspects of a property now subject to minimum standards.

Consumer Affairs has handy rental minimum standards guide which will help you navigate what these changes are.

At Marker Realty, we have been working with our landlords to ensure that the properties we manage meet the minimum standards.

Gas and Electrical Safety Checks

Renters and rental providers must comply with the rental agreement’s safety requirements. They will need to guarantee that the activity is carried out by a qualified person if necessary.

Property managers are required to retain and produce records of gas and electrical safety inspections performed on the property.

The requirements are:

  • gas and electricity safety checks are conducted every two years, and
  • if an electrical or gas safety check has not been conducted within the last 2 years at the time the renter occupies the premises, the rental provider must arrange an electrical safety check as soon as possible

A record of the safety checks must be kept.

At Marker Realty, we keep record of the latest checks conducted on our properties and ensure our landlords are given plenty of notice when a new check needs to be arranged.

Material Facts

Landlords must now disclose a range of important information about the property before a lease can be signed.

These include things like disclosing if the property:

  • is on the market for sale
  • is being repossessed
  • information about embedded energy networks at the property

Changes to the Property

Renters can make some changes to their houses without the landlord’s permission under the new renting regulations. Renters will need the permission of their rental company to make additional changes. Unless otherwise negotiated with the rental provider, any alterations must be reverted at the conclusion of the rental agreement.

Some of the changes that can be made without landlord consent include:

  • picture hooks
  • wall anchoring devices
  • child safety gates
  • security lights and cameras

There are also changes that a renter must request but that a landlord must have a reasonable reason to refuse, such as:

  • Painting of the premises
  • Installation of a dishwasher
  • Pet doors

Consumer Affairs has provided an extensive list that all landlords should familiarise themselves with.

Unless both parties have agreed differently, the renter must reverse the changes (reasonable wear and tear excepted) or pay the rental provider for the expense of reversing them before the end of the rental agreement.

At Marker Realty, we provide expert guidance to our landlords when tenants make such requests.

Release of the Bond

Without the approval of the rental provider, renters can petition to the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA) to have all or part of their bond freed.

This effectively means that the RTBA could release all or a portion of the bond to a tenant without the landlord’s permission.

Notice to Vacate

Rental providers (landlords) are not allowed to give tenants a notice to depart for no apparent cause. Rental providers must offer a valid cause for terminating a rented agreement, such as the sale, change of use, or demolition of the rental property, or the leased provider moving back into the rental property.

In some instances, such as when they require special or personal care, have received specific notifications to leave, require temporary crisis housing, or have been accepted into social housing, renters can provide 14 days’ notice of intent to evacuate without incurring lease break costs.

Overwhelmed? Landlords, Marker Realty has your back

If you are a landlord in Melbourne and feel overwhelmed or confused by all these changes, never fear, Marker Realty is here.

North, south, east, or west, if you think of property, leave it to Marker Realty.

We exclusively focus on property management, meaning our property management services are not an afterthought.

They are our only thought.

That means we are completely across the new legislation and ready to support you and your rights.

Contact us today to have a chat about your property portfolio.

By |2021-09-07T04:09:41+00:00September 7th, 2021|News|0 Comments

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