The Victorian Government is currently considering changes to the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA); the law that set out the rights and responsibilities of Victoria’s landlords and tenants.
The RTA review is called Fairer Safer Housing – an apt name given that the private rental market isn’t all that fair or safe, especially for those on low incomes or experiencing mental illness or family violence. The review process is an opportunity to strengthen tenants’ rights and protections, but with landlord lobbyists already pressuring government, there is fear that the review could further weaken tenancy protections.
The recent study ‘UNSETTLED: Life in Australia’s private rental market’ by Choice, National Shelter and the National Association of Tenants Organisations highlights just how bad the situation now is for renters.
Some options on the table, like more stringent minimum standards and incentives for landlords to make repairs more quickly would make the rental market fairer and safer, and we’re encouraging the government to approve them.
But the bad news is that many proposed changes would give landlords increased (and excessive) powers, leading to an immediate increase in homelessness and insecurity for tenants.
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