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Information on some of the changes that will affect you as a public housing renter.

Renting laws in Victoria have changed. These changes make renting in Victoria safer and fairer for renters and landlords. 

The Residential Tenancies Act 1997 has been updated and the new rental laws began on 29 March 2021.

The reforms apply to all renters in Victoria, however some of the changes are particularly important for Public Housing renters. 

Safety checks

The Director of Housing will complete important safety checks every year to make sure smoke detectors and gas or electrical installations, appliances and fittings are safe. Maintenance contractors or local housing office staff will contact renters to arrange a visit to complete safety checks.

Adding personal touches

It is now going to be easier to make minor modifications. Renters can now add things like picture hooks, wireless doorbells and letterbox locks without getting permission from their local housing office. 

More complex modifications will still need approval from the local housing office. 

Changes to terminology and definitions 

There will be changes to the way people are referred to.

  • ‘Tenants’ will be known as ‘Renters’
  • ‘Landlords’ will be known as ‘Residential Rental Providers’
  • ‘Residential tenancy agreements’ will be known as Residential Rental Agreements’

Definitions for ‘damage and fair wear and tear’, ‘cleanliness’, and ‘urgent’ repairs have been standardised and are available from Consumer Affairs Victoria.

More information on the changes can be found on the Residential Tenancy Changes webpage.