New minimum rental standards in Victoria came into effect at the end of March 2021 and all renters are now being encouraged to inspect a property for compliance before signing a rental agreement. Are your rental providers ready?
Significant changes have been made to the state’s renting laws in 2021 with a view to making renting in Victoria both safer and fairer. The standards are divided into 14 categories, covering everything from locks and minimum standards for all wet areas to overall structural soundness, ventilation, lighting and electrical safety. Even the terminology used has changed. Tenants are now to be referred to as ‘renters’, landlords as ‘rental providers’ and the lease as the ‘rental agreement’. However, it is the changes to the laws relating to the property itself, which span the life cycle of a rental agreement, that are the most significant, with all renters encouraged to inspect a property thoroughly before signing the rental agreement.
The 14 categories in brief are:
• Locks (specific types) must be fitted on all external doors for better security.
• Vermin-proof bins to be provided.
• Toilets must be in good working order, connected to a suitable system and positioned in an appropriate room of the house.
• Bathroom must have adequate facilities & be connected to hot and cold water.
• Kitchen must have adequate food prep, cooking and cleaning facilities.
• Laundry (if applicable) must be connected to hot and cold water.
• Structural soundness – the property must be structurally sound and weatherproof.
• Mould and damp – all rooms to be free from mould and damp.
• Electrical safety – new electrical safety standards to come into force from 29 March 2023 to given rental providers time to comply.
• Window coverings – rooms used as bedrooms and living areas must be fitted with closeable window coverings that block light and create privacy from 29 March 2022.
• Windows – all external windows to be lockable and able to be left open or closed.
• Lighting – Access to adequate light must be provided for functionality (exemptions apply to heritage listed homes).
• Ventilation – adequate ventilation must be provided in all rooms, including wet areas.
• Heating – a fixed heater in good working order must be installed in the main living area of the property. If a fixed heater was not installed before 29 March, the rental provider must install a fixed heater that is also energy efficient. Click here for detailed information on the heating standards.
How can you help ensure your rental providers’ properties comply?
Understandably, many rental providers don’t know where to start and don’t have time to organise everything that is necessary to ensure compliance. And as property managers, you may be inundated with enquiries from concerned rental providers and renters. That’s where we come in. At PropertySafe, we’re making compliance management easy with our new Safer Home Evaluation report, offering a simple, smooth pathway to compliance. Specifically designed for Victoria, the inspection (conducted by qualified and insured PropertySafe inspectors) and evaluation report address 13 minimum rental standards, and rental providers have the option to purchase electrical and/or gas safety compliance checks. One inspection to minimise inconvenience to the renter and ensure you get all the requirements in a timely manner.
Imagine how relieved your rental providers and renters will be knowing they are with a progressive team of property managers who are here to help protect the asset, keep renters safe, deliver equity across the board, mitigate risk and make life easier for everyone. To learn more about the Safer Home Evaluation report, including how your rental providers can book an inspection, call us on 1300 350 000.