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Victorian rental laws are changing

More than 130 reforms to Victoria’s renting laws will come into effect by 1 July 2020.

The reforms will increase protections for renters but still ensure rental providers (landlords) can effectively manage their properties.

Spotlight on notice to vacate

Under current law, a rental provider can issue a notice to vacate without providing a reason. The notice period is 120 days for rental agreements of up to five years.

From 1 July 2020, a rental provider must provide a valid reason to end a rental agreement (lease). They cannot issue a ‘no specified reason’ notice to vacate.

Examples of valid reasons include selling the property, change of use or demolition of the premises, and a rental provider moving back into the premises. 

A rental provider can give a notice to vacate if the renter or any other person occupying the premises has seriously threatened or intimidated: 

  • the rental provider or their agent, or 
  • contractors or employees of the rental provider or their agent. 

A rental provider may also give a notice to vacate if:

  • VCAT has excluded a pet from the rental premise, and 
  • the renter has failed to comply with the VCAT order within 14 days.

Reminder: rent increases limited to once every 12 months

For rental providers and renters who are renewing their rental agreement or signing a new one, rent increases are limited to once every 12 months. Prior to 19 June 2019,  rental providers could increase the rent every six months. 

At least 60 days’ notice for any rent increase must be given, using the appropriate form. 
Rental providers or agents must not increase the rent before the end of a fixed-term lease, unless the terms of the agreement allow for this.

From 1 July 2020, this change will also apply to caravan parks, residential parks and rooming houses.

You can keep up-to-date with these changes by visiting Consumer Affairs Victoria's Renting laws are changing page.