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Victoria Launches Initiative to Ensure Safe and Secure Rental Homes

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The Victorian Government has initiated a campaign to enhance awareness about renters’ rights and the minimum standards for rental properties in Victoria. This move comes as the newly formed renting taskforce begins its efforts to identify and address substandard rental accommodations.

Consumer Affairs Minister Gabrielle Williams, alongside Nicole Rich, Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria, emphasized the obligations of rental providers and the rights of tenants. Their announcement sets the stage for intensified enforcement against violations of rental laws, particularly those concerning the mandated minimum standards for rental properties.

“We are delivering a targeted campaign across Victoria to ensure renters know their rights and rental providers know their legal obligations,” Minister Williams said.

Member for Albert Park, Nina Taylor, echoed this commitment: “We are making sure rental providers do the right thing, and renters know their rights, so every rental property can be called a home.”

The campaign, launched statewide, aims to provide clear and accessible information to rental providers about their responsibilities to ensure safe and secure housing. Renters will also be informed about their entitlements. The initiative will be promoted through various media channels, including prominent real estate websites, over the next few months. Efforts will include translations to reach non-English speaking residents effectively.

Under Victorian law, rental properties must meet specific safety and quality criteria. These include essentials like a functional kitchen, lockable external doors, and adequate structural integrity and weather protection. Failing to comply with these standards before leasing can lead to severe penalties, including fines of up to $11,000 for individuals and $57,000 for corporations.

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Reports of poorly maintained rental properties have been on the rise, with issues related to repairs and maintenance being among the top concerns reported to Consumer Affairs Victoria in the last financial year.

In response to these challenges, the government has committed $4 million to the renting taskforce aimed at targeting landlords who fail to meet legal housing standards. “Every Victorian renter has the right to live in a safe and secure home – that’s why we introduced the minimum standards back in 2021 and it’s why we established the renting taskforce to crack down on rental law breaches,” added Minister Williams.

This initiative is part of broader housing reforms outlined in the Labor Government’s Housing Statement. These reforms include banning rental bidding, limiting rent increases between consecutive fixed-term leases, and extending both the notice period for rent increases and evictions to 90 days.

Additionally, the government plans to set up Rental Dispute Resolution Victoria and introduce a Rental Stress Support Package to aid tenants facing financial difficulties.

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