Quick guide to the Residential Tenancies Regulation Review

If you live in rental housing, this is a great time to tell the government about your needs as an older tenant.

The Victorian Government is collecting feedback on the Residential Tenancies Regulations, and has published a draft set of regulations.  

You can see a copy at http://engage.vic.gov.au/rentingregulations. (Warning: the Regulatory Impact Statement is about 200 pages long!)

The Regulations cover a wide range of issues, but we think there is one that is particularly important for HAAG members:

Minimum standards for rental properties

The Regulations will list minimum standards for rental properties, including things like a working stove and toilet, locking doors and windows, and a council bin. It will also require landlords to provide a heater in the main living space, but there is no requirement that they install insulation, and nothing about cooling. We are worried that without insulation, compulsory heaters will do nothing to reduce utility bills for tenants – while landlords who have to install heaters may pass on the cost by increasing the rent.

HAAG will make a formal submission, but the government also needs to hear from average renters. Do you want or need a heater? Do you want or need insulation? What about cooling? How might changes to your rent and/or power bill effect you?

Other issues:

The Review also covers many other issues, including:
•    What modifications should older renters be able to make without asking the landlord? What should the landlord not be able to unreasonably refuse?
•    What should agents have to tell tenants when they apply for a property?
•    What should agents be banned from asking tenants when they apply?
•    What safety-related activities (if any) should tenants be responsible for and what should landlords be responsible for – i.e., changing smoke alarm batteries?

How to make a submission:

You make a submission by writing down your opinion and concerns in your own words. You don’t need any special training or skills to express your views! Public submissions about the Regulations are due by December 18th and can be lodged online at http://engage.vic.gov.au/rentingregulations or emailed to rvreview@justice.vic.gov.au.

Don’t want to write a submission, but want to have a say?

If you don’t want to write a submission but would still like your perspective included, please speak to Shane, Fiona or Chris from HAAG’s Retirement team by calling 9654 7389. We would love to know what you think we should include in our submissions to the review.

Want to stay involved?

The Retirement Accommodation Action Group (RAAG) meets monthly to discuss issues concerning retirement housing, and ways to work together for change.  Contact Fiona Waters fiona.waters@oldertenants.org.au or call 9654 7389.