New Residential Tenancies Regulations 2021

26 February 2021

The residential tenancy landscape in Victoria is changing rapidly, and it’s not just because of

The much awaited Residential Tenancies Regulations 2021 have been finalised following a public consultation process undertaken by the Department of Justice and Community Safety which occurred in late 2019, and as a result of which over 700 written submissions came in from various interest groups all over Victoria. Embodied within the proposed Regulations are over 130 reforms to rental housing, mostly designed to increase protection for tenants (now known as “Renters”) generally, while further defining the obligations of landlords of residential tenancies (now known as “Rental Providers”).

The following changes will be of significance to anyone looking to enter into rental agreements in Victoria:

  • Rental providers are under a legal obligation to disclose a range of information prescribed by the Regulations to prospective renters (i.e. tenants) before entering into any rental agreement - for instance, details of any embedded network operator and dates of the most recent gas safety check, electrical safety check, and pool barrier compliance check (as applicable) for the rented premises. Where the rental provider is aware of a homicide occurring at the rented premises or common property during the past 5 years this must also be disclosed;
  • Renters do not have to disclose certain information to prospective rental providers, such as where the renter has been involved in a legal dispute with a previous rental provider and previous rental bond history. A renter also does not need to provide any credit card or bank account statements containing details of daily transactions as part of the rental application process;
  • There is no maximum bond amount (currently one month’s rent) for rental agreements where the rent is more than $900 per week;
  • Renters are allowed to carry out certain modifications to the rented premises without seeking prior approval from rental providers, for example, installation of picture hooks or screws for wall mounts, shelves or brackets on surfaces other than exposed brick or concrete walls, child safety locks on drawers and doors. A full list is available on the Consumer Affairs website;
  • Standard form rental agreements and condition reports for specific types of rental accommodation have been introduced;
  • Renters may arrange for urgent repairs to be done if they have otherwise taken reasonable steps to arrange for the rental provider to attend immediately to these repairs, up to a maximum amount of $2,500;
  • Rental providers must not require renters to arrange professional cleaning at the end of the tenancy unless professional cleaning has first been carried out before the start of the tenancy; and
  • There are prescribed safety-related activities of both renters and rental providers which must be included in a standard rental agreement.

For more information, you may download a copy of the Regulations through the following link:

Although the timeline for introduction of these Regulations was affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic, nonetheless Victorians can now be certain that the new amendments shall come into effect on 29 March 2021.