Brimbank’s rent numbers surge

The state government is considering implementing fairer rental laws for tenants and landlords.

By Goya Dmytryshchak
and Ewen McRae

Renting household numbers are growing faster than owner-occupiers in Brimbank, according to the latest Census, as tenant and landlord bodies tussle over a review of renting laws.

The state government is reviewing the Residential Tenancies Act, with possible changes including restricting rent rises to once a year and banning no-pet clauses.

Between 2006 to 2016, the number of renting households in Brimbank rose by 5218 to 16,016, a 48 per cent increase in renters. In the same period, owner-occupiers rose by 1348 to 21,054.

Brimbank is still below the state average for renting at 26 per cent, compared with
28.7 per cent statewide and 30.9 per cent nationally.

Tenants Union of Victoria chief executive Mark O’Brien said protections for renters should be strengthened.

The union opposes bans on pets and tenants being evicted for repeated late rent and supports tenants being able to make modifications without landlord consent.

“The existing bond that tenants pay also covers damage caused by pets,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The Tenants Union of Victoria believes existing penalties for late rent are sufficient and that evicting people for being as little as one day late with payments would be unfair.

“Tenants should be able to make minor non-structural changes to their homes without a landlord’s permission.”

Real Estate Institute of Victoria chief executive Gil King said given the damage
pets could cause, landlords should have the right to consent to pets and charge a pet

He said it was imperative property owners retained the right to terminate a lease agreement for rent in arrears and the REIV strongly opposed tenants making property modifications without consent.