‘Pain ahead’ for mum-and-dad investors


Goya Dmytryshchak

The Real Estate Institute of Victoria says there will be “pain ahead” for mum-and-dad investors when new rental laws take effect from Wednesday, while the state’s peak body for renters says they will provide a safety net.

Changes to the Residential Tenancy Act include new rental minimum standards, such as working facilities, a three-star showerhead, energy-efficient fixed heater, window coverings and electrical safety switches.

Gas appliance and electrical safety checks are required every two years.

Renters can now make minor modifications without the rental provider’s consent, such as picture hooks or screws and child safety locks and gates.

There are other modifications which a rental provider can’t unreasonably refuse, such as painting the premises, installing security systems and flyscreens.

REIV president Leah Calnan said there would be increased costs and obligations for owners.

“While the Victorian property market is hot, there will be pain ahead for mum-and-dad investors with changes to the Residential Tenancy Act now coming into effect,” he said.

“It’s critical for Victorians to understand the sweeping changes to the Residential Tenancies Act.

“The REIV is here to help landlords and real estate professionals understand and implement the changes.

“The REIV is rolling out One Touch signing technology across all REIV forms, including the Rental Tenancies Act.”

Tenants Victoria chief executive Jennifer Beveridge said the new laws ensured tenants would be looked after.

“Two million people in Victoria live in rented homes,” she said.

“We shouldn’t be treating them as ‘second-class’.

“The new laws, passed in 2018, are about putting in place a safety net for everybody rather than just those who have the money or the luck to have a landlord who looks after them.

“For example, the law introduces basics, such as ensuring hot and cold water is available from now on when a renter moves into a new place.

“Over time, this minimum standard will apply to all rented homes in Victoria.”