LANDLORDS will be able to deter tenants having pets, despite new legislation aimed at strengthening tenant rights.
The Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill 2018 was passed through parliament last week.
The legislation changes included are seen as helping reduce the cost of living pressure on families by limiting rental increases to one a year and a crack down on unfair rental price advertising and soliciting rental bids.
Rental properties are required to meet minimum health, safety and energy efficiency standards and landlords would be required to fix damp, mould and air conditioning as urgent repairs.
There would also be new provisions to protect survivors of family violence.
Western Victoria Upper House member James Purcell said it was important to balance the rights between the landlords and tenants.
"It was a tough bill, one where we needed to get the balance right,” he said.
"There are some issues with landlords not treating tenants right and some issues with tenants not treating landlords right.
"This is as good a balance as we're going to get. There are still issues around tenants and pets."
Mr Purcell said tenants now had the right to have pets, but landlords could increase bonds.
Landlords can also appeal to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal within 21 days of being told a tenant had pets but have to provide specific reasons to object.
Harcourts Horsham principal director Mark Clyne said the rental reforms passed in parliament merely reinforced current standards.
“It has just reinforced the laws that were already there,” he said. “Tenants will still have to obtain consent for pets and alterations to the property such as changing the wall colour.
“There are landlords who are happy to have tenants with pets just as long as they abide by the rules and the animal does not damage the property.”
Mr Clyne said he has noticed a division among landlords about the changes. However, he said good landlords should not have concerns.
“The good landlords are not phased by these laws whatsoever, but the landlords with properties that are not up to standard will have concerns,” he said.
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