MORE than 130 reforms for renters have been put in place under a new law called Residential Tenancies Amendment Act and 2021 Regulations.
Wes Davidson Real Estates' director, Wes Davidson, said he believed the changes are primarily fair and reasonable.
"Like anything, those who know the facts and comply with the rules will be fine," he said.
"Landlords who have not maintained their properties well may get a shock at the new compliance laws for properties. These include minimum standards for locks, electrical items, heating and cooling, bathrooms, lighting, structural conditions, sanitation, and mould just to name a few."
He said another impact of the reforms is rent.
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"Rents can only be increased once every twelve months, and the ability to terminate a periodic lease for no reason on 120 days notice has been abolished," he said.
"On the flip side, tenants who repeatedly become late with their rent will be subject to a "five strikes, and you are out" rule."
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The reforms include a continuation of coronavirus emergency measures, preventing renters from unjustifiable evictions.
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal can only issue possession orders if it is reasonable and proportionate to do so, meaning rental providers will need to give a valid reason to end rental agreements.
The reforms also address late or non-payment of rent, giving rental providers more certainty.
Rental providers will also see the benefit of these new laws with stronger accountability for renters, clearer obligations, and modern regulation and processes.
Mr Davidson said the reforms are catching up to existing laws.
"Essentially the new rules and regulations align residential tenancy law more to current commercial and consumer law that is in place," he said.
However, Mr Davidson did raise concerns that many landlords will struggle with the reforms.
"The landlords are the hardest hit by the new laws by far, and I suspect many landlords will struggle with meeting compliance. It will come at a cost, and inevitably that cost will flow onto the tenants," he said.
"Some landlords may sell, and with the current low-interest rates that will probably be to first home buyers, thereby reducing the already limited availability of rental housing supply.
"It seems to me that the State Government is more concerned about the tenants than the landlords, yet the landlords are the ones paying property taxes and taking the risks to provide accommodation for those that cannot, or choose to not invest in property."
The rent reforms affect private rentals, caravan parks, rooming houses, and residential parks.
For more information, visit consumer.vic.gov.au/rentrules.