Need To Know: July 2019 Changes to the Residential Tenancies Act

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1: Rent Increases Limited To Once Per Year

The first change to the RTA applies to all tenancy agreements (fixed-term and periodic) that are entered into on or after 19 June 2019. The new agreement stipulates that rent can only be increased once every twelve months, rather than at six-monthly intervals.

Additionally, rent must not be increased before the end of a fixed-term tenancy agreement, unless the terms of the agreement allow for this. 

If you entered a tenancy agreement prior to 19 June 2019, six-monthly increases will remain possible if your lease is an existing fixed-term tenancy agreement of less than five years or is an existing periodic (month-by-month) tenancy agreement. 

Looking to learn more about the changes to timing of rental increases? Landlords, tenants and property managers can find all the information and latest updates on the Consumer Affairs Victoria website.

2: Renting Guide To Be Delivered Electronically

From 19 June 2019, landlords and agents are able to provide ‘Renting A Home: A Guide For Tenants’ in electronic form. This guide details a tenant’s rights and responsibilities when renting a home in Victoria. Under section 66 of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997, landlords and agents must provide a tenant this guide on, or before the day they move in. However, tenants will have to provide consent to receive information electronically.

To provide consent, a tenant can complete one of the below steps:

If a tenant has not completed these steps of consent, the landlord or property manager must provide the tenant a printed copy of the guide.

Watch this Space

While these RTA changes are the most recent to be implemented, more than 130 reforms to the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 were passed in the Victorian Parliament in 2018. The changes above were selected for early implementation with the remaining reforms come into place by 1 July 2020. 

To best prepare for these changes, the team at Metro Property Management encourage you remain engaged with Consumer Victoria’s dedicated Changes To Renting Laws website, as this resource will be updated progressively.

At Metro Property Management, our expert team aim to ensure your leasing experience is a breeze. We’ll always inform you of any changes you should be aware of and how they may impact upon your tenancy or experience as a landlord. Proudly serving over 260 Melbourne suburbs and counting – learn more about our unique property management services today.