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A word from our CEO

We can’t deny it – climate change is having an increased and negative impact on renters, including people occupying very hot homes amid the intense periodic heatwaves and the impact of floods experienced late last year. Our houses – and particularly the older rental stock many people occupy – are simply not built to withstand the extreme weather conditions that we see today. In some areas, rental homes are also increasingly vulnerable to natural disasters. 
Recently, the Victorian Government has begun responding to challenging climate scenarios in our state by introducing energy-efficient air conditioning units in public housing homes in the state’s hottest towns across northern Victoria.
There is certainly scope for our policymakers do more to beef up the 'minimum standards' that apply to rented homes, including considering introducing an insulation standard for rentals. We need to explore practical and innovative solutions for the climate challenge that renters face – and it’s more than timely to start exploring these issues in 2023. 

Jennifer Beveridge
CEO, Tenants Victoria

Should I pay my utility bills or my rent first?

Tenants Victoria's recommendation is to pay the rent first. We know bills are mounting at this time of year. If your rent’s overdue, it’s easier to manage outstanding utility bills and arrange payment plans with your gas or electricity provider than to delay in addressing your rent arrears.

Read our latest budget tips for renters.

NBN connection fee: who pays

Comedian and NSW renter Mark Humphries isn’t happy about paying NBN’s $300 connection fee in his new rental because the landlord refused to pay, even though he can’t take the connection with him when he leaves.
Here in Victoria if your rental doesn’t have the NBN you need the landlord’s consent to get it installed, but they pay the installation fee. The landlord cannot unreasonably refuse consent for the connection. If they do you can apply to VCAT which can decide if the consent has been unreasonably refused.

Find out more:
Utility charges - Tenants Victoria
Modifications - Tenants Victoria

Join us: 'Generation rent'

In March, we’re shining a light on the fact that more than half a million households rent their homes in Melbourne.

We're participating in the annual MPavilion series of events where we will spotlight the personal stories of Melbourne renters. Come along and contribute your voice to our interactive 'open mic session', Generation Rent, on March 11. The event, at the Queen Victoria Gardens opposite the National Gallery of Victoria, will be hosted by our Director of Community Engagement, Farah Farouque. She will be joined by journalist Jim Malo, who not only writes about the challenges of renting for The Age but has lived in 12 rented homes to date.

Read more about the event: Generation Rent: Open mic | MPavilion.

Renters have right to challenge rent increases

Even though rents continue to rise in a tight rental market, don’t forget that there are rules here in Victoria about rent increases – and renters in our state have the right to challenge an increase.

Rent cannot be increased at all during a fixed-term lease – unless your written lease includes a rent-increase term. Even if it does, or you rent month to month, the rent cannot be raised more than once every 12 months.

If the landlord wants to increase the rent, they must give you at least 60 days’ written notice. You have the right to challenge a rent increase through Consumer Affairs Victoria if you think it’s too high.

Find out more on our website.

If your rent has increased recently, we also encourage you to tell us – sharing details of your story helps our advocacy work to improve rental laws and secure better support for Victorian renters.

Share your story via our story channel.

Training team supports international students

Over January and December Tenants Victoria helped newly arrived postgraduate students at the University of Melbourne learn about rental rights and responsibilities. The postgraduate students, from developing nations, are here through the Federal Government’s Australia Awards scholarship program to advance their studies in fields related to development goals in their home countries. 

Our training experts, including lawyer Ben Cording (pictured above in full flight), delivered highly practical training –- online and in person – about renting in Victoria. 

Are you part of an organisation that would benefit from one of our training sessions on rental rights? Please contact our training team at

Rental reform 

In case you missed it, we've identified three policy priorities for the Victorian Government to further improve the position of renters. 

We have some of the most progressive rental laws in the nation. But there is scope for reform, including a ‘fairness formula’ to regulate future rent increases in the capricious private rental market. We say key changes should include: 

  • Take action on rent increases
  • Invest in legal help for renters
  • Back alternative dispute resolution pathways

Read more about our top 3 priorities.

The renter and the locked room 

Have you ever had a door in a rental home that you weren’t allowed to open?

Watch our recent Facebook video where we answer an intriguing question from a renter who had a locked room under a staircase in their rental – and, no, Harry Potter wasn’t sleeping there! 🧙‍♀️

Watch the video here.

Renters in the news

As the rental crisis continues, January was a busy media month for Tenants Victoria. CEO Jennifer Beveridge featured in the Herald Sun and The Age and our Director of Client Services Agata Wierzbowski in the Daily Mail. Meanwhile, our Director of Community Engagement Farah Farouque appeared on Weekend Sunrise with renter advocates from NSW and Qld. Read the ABC online article focusing on Melbourne, to which we also contributed, exploring ‘rental bidding’.


Rental showdown on 3AW

Catch up with the recent, lively interview featuring Tenants Victoria’s community education lawyer Ben Cording who set a flummoxed 3AW radio host Tom Elliott straight on some pretty basic rental rules.

We think the verdict is clear: Tenants Victoria 1 v Tom Elliott 0.

Listen to the interview. 

Contact us

Visit our website to find answers to many questions – it’s a free community resource for renters.

Our client services team answers renters’ questions via phone and email.

Our phone advice line is open on weekdays, 9.30am-1.30pm. Get in touch via our Contact us page – we will respond as soon as possible. We thank everyone for their patience as we are experiencing very high demand.

Tenants Victoria
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