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Word from our CEO

Taking stock over the past financial year, we directly helped over 10,000 Victorian renters with their tenancy problems. Hundreds of thousands more sought information from our helpful website that serves as something of a renting encyclopaedia. These are solid achievements for us in another pandemic year. However, in the social and economic context of more and more Victorians renting their homes, our service faces a daily dilemma: we can only answer a proportion of inquiries to our advice lines. Demand remains intense - and too often unmet - because of resource constraints.  

The bottom line is that as a community we do need to invest in enhanced services for renters. Meanwhile, we will continue to work on innovative ways to meet growing renter need. 

Jennifer Beveridge 
CEO, Tenants Victoria

Lowdown on locks

Is your rented home secure? 

Windows in rentals must have latches or locks to secure them against external entry. All external entry doors must also be fitted with a key lock. That's under minimum standards introduced in new rental laws that came in last year.

Before you enter into a lease the landlord must now tell you if the property meets the minimum standards. It’s an offence to not give you this information.

Is your rented home up to standard? Find out more on our helpful website.

Rooming house reform required

Tenants Victoria provides outreach, advice and support to people living in rooming houses. It’s been an important part of our work since we began. 'More regulation and enforcement in this area is needed,' says Agata Wierzbowski, Director of Client Services. The Australian Bureau of Statistics Census estimates of homelessness, due to be updated next year, cite people living in rooming houses among the homeless population.

Ahead of National Homelessness Week (1-7 August), read our recent submission to the Commissioner for Residential Tenancies for the Rooming Houses Lived-Experience Project.

Social housing complaints

The Victorian Ombudsman report on complaint handling in social housing says that how complaints were dealt with was the most common issue raised by social housing renters.

We’re certainly not surprised – that’s what the social housing renters often tell us too.

Tenants Victoria supports a single complaints body – independent of government – for all social housing renters, whether they live in public housing run by the Victorian Government or community housing run by non-government organisations.

Read the Ombudsman's report.

Mould in the spotlight

Our lawyer Georga Wootton contributed this month to an ABC news report on mould. One in every 10 inquiries we receive right now is from a renter expressing concern about black mould in their home. View the news report on the ABC website.

Is there mould in your rented home?

We now have a dedicated page on mould and damp on our website, which sets out the steps you need to take to report mould as an urgent repair and get it fixed.

Lease breaking

We regularly get inquiries about how to break a lease.

It's important to note that breaking a lease can be expensive. The landlord stands to lose money, such as not receiving all the rent for the period of your lease, and costs to find a new renter. You are likely to be asked to pay ‘lease break’ costs, to cover any reasonable losses for the landlord.

Before you agree to pay anything, we recommend you read about minimising costs and unreasonable costs on our website.

Renting in the news

It's been another busy media month for Tenants Victoria.

In July, our Director of Community Engagement Farah Farouque spoke to the Herald Sun’s Real Estate News Editor, Scott Carbines.

She was also interviewed by Domain reporter Melissa Heagney about the need to lift Commonwealth Rent Assistance as a priority.

Tell us your story

Has the landlord hiked your rent? Is it extra challenging right now to find an affordable new rental home for you and your family in the right area? 

Tell us – sharing your story helps our work to improve rental laws and secure better support for renters. We want to record the evidence of urgent issues that affect renters’ wellbeing.

Share your story via our Tell us your story form.

Mould survey

Do consider filling out a survey on dampness and mould in Australian homes. Who has it, where is it, and in what kind of housing?

The 15-minute survey includes an opportunity for free mould testing for 100 households. It’s part of a study by the Healthy Housing Centre of Research Excellence.

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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