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A word from our CEO

We continue to live in unprecedented pandemic times.

After five lockdowns – two of them without any targeted rental protections – we need to future-proof policy settings for Victorian renters, including the possibly of our state entering further lockdowns.

Apart from financial support for struggling renters, whose livelihoods depend on hard-hit sectors such as hospitality, tourism, arts and leisure, an enhanced safety net for them could include these 3 measures triggered by the declaration of a lockdown:

  • No ‘notices to vacate’ should be issued by a landlord or real estate agent during a lockdown.
  • No possession orders for a rented home should be made by VCAT for the duration of a lockdown.
  • Effectively suspend any evictions during a lockdown period by preventing warrants for possession of a rented property being given during any lockdown.


Housing is a social determinant of health. We urgently need to build a stronger financial ‘ring of steel’ for residential renters.

– Jennifer Beveridge

Join us: surveying the latest lockdown

Many renters in our state are continuing to experience financial stress.

If you are a Victorian renter, we invite you to take our latest survey to help us build data and insights into how many renters were financial hurt by lockdown 5. Renters’ experiences are critical to inform our advocacy on behalf of our state’s two million renters.

Contribute your voice – the survey should take two minutes to complete.

 

Counting homelessness

We are huge fans of the census count.

The data collected on homelessness is a vital piece of demographic research to inform our sector’s work and build policy. 

Two of our staff have been seconded by the Australian Bureau of Statistics to improve the census reach into an often ‘hidden’ population for the upcoming count. Catherine Dyer and Sarah Davidson, working as field officers, are now visiting rooming houses in the north and west of Melbourne to educate and liaise with residents. Census night is on Tuesday 10 August 2021.

Tips to tackle rent stress

If you’ve been financially affected by the most recent lockdown in Victoria and are worried about how you will pay rent, please remember:

  • We recommend contacting the landlord ASAP. Let them know of your situation and try to negotiate an arrangement that works
  • If you are concerned about eviction, it cannot happen overnight. There is a formal process the landlord must follow
  • We have a free, financial counselling service available for renters. Check the eligibility criteria on our website, and get in contact


See our website for more information about our free and confidential financial counselling service.

Help for older renters

This month, outreach lawyer Georga Wootton joined the Housing for the Aged Action Group on community radio to discuss how recent changes to the Residential Tenancies Act affect older renters.

Listen to their lively chat here.

Updated family violence kit

We have recently updated our family violence resources. Our new family violence kit aims to help community workers who help renters affected by family violence know their rights, have a secure home and limit any financial losses due to personal and family violence.

Visit our website to learn more.

Hot off the press

Our CEO Jennifer Beveridge has spoken to The Age's consumer affairs reporter Henrietta Cook about the need for more support for struggling renters.

'These are ordinary people like waiters, shop assistants, beauticians and manicurists, gym instructors, people working in spas and the local cinema, whose incomes have become like a yo-yo.' Read the full story here.

Thank you!

Tenants Victoria is grateful for the generous donations - and kind feedback - that we received last month for our June appeal.

Your support will be used to help us make renting safe, secure and affordable. Thank you from all of us at Tenants Victoria.

Contact us

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

Our legal team answers renters’ questions via phone and email. We thank everyone for their patience during this time as we are experiencing very high demand.

Our tenant advice line runs from Monday to Friday, 10am-2pm. Get in touch via our Contact us page – we will respond as quickly as possible.


 

Tenants Victoria
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