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A word from our CEO

We really need to reset the public conversation about housing – and renting.
The point was reinforced this month as vested interests from the property lobby attempted to howl down plans for a new funding mechanism to help meet the urgent need for more social housing in our state.

The Victorian Government had flagged a 1.75% levy on new developments of more than three dwellings to help pay for construction of social and affordable homes, all of them rentals, from 2024. This is bold thinking for our times: a form of inclusionary zoning achieved through a monetary contribution from property developers, beneficiaries of the long housing boom.

We need to recognise housing is not a mere commodity but a public good – a form of infrastructure of equal importance to transport and hospitals. The levy’s future maybe uncertain at this time but the fight for the public good against vested interests must continue to achieve affordable housing for all Victorians. 

Jennifer Beveridge 
CEO, Tenants Victoria

Tech troubles

We all know that tech can be convenient – but what happens when it's inconvenient for a tenant?

The rise of rental apps has been cause for complaint to our advice lines. Complaints we've logged commonly cite the transaction costs applied to use these apps. 'Renters have also raised privacy concerns and misleading statements from some real estate agents that tenants have "no choice" but to sign up to an app to pay rent,' says our Director of Client Services Agata Wierzbowski.

Victorian renters have a legal right to pay their rent without additional charges. The landlord or agent may be breaking the law if they insist on people using a rental app to pay their rent.  Check out our helpful new page on this topic.

Trending: landlord reference

Have you heard the one about the renter who asked his landlord to provide a reference from past tenants? Renter and comedian Tom Cashman’s hunt for a landlord reference set social media alight this month. We really welcome the lively debate. Read our latest post here.

Free financial counselling

Financial counsellor Jacinta Morris (pictured) has recently joined the Tenants Victoria team. She’s worked as a tax agent and previously provided confidential financial counselling to people experiencing family violence, gambling harm and other debt issues. 'Talking to someone who will listen and provide options when you are facing a challenge like rent arrears can alleviate financial and emotional stress,' she says.

If you are a private renter experiencing financial hardship inquire about our counselling service.

Renters on the rise

Did you know that there are now as many renters in Australia as outright homeowners?

In 2020, a number of Australian universities commissioned a survey of tenant households to build better data on the household and demographic characteristics, housing quality and conditions in the rental sector. The Australian Rental Housing Conditions Dataset (ARHDC) is now a publicly available resource for researchers and policy makers.

Learn more here.

Dark cloud over sea change

Yet another new report confirms the inequities in the nation’s housing market – and its impact on renters.

Affordability for renters remains an ‘acute problem' for people on low to moderate incomes, according to the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation. Renters on low and or moderate incomes notably experienced a deterioration in affordability in many regional areas as people sought refuge from the pandemic.

Read the State of the Nation’s Housing 2021-22 report.

Regional rental crisis: the Wimmera

A pregnant mother and her four children have been living in one room of her aunt and uncle's home in a Victorian border town for the past five months. The young family's challenges reflect the tough reality of regional housing markets.

Read the ABC report.

We're in the news!

"Renters’ rights are a huge issue in the community given the growing numbers of people renting their homes while many are being priced out of buying a first home. Just because you rent, you are not a second-class citizen — and rental laws are being strengthened across the country to reflect the new realities of renting."

Among our media appearances this month, Director of Community Engagement Farah Farouque shared insights recently with the popular youth site Junkee. View here.

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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