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A word from our CEO

As we enter a disruptive third year of the pandemic, a key focus for Tenants Victoria is to ensure renters’ interests are at the centre of government decision making. 

With state and federal elections pending this year, there is real opportunity to address long term deficits relating to housing affordability from the perspective of a growing demographic of renters. Provision of safe, secure and affordable housing in the 21st century can’t be simply seen through the lens of home ownership. 

In this context, the interim report from Victoria’s independent Social Housing Regulation Review offers a solid blueprint for reform, with recommendations including having a single regulator for government and not-for-profit landlords in our state.

The review, to date, has received 80 formal submissions and, importantly, feedback from over 2000 social housing tenants and workers. We hope 2022 will bring action on the concerns raised.

Jennifer Beveridge 
CEO, Tenants Victoria

Q&A: Renting in Omicron

A common question we’ve been asked during the Omicron wave relates to rules on privacy and entry into a rented home, for example for conducting routine inspections.

While there are no longer specific COVID restrictions for renting and so inspections and tradie visits are permitted, you do have general protections under the Residential Tenancies Act. So a text message or casual email notifying you about an inspection simply won’t suffice. There are processes that must be followed.

Check out our new Facebook Q&A  with lawyer Georga Wootton and our Director of Community Engagement  Farah Farouque where we tackle this hot rental topic - and more. 

Social housing report out now

The independent review of our state’s social housing system for the Victorian Government has released an interim report with many considered findings. The report calls for a single regulator for social housing, new standards, including fire safety and minimum property standards, and an independent complaints body for renters. Social housing includes public housing, managed by the state government, and community housing, managed by not-for-profit organisations.

We urge everyone who is concerned about the affordable housing crisis for renters experiencing hardship and disadvantage to read and and comment on the report on the government’s Engage Victoria website.

Media focus: social housing

It was affirming to hear the Conversation Hour presenter Richelle Hunt mention last week on ABC radio that she lived in social housing when she was growing up, and how important it was for her and her family to have that safe, secure and affordable home.

Listen to the useful discussion which she co-presented about the big topic of social housing in Victoria, featuring tenants voices and experts including David Hayward, head of the independent review for the Victorian Government on social housing.

Catch up with the program here.

Keeping cool

It’s been a hot and muggy few weeks. 

If you have air-conditioning in your rental home and it's faulty or stops working you don’t have to sweat and bear it. Anything provided by the landlord in your home must be maintained, and repaired if necessary. So, repairing and maintaining an air-conditioner is the landlord’s duty - not yours.

A failure or breakdown of air-conditioning is also classed an urgent repair under Victoria’s rental laws. Learn more

Paralegals wanted

Are you a new law graduate  looking to enter the community legal sector?

We have vacancies for Practical Legal Training (PLT) Paralegals open right now. These are volunteer positions, available 2 days a week for a minimum of 6 months. Your main role will be to apply your legal skills to support our talented team of tenancy lawyers headed up by the Director of Client Services, Agata Wierzbowski.

Eligible applicants will be completing, or enrolled in, professional legal education to gain admission to practice, and be available for 2 days a week for a minimum of 6 months.

For more information visit the Volunteer page on our website.

Renters in the news

The pandemic has shown how dependent we are on essential workers ranging from people working in supermarkets to those doing caring jobs in aged and childcare.  Finding safe, secure and affordable rental homes remains an elusive prospect in our cities and, increasingly,  our regions for too many people.

Check out this article from Domain in The Age quoting Tenants Victoria’s Farah Farouque.

Data on rent stress

Disturbing data highlighted in the Productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services (ROGS) shows that 45.7% of people receiving Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) experience housing stress. This means the renters are spending more than 30% of their income on housing.

CRA is a payment paid to renters who receive certain social security payments and don’t live in public housing.

Read more in The Mandarin.  

Pandemic support

We know COVID-19 is continuing to impact on renters incomes. 

Details regarding access to the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment for Victorians who are unable to earn an income due to isolating or caring for someone with the virus are available via this link.

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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