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A word from our CEO

A new era of politics in Australia brings new opportunities for the growing numbers of renters in our community.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, alongside the newly appointed Housing Minister Julie Collins – who will be sworn in this week – present with more policy ambition in this area than their predecessors.

They imagine central government to play a greater role in framing housing policy with other tiers of government.  We hope the establishment of a National Housing Supply and Affordability Council, informed by expertise, will start to address systemic issues facing renters beyond aspirations for home ownership. The new body will play a key role in the development and implementation of a long overdue housing strategy ­– the National Housing and Homelessness Plan.

These are promising signs from the Commonwealth after the policy inaction of the past decade. To address our nation's long-term housing challenges, policy makers must grasp that the Australian dream for many people in our community is now a safe, secure and affordable rented home – and provide solutions in line with these new realities. 

Jennifer Beveridge 
CEO, Tenants Victoria

Housing on the national agenda
The 31st Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, grew up in public housing with his single mother who received a disability pension. His trajectory to the highest office underscores the value of secure rental housing as an anchor for life. 

The ALP government’s policies including establishing a National Housing Supply and Affordability Council which will also report on rental affordability and homelessness. The new body's role includes advising on ways to boost construction of social and affordable housing. Labor has also committed to a $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund to build 30,000 new social and affordable homes in its first five years.

When we have a fair housing system that provides all of us with a safe, secure and affordable home then we truly thrive as a community. Today, we have issues will supply and affordability confronting too many renters around the country.

Tenants Victoria will contribute our voice and ideas to the discourse about housing policy priorities, grounded in our five decades of supporting renters.

Meanwhile, learn about the Albanese Government's plans for housing policy here.

In case you missed it, catch up on our CEO's Guardian opinion piece calling for policy solutions for private renters on low incomes without prospects of homeownership.

Keep warm in winter

It's wintry, and if your heater becomes faulty, you don’t have to put up with it. Remember, renters have rights. Landlords must ensure a fixed heater is installed in rented homes in Victoria. Anything they provide in your home must be maintained – and repaired if necessary. A failure of heating is an urgent repair under Victoria’s rental laws, and it’s the landlord’s responsibility to fix it – not yours. Urgent repairs must be done as soon as possible.

The first step is to call the landlord or real estate agent as soon you notice the problem to report the repairs needed. Find out more.

Rooming house review

The Victorian Commissioner for Residential Tenancies, Heather Holst, is assessing the condition of the state’s rooming houses. We say that despite regulatory reforms since the 2009 Rooming House Standards Task Force, which found ‘squalid conditions’ and ‘unusable’ shared facilities, we have observed little change in the state of many rooming houses.

Tenants Victoria’s Director of Client Services, Agata Wierzbowski, said: ‘Residents regularly report, and our rooming house outreach worker regularly observes, the disrepair of many rooming houses, which despite non-compliance with minimum standards – which our worker reports to regulators – exist in this state for years. We hear of residents who feel they live “without hope“ and who are “just existing”.’ Our recommendations include that the State Government consider whether rooming houses should be managed by registered social housing providers.

See our submission to the Rooming House Lived Experience Project.

1 June: Facebook live

Our popular chats canvasing common renters concerns are back for winter!

Join us Wednesday 1 June 2022 at 1pm for our all-about-renting live lunchtime discussion featuring our Director of Community Engagement Farah Farouque (left) and expert lawyer Georga Wootton. We’ll cover key renting topics such as rent increases, what to do next if you receive a 'notice to vacate' or if the heater breaks down.

Join us on our Facebook page to build your knowledge about renting issues. 

Multicultural chats

We've been working with grassroots community groups recently to conduct interactive online information sessions for renters whose first language is not English. The small-group chats feature a tenancy expert and are guided by Tenants Victoria's multilingual community engagement workers, Ramya Assaad (left) and Aguer Athian, to ensure the discussions are accessible to all participants.

Please inquire if you would like to convene a small-group session for your multicultural community via

Focus on the west

We know how important is to be connected to community in these times. The council area of Wyndham, covering 17 suburbs in the west such as Werribee as well as new housing estates in Tarneit, is one of the fastest growing areas in the nation.

Thanks to Wyndham Council for awarding a grant to Tenants Victoria to roll out a community education project,  My Renting Rights in Wyndham. Working with local community groups and council, our project will deliver training and practical education resources for renters in English and other widely spoken high-needs languages over the next year.

Our Community Engagement Officer Alan Loow, a local resident and tenant himself, will liaise on the project. 

Property market

We recently made a submission to the review of the laws that regulate Victoria’s property market. Our recommendations to the Victorian Government included that it should review the impact of short-term rental platforms on the rental market, and fund training for real estate agents, rental providers (landlords), and owners-corporations managers on their legal obligations under rental laws.

The property market review was commissioned by the Minister for Consumer Affairs, Melissa Horne.

Share houses

If you live in a share house you might be a co-renter, a sub-renter or a licensee depending on the individual circumstances. Not all shared household arrangements are the same.

Find out your rights as a renter when you share a house or flat with other people in different circumstances on our website, on the share houses page.

Renters in the news

It's been a very busy media month for Tenants Victoria, including Farah Farouque, our Director of Community Engagement, contributing our insights to the ABC's television and digital reporting on rental pressures for residents in Frankston and surrounding suburbs. Frankston, in the outer south-east, has long been known for its more affordable rental homes.

Read the online story from reporter Margaret Paul 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.


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