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A word from our CEO

There are 2.8 million rental households nationally, accounting for more than 30 per cent of Australia's population, according to the latest census. Drilling down, the number of Victorian households renting has increased from 607,354 in 2016 to 681,419 on census night, Tuesday 10 August 2021, which occurred amid a state-wide public health lockdown.  

The economic and social impacts of COVID-19 have brought their own disruptions to the landscape of renting. However, the census yet again confirms that renting is a deeply entrenched part of the Australian way of life. 

From national to state to local government, the policy responses must now catch up to the demographic reality of renting amid the housing affordability and supply challenges we continue to face in our country. 

Jennifer Beveridge 
CEO, Tenants Victoria

New faces in housing portfolio

Our state government has two new faces in the critical housing portfolio in the lead up to the 26 November Victorian election. 

Read AHURI's useful wrap of who Australia's housing and homelessness ministers are.

Is there mould in your rental property?

We receive hundreds of enquires from renters about mould each year. Some renters live with mould for a long time, and can experience serious impacts on their health.

We have 2 new ways to help renters with this problem.

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.

There are other handy tips. Did you know that the rental provider (landlord) must tell you if a property you want to rent has a history of mould? Find out more on the Mould and damp page.

And our winter Mould Clinic is now open. It offers support to eligible renters to get mould removed from their home. The clinic is coordinated by Tenants Victoria lawyers Ailsa Breheny and Andrew Lopresti, along with a team of keen volunteers. For eligibility requirements, which include an income test, and more information, visit our Mould Clinic page.

Boost assistance for low-income renters

As an urgent priority, Tenants Victoria believes lower-income households should be the prime target for an increase in the Commonwealth Rent Assistance – the subsidy for people getting a Centrelink payment who don’t live in public housing.

In a new report, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare confirms that, at June 2021, there were about 1.5 million recipients of Commonwealth Rent Assistance. Disturbingly, of those receiving this support payment, almost half (46 per cent) were in 'rental stress', meaning their housing costs were more than 30 per cent of the gross household income.

Read the report.

Donate to Tenants Victoria

With the end of the financial year upon us, we would like to remind you of your opportunity to help support, and influence the rights of, renters across Victoria.

If you’d like to donate to a service that may support you, a friend or a family member when they are in need, and you do so before the end of June, you’ll also be able to claim the benefits of a tax deduction.

Donate - Tenants Victoria

Celebrating outreach

Congratulations to Ali Nazari for finally receiving his 2021 Refugee Achievement Award in person. Ali, who has a Hazara-Afghan background, received the public accolade for his key work with Tenants Victoria for providing outreach and help to diverse communities of renters, especially people speaking Dari/Farsi, during 2020 and 2021.

Here is Ali (centre) at the awards ceremony last week at the State Library pictured with our Director of Community Engagement Farah Farouque and the Deputy Chairperson of the Victorian Multicultural Commission, Bwe Thay.


Renting in the news

Renting remains a very hot topic in the media. Our thanks to Horsham renter Lynne, who was compelled to turn to crisis accommodation, for contributing her important voice to this report for ABC-radio’s ‘AM’ current affairs program alongside our CEO, Jennifer Beveridge.

Tenants Victoria lawyer Ben Cording also contributed expertise to this nationally focused piece in Domain about rent increases.


Power saving bonus

Struggling with your energy bills? The Victorian Government’s $250 Power Saving Bonus program is designed to help people with their energy bills. All Victorian households will be eligible for the scheme from 1 July 2022.

Read more on the government’s Victorian Energy Compare website.

Facebook Live

In case you missed it earlier this month, catch up on our helpful Facebook Live chat on all matters renting in Victoria featuring lawyer Georga Wootton with Farah Farouque.

Watch June's Facebook Live.

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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