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A word from our CEO

We’ve had the good news that rental protections have been extended until the end of March 2021. I congratulate the Victorian Government for their foresight on this issue. 
 
Tenants facing hardship in our state, however, are still running up the hill when it comes to obtaining rent reductions. There are still too few people taking advantage of this key protection – a wider reflection of the power imbalance between landlords and tenants.
 
The threat of the pandemic to people’s livelihoods – and their ability to pay rent and other household bills – is far from over. Indeed, as JobKeeper and JobSeeker supports from the Federal Government taper off this month our advice to tenants on rent reductions is to approach your landlord or real estate agent ASAP.

If you don’t hear back within a week, contact Consumer Affairs Victoria to progress your rental rights.

– Jennifer Beveridge

Step-by-step rent reduction guide

Need a rent reduction? Want to know more about the $3000 rental relief grant that Victorian tenants facing hardship may be eligible for?
 
We’ve created a handy new COVID-19 rent reduction guide to lead you through each step of the process, including extra tips and resources. Please share with friends, family, or anyone else whom you think this information would help.
 
View the Step-by-step guide to rent reductions and rent relief grants

Join us this Wednesday for an online event

Join us this Wednesday, September 30th at 3pm for The Renters' Rights Rundown.

During this free, online event targeted at community sector workers, Tenants Victoria senior lawyer Matthew Andrea will chat with the Victorian Council of Social Service’s CEO Emma King about the emergency rental measures, which tenants are most affected, and what practical support is available. The session is a digestible 30 minutes and will help demystify the law.
 
Go to the event page for your free ticket and more event info.

Parliament extends renting law

On behalf of the state’s two million renters – and particularly those who have lost jobs and or hours during the hard lockdown – we welcome the extension of rental protections until 28 March 2021. 

"Unfortunately, we are not yet out of the woods,” said Consumer Affairs Minister Melissa Horne in her second reading speech, introducing the renewed measures.

Read the Minister’s speech outlining why the extension was needed. 

Sustainability while renting

You shouldn’t be trapped with high utility bills just because you’re a renter. Last week our principal tenancy lawyer Ben Cording joined Environment Victoria’s Sustainable Homes Project and Policy Officer James Conlan at an extension session for Sustainable House Day, chatting about practical tips renters can take to save money on heating and cooling.
 
You can read more about bringing your home up to scratch on Environment Victoria’s sustainable renting resource page.

Facebook sessions

In case you’ve missed them, we’ve been posting Facebook Live and pre-recorded videos answering your tenancy questions on rent reductions and other COVID-19 related topics on our Facebook page. Join Tenants Victoria's Director of Community Engagement Farah Farouque and tenancy lawyer Georga Wootton as they help break down the new emergency measures designed to protect tenants during COVID-19.
 
Check our latest Facebook videos here.

Victorian Voices

This month our Tenants Victoria lawyer Georga Wootton joined with ABC Melbourne and the Victorian Council of Social Service in the Facebook premiere of Victorian Voices, an online session discussing the current COVID-19 housing crisis. The event was moderated by ABC radio personality Raf Epstein.

Watch Victorian Voices Ep. 2

Student housing

University college boarders and their families have come forward in a recent article on the ABC, with some sharing  positive stories of support, and others describing their struggles to recoup thousands of dollars in prepaid accommodation that wasn't used.

Read the article

Contact us?

Have a question about something not covered in this newsletter or on our website?

Our tenants advice line is available from Monday to Friday 10am-2pm. Our informed legal team is answering renters' questions via phone and email. Please contact us and we will respond as quickly as possible. We thank everyone for their patience during this time as we are currently experiencing very high demand.

Contact us
 

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