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A word from our CEO

In the COVID era, it’s been tough going for too many renters. 

A year ago, the Victorian Government implemented the most protective legal framework for renters you can arguably find nationwide. Notably, the laws were conceived before the pandemic struck. Today, rent arrears are still the main cause for the issuing of ‘notices to vacate’ and subsequent evictions. Meanwhile, the tribunal meant to adjudicate most rental disputes, VCAT, is substantially backlogged.
'Minimum standards' for rented homes – such as the provision of a working toilet and the absence of mould – are now in place. Yet we know from inquiries to our advice lines that not all renters are aware of the new expectations and, more disturbingly, not all landlords are meeting the basics required of them.

Beyond the letter of the law, and in the pandemic's long shadow, much more work remains to embed and enforce rental law reforms in our community.

Jennifer Beveridge 
CEO, Tenants Victoria

Wake up to a new minimum standard!

A ‘minimum standard’ for window coverings applies to renters who move into new properties from now on. 

From 29 March onwards, any home offered for rent must have curtains or blinds fitted to each window in any room that is likely to be used as a bedroom or living area. Moreover, the curtain or blind must be able to be opened and closed, reasonably block light and provide reasonable privacy. 

For more information visit our minimum standards page.

Perspective: tenancy reforms

In a valuable contribution, the state's peak body for social services, VCOSS, consulted workers providing financial counselling, homelessness prevention, tenancy advocacy and other social assistance to get a sense of how renters are faring after key rental reforms. The workers' on-the ground insights reveal ‘a mixed bag’, confirms VCOSS policy officer Karen Taranto (pictured).
Read more.

Federal Budget forgets renters (again)

"The best way to support people renting a house is to help them buy a house.”

So said Prime Minister Scott Morrison this week promoting a mortgage support program as a centrepiece of the Federal Budget. 

Yet housing affordability bites hardest in our community for those whose modest Australian dream is a safe, secure and affordable rented home. About 30 per cent of low-income private renters don't even have $500 saved for emergencies, much less a home loan deposit, leading housing researcher Dr Chris Martin reminded us this week.

Housing affordability for renters needs to be addressed centrally and that's why we're part of the sector's Everybody's Home national campaign pushing for signification commonwealth interventions. Read the campaign's budget analysis.

Social housing

We’ve joined with colleague organisations to lead the tenancy legal service response to the interim report of Victoria's Social Housing Regulation Review. Our joint submission strongly backs a new social housing dispute resolution body. We suggest this should take the form of a new role such as a Social Housing Ombudsman or Commissioner or, alternatively, that the Victorian Ombudsman’s powers include an expanded social-housing complaints-handling function. 

Learn more.

Multicultural renters included

Informed by consultations with 118 multicultural organisations and leaders, we are updating our translated resources for renters in languages other than English. This is a project of continuous improvement. Check out our latest practical resources for renters and community workers in Arabic, Simplified Chinese, Dari/Farsi and Dinka languages here.

Job opportunities

Contribute your legal skills to support renters facing hardship in our community. We currently have two dynamic opportunities for lawyers to join us at Tenants Victoria, the leading tenancy legal centre. The vacancies are for a Lead Tenancy Lawyer and Lawyer.

Tenants Victoria on TV

Among media appearances this month, our CEO Jennifer Beveridge was on-air on ABC-TVs Weekend Breakfast program to talk about the pressing issue of rental stress faced by low-and middle-income renters. Catch up on the interview here.

Provocations: comedians speak out

Last month comedian Tom Cashman created a social media sensation with his call for references for landlords. This month the Chaser's Charles Firth says we are becoming a nation of renters, but we are governed by landlords. Check out his no-holds-barred piece in The Shot Newsletter - a forceful contribution to a growing debate about rental housing affordability.

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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