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A word from our CEO

Not a day goes by these days without a damning report or media story about the hardships renters are facing to secure an affordable home. Yesterday it was Anglicare confirming that less than 1% of advertised rentals are affordable for people on income support. Renters on the minimum wage are also facing pressure.

This issue is now hitting people who would be considered in the 'middle'. But the worse off, however, remain the renters experiencing financial hardship, including pensioners, those on disability support payments and unemployed people. 

These are the people in our community who need an urgent increase in the Commonwealth Rent Assistance subsidy as a targeted response to help them maintain a roof over the heads. Much more also needs to be done.

As we face a federal election, the next government must tackle the policy challenge of housing affordability for renters. We can’t be content as a community with a stagnant status quo that fuels homelessness.

Jennifer Beveridge 
CEO, Tenants Victoria

Challenging rent increases

We know that the cost of living is biting renters hard - especially the cost of essentials such as housing. If you think a proposed rent increase is too high, you can apply to Consumer Affairs Victoria to challenge it - this is an entirely free service. 

Read more about the practical steps you can take on our Rent increases page.

 

Language guides launched

We have launched 3 'hot topic' guides for renters written in Arabic, Simplified Chinese and Dari/Farsi for people from multicultural communities in need of more accessible tenancy information in widely spoken community languages.

'These translated resources stem from grassroots work done by Tenants Victoria’s team of multilingual workers and are part of our considered outreach to renters who speak languages other than English at home,’ says Farah Farouque, Director of Community Engagement.  

Please help us spread the word by sharing these guides with your friends, family and community.

Multicultural forum

We've partnered with the Victorian Multicultural Commission to host a series of informative online forums on renters' rights. Guided by Tenants Victoria’s expert lawyer Ben Cording, the topics for our upcoming May session include:

  • Rights in different types of rented accommodation
  • How to minimise your costs if you break your lease
  • How to challenge a rent increase
  • How to get your bond back

Ben will discuss these topics and more - and answer common questions with an understanding of the needs of renters whose first language is not English, or people living in Victoria who have recently arrived from overseas and rent a home.

All are welcome. The forum is on Wednesday 11 May 2022, 7:00 pm to 8:15 pm. Please register here.

Pets in your rental

Do you want a pet in your rented home? There's a process you need to follow to apply for a pet.

Our lawyer Georga Wootton goes through the steps you need to take in our new video. For more detailed information on the process, visit our Pets page.

Tell us your story

Has the landlord hiked your rent? Is it extra challenging right now to find an affordable new rental home for you and your family in the right area? Are the pandemic’s financial impacts making it harder to pay rent and other costs?

Tell us – sharing your story helps our work to improve rental laws and secure better support for renters, who are a growing group.

Share your story via our story form. We will treat your personal details confidentially.

Public housing

We’ve recently updated our public housing pages to reflect changes to Victoria's rental laws, which came into effect last year.

These pages have information on useful topics including applying for public housing, repairs and rebates on rents.

For more information visit our Public housing landing page.

Frontline help

Meet our new lawyers Shehara Skilbeck and Ailsa Breheny. They've taken up their new roles after stints with us as intake workers, immersing themselves in all aspects of the legal needs of renters.

'Ailsa and Shehara were introduced to Tenants Victoria initially as Practical Legal Trainees, and it’s been great to see their professional progress within our service. They both have a real passion for supporting renters to maintain safe and secure homes,' says Agata Wierzbowski, Director of Client Services. 

Reporting on renting

Renting affordability is being much spoken about lately, but is there any movement at all on the policy front?

Guardian Australia has launched a new series drilling into this key issue ahead of the May 2022 federal election - their reporter Stephanie Convery recently spoke to Tenants Victoria CEO Jennifer Beveridge

 

Media wrap

It’s been a busy month in the media for the Tenants Victoria team. Among media appearances this month, Tenants Victoria’s Farah Farouque shared insights into the rental crisis on Channel Seven News and CEO Jennifer Beveridge spoke to the Herald Sun.

Watch our interview on Channel Seven News

Herald Sun article [paywall]

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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