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Summary of legislation changes

The new legislation was released on 29/03/2021. There are some changes to:

  • Safety requirements [Schedule 3]
  • Requirements before lease
  • Modifications that a renter can/can't make


Rental providers that receive a compliance or compensation order from VCAT for committing an offense will have their name, rental address, and their offence listed publicly on the Consumer Affairs Victoria website: Rental non-compliance register. The Director of Consumer Affairs can request a fine from the Magistrates Court.

Fines are listed in [Schedule 5].

List of residential tenancy laws




Safety requirements

Smoke alarm

All properties must ensure that each Smoke Alarm:

  • is installed correctly
  • is tested according to manufacturer's instructions every year
  • battery are replaced as required

Gas/Electrical safety checks

Any properties leased or released after 29/03/2021 must complete these safety checks as soon as possible (if applicable):

  • Electrical Safety Check -  every 2 years by licensed or registered electrician
  • Gas Safety Check -  every 2 years by licensed or registered gasfitter

Pool barrier compliance (if applicable)

Rental provider must ensure that pool barriers are maintained in good condition. Supply a pool barrier compliance check as evidence.

Water tank in bush fire prone areas (if applicable)

If the premises is in a designated bushfire prone area, a full and clean water tank is required before lease. The water tank and any connected infrastructure must be maintained in good condition.

Documenting compliance checks

Rental providers must provide these to renters within 7 days of receiving a written request:

  • Electrical safety check
  • Gas safety check
  • Pool barrier compliance check

Failure to provide these safety checks is a breach of duty under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997.




Requirements before lease

Mandatory disclosure

From 29/03/2021, rental providers must disclose the following to renters before the lease: Mandatory Disclosure Statement

Minimum standards

The rental provider must ensure that the property meets minimum standards before the renter moves in. If minimum standards are not met, then the renter may terminate lease or request for urgent repair to meet those standards.

The minimum standards are listed here: Rental Minimum Standards




Modifications that a renter can/can't make

Renters are required to cover the costs of these modifications. Renters must reverse the modifications unless the rental provider agrees to keep the modifications. Renters must leave the property reasonably clean and in the same condition as at the start of the rental agreement, taking into account fair wear and tear.

Without rental provider's consent

The renter can install the following on the rental property without rental provider consent:

  • Temporary window film for insulation or privacy.
  • Replacement curtains if the original curtains are retained.
  • Wireless doorbell.
  • Lock on a letterbox.
  • Pressure mounted child safety gates.
  • Adhesive child safety locks on drawers and doors.
  • Non hardwired and easily removable security lights, alarm systems or security cameras

With rental provider's consent

Consent from rental provider is needed for these modifications and additional information may be requested from the renters:

  • On exposed brick or concrete walls:
    • Hooks or screws for pictures wall mounts, shelves or brackets
    • Hardware-mounted child safety gates
    • Wall anchoring devices to secure items of furniture.
  • Draught proofing in homes without open-flued gas heating, including installing weather seals, caulking or gap filling around windows, doors, skirting and floorboards.
  • Security system if the landlord is provided with an invoice with the name of the installer
  • Fly-screens on doors and windows.
  • Planting a vegetable or herb garden.
  • Painting the premises.
  • Modifications to secure external gates

Rental provider can't unreasonably refuse the modifications above.

Rental provider can refuse modifications if:

  • Maintenance costs will increase if not restored
  • The modification will significantly change the premises
  • A notice to vacate has been given

Rental provider may demand a qualified person to complete the modifications if consent is needed. In some circumstances, an additional Bond can be taken to cover the costs of rectification.


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