Landlord Rights in Victoria: Responsibilities and Obligations

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The Insider @ Houst
Last updated on
July 31, 2023
February 6, 2024

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Landlord Rights in Victoria: Responsibilities and Obligations

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Navigating the dynamic landscape of landlords in the splendid region of Victoria demands a keen understanding of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997.

This pivotal legislation serves as the cornerstone, outlining the rights and obligations bestowed upon landlords.

In this article, we discuss landlord rights Victoria. So, let’s get started!

Table of Contents

Starting a Tendency 

The landlord must present you with a tenancy agreement in the standard form. Read the agreement before signing. It'll grant you confidence in your stay's terms and conditions. The landlord can add rules but must follow the Residential Tenancies Act.

Before your move-in day, the landlord must meticulously prepare a condition report detailing the current state of the property. This comprehensive report will be shared as a reference point to ensure a fair assessment of any potential changes to the property's condition during your tenancy.

Understanding Landlord Rights Victoria - Residential Tenancies Act 1997

Rights and Responsibilities of Landlords Regarding Relation to Bond

Landlords have specific landlord rights Victoria regarding the security deposit at the start of a tenancy. Firstly, landlords have the authority to collect a damage bond at the initiation of the tenancy. However, there are specific guidelines regarding the maximum amount permissible based on the weekly rent. The bond cannot exceed one month's rent if the rent is below $350 per week. Conversely, if the rent surpasses $350 per week or the property serves as the landlord's primary residence, no limits are imposed on the bond amount.

To ensure transparency and protection for both parties, the bond must be lodged with the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA). This step guarantees that an authorised entity securely holds the security deposit, fostering trust and compliance within the tenancy agreement.

Entry to the Property

Landlord rights Victoria regarding property entry are governed by the RTA (Residential Tenancies Act).

Landlords can go into the property, but they must tell the tenant 24 hours ahead of time. The permissible entry time frame is between 8 am and 6 pm on any regular day, excluding public holidays. However, if both the tenant and landlord mutually agree, entry may be granted outside these specified hours and days.

To clarify, you need to write down why you're entering and have it in writing. Notably, general inspections of the property are only allowed once every six months, ensuring a balanced approach and respecting the tenant's privacy and peaceful enjoyment of the premises.

roperty Maintenance and Repairs - Ensuring a Safe and Habitable Environment

Maintenance and Repairs

The landlord is responsible for coordinating necessary repairs to the property, categorised into urgent and non-urgent. In cases of urgency, repairs must be promptly attended to without delay. Conversely, non-urgent repairs should be completed within 14 days of the repair requirement being reported to the landlord.

If the property's condition is deemed unliveable, the landlord can terminate the tenancy agreement immediately. This safeguard ensures that tenants are provided with suitable living conditions and that essential repairs are taken care of promptly to maintain a habitable and safe environment.

Rent Arrears and Eviction Process

After 14 days of missed rent payments, the landlord may ask the renter to leave the property. The tenant has 14 days to pay the overdue rent. If someone won't leave the property, the landlord needs to ask the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for help with eviction. VCAT will carefully review the case and judge whether eviction is warranted based on the evidence presented.

Both parties need to understand landlord rights Victoria regarding rent payments to avoid unnecessary disputes and ensure a fair and amicable resolution in the event of arrears.

Property Safety Obligations

To guarantee the safety of the property, the landlord must adhere to specific safety compliance measures, which encompass the following:

Pool and Spa Safety

Any pools or spas on the property must be adequately fenced with self-closing and self-latching gates. 

Smoke Detector Installation and Maintenance

The landlord is responsible for installing and maintaining functional smoke detectors within the property. 

Gas Appliance Maintenance

The landlord must make sure the gas appliances in the property are safe and working properly. Regular inspections and necessary repairs or replacements should be conducted to prevent potential hazards and guarantee the safety of the occupants.

Pest Infestations

In Victoria, the legislation does not explicitly specify which party is responsible for pest infestations within a rental property. Instead, when determining responsibility, the following factors are typically taken into consideration:

Pre-existing Infestations 

If pests were already present in the property before the tenancy began, the responsibility for dealing with the infestation may fall on the landlord.

Damage as a Contributing Factor

Suppose damage to the property has led to the pests' entry or provided them with a conducive environment. In that case, the responsibility might be shared between the landlord and tenant, depending on the circumstances.

Tenant's Actions 

If the pest problem results from something the tenant has done, such as poor hygiene practices or failure to report a pest issue promptly, the tenant may be responsible for addressing the infestation.

If the landlord and tenant cannot agree on the responsibility for pest control, the matter must be resolved through the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). VCAT will carefully assess the evidence and make a fair judgment on the appropriate party to handle the pest infestation.

Penalties for Landlords

Landlords in Victoria must follow RTA regulations to avoid problems. Not following the rules can lead to penalties or fines from Consumer Affairs Victoria. Knowing the details of the RTA is key to having a good relationship with your tenants. This will help landlords ensure a compliant and harmonious tenancy, avoiding any penalties and providing a positive living experience for all parties involved. Communicating openly with tenants and promptly addressing any concerns also plays a significant role in promoting a fair and secure rental environment.

Ending the Tenancy - Final Inspection and Bond Settlement in Victoria

Ending the Tendency 

In Victoria, the landlord's rights and responsibilities extend beyond the tenancy's conclusion, encompassing the final inspection and settlement of the damage bond.

The tenant must leave the property clean and undamaged at the end of the tenancy, considering its initial state (excluding wear and tear). Subsequently, the landlord will conduct a comprehensive final inspection after the tenant's departure.

Both parties must sign the Bond Claim form to facilitate the damaged bond's return. This form serves as the platform for the landlord to make claims on a portion of the bond for the following purposes:

  • Damage Caused by the Tenant
  • Costs for Cleaning or Repairs Exceeding Normal Wear and Tear
  • Outstanding Rent or Bills
  • Missing Items from the Property

Should the tenant dispute the amount being deducted from the bond and decline to sign the Bond Claim form, resolution of the matter necessitates an application to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) to address and settle the dispute professionally and fairly. By adhering to this process, both landlords and tenants can ensure a fair and just resolution after the tenancy.

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Houst is your ideal property rental management partner, dedicated to empowering landlords with the latest landlord and tenant rights. With a focus on optimising the landlord experience, Houst offers comprehensive services to support property owners in every aspect of their rental journey. Whether you're a seasoned landlord or just starting in the rental market, Houst provides up-to-date insights on landlord trends, regulations, renters reforms, and best practices. 

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The Insider @ Houst

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider team at Houst is dedicated to providing up-to-date and relevant information on short-term rentals. If you have hosting inquiries, please write to us at expert@houst.com. For guest inquiries, reach out at guest@houst.com. We are here to help you navigate the world of short lets and look forward to assisting you with your needs.

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider team at Houst is dedicated to providing up-to-date and relevant information on short-term rentals. If you have hosting inquiries, please write to us at expert@houst.com. For guest inquiries, reach out at guest@houst.com. We are here to help you navigate the world of short lets and look forward to assisting you with your needs.

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Account Manager

"I have a philosophy in life called keep it simple. I don't live to work, I work to live. This is the first time I've leased this property on Airbnb. A house allows me to have vision of all the revenue and all the expenses associated with the apartment. They work as a well-oiled machine. They strive very hard to keep both myself and the tenants happy."

Jules
Sales Director

"Honestly, if I didn't have Houst, I don't think I'd have this house anymore. With Houst's help, I can focus on my busy life while they manage my Airbnb listing. Guests call this place the 'magic cottage', and Houst makes it possible to share its special charm without any stress."

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