The Victorian Government is capping rent increases to once every 12 months from today to make renting fairer for all Victorians.

Prior to the changes, landlords were able to increase rent every six months under a tenancy agreement, leaving vulnerable or disadvantaged tenants often in a precarious financial situation.

The cap on rent increases applies to fixed term and periodic (month to month) tenancy agreements entered into from today, while existing arrangements will continue to apply until the lease ends.

Tenants who believe a rent increase makes their property more expensive than similar homes can apply to Consumer Affairs Victoria for an assessment of whether the increased rent is excessive.

From today also, the Red Book renting guide can be provided to tenants in digital form. Previously the guide – which must be provided to all tenants – was only available in hard copy.

These landmark reforms are in addition to changes to the Residential Tenancies Act which commenced on 3 April this year and include:

  • New tenancy agreements for long-term leases of more than five years were also made available for tenants and landlords
  • Laws enabling the suppression of addresses of certain crisis accommodation from the public Rooming House Register, to improve protection and support for family violence victims living in residential rental housing
  • Eligible caravan and residential park residents who have been forced out of their homes now able to seek compensation in the event of a park closure.

The Government passed a package of more than 130 rental reforms in September 2018, with all changes to be introduced progressively by 1 July 2020. For more information on the rental reforms package, visit engage.vic.gov.au/fairersaferhousing.