Who is leading the change
- Department of Justice and Community Safety
The Department of Justice and Community Safety’s review of the Residential Tenancies Act 2006 (Vic) consider amending the Act to:
- empower Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal members to make an order under section 233A of the Act if a member is satisfied that family violence has occurred after considering certain criteria—but without requiring a final family violence intervention order containing an exclusionary condition
- provide a clear mechanism for apportionment of liability arising out of the tenancy in situations of family violence, to ensure that victims of family violence are not held liable for rent (or other tenancy-related debts) that are properly attributable to perpetrators of family violence
- enable victims of family violence to prevent their personal details from being listed on residential tenancy databases, and to remove existing listings, where the breach of the Act or the tenancy agreement occurred in the context of family violence
- enable victims of family violence wishing to leave a tenancy to apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal for an order terminating a co-tenancy if the co-tenant is the perpetrator of that violence—including, where relevant, an order dealing with apportionment of liability for rent (or other tenancy-related debts) between the co-tenants
- prevent a landlord from unreasonably withholding consent to a request from a tenant who is a victim of family violence for approval to reasonably modify the rental property in order to improve the security of that property
A review of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 led by the Department of Justice and Community Safety was completed in early 2017. The review involved:
- investigating whether legislative or non-legislative policy levers are required to address the recommendation
- if legislative change is required, developing options for public consultation
- undertaking consultation with relevant industry groups and consumer and tenancy advocates on the issues and options
Drawing on feedback provided by stakeholders and the public during the review, a package of reforms, including to address family violence issues, is being developed for consideration by the Victorian Government.
The options paper for the Review of the Residential Tenancies Act 2018 'Heading for Home' was released for public consultation in early 2017. Stakeholders with an interest in residential tenancies, human services and family violence response were included in the consultation.
The paper canvassed a range of options to reform the Residential Tenancies Act 2018 including options to protect tenants experiencing family violence. Drawing on submissions to the review, a package of reforms was developed for consideration by Government.
The Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2018 has been passed by the Victorian Parliament and received Royal Assent. The Amendment Act incorporates more than 130 reforms, including reforms to improve responses to family violence situations in rental premises. These reforms will be progressively implemented over the next two years.
Reviewed 17 May 2020