Family of four moving into house carrying boxes

Modifications

An important part of making a rental house a home is feeling safe, being able to hang pictures, have modern communications technology installed and to have safely installed furniture.

Reforms

Tenants can make minor modifications

A tenant will be allowed to make certain minor modifications to a rental property without first obtaining the landlord’s consent. The definition of ‘minor modifications’ will be set out in the regulations, but is expected to include picture hooks and furniture anchors to stop furniture toppling over and harming people, particularly small children.

Renters will otherwise continue to be required to obtain the RRP’s written consent for any other modifications that are not ‘minor’.

Depending on the type of modification requested, the landlord may require the tenant to use a suitably qualified trade person. This would include someone who is licensed or otherwise has the relevant expertise to carry out the modification.

In the case of disability-related modifications, which can be more complex, an assessment may be needed to determine the need for home modifications. This would be conducted by an accredited occupational therapist, or other allied health practitioner as appropriate. Tenants may also rely on an existing assessment.

More information

While the reforms to the Residential Tenancies Act were passed by the Victorian Parliament in September 2018, they have not yet come into force. The reforms will come into effect progressively, and all will have commenced by 1 July 2020.