Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) review
Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) has been undertaking a comprehensive review of the Residential Tenancies Act (1997) for the last 2 years. The amendments will come into force by 30 June 2020.
Victoria’s Legislative Council passed an Amendment Bill to the RTA last October which has 139 amendments to the 1997 RTA Act. 26 of the amendments to the RTA are unique to rooming houses and a further 42 general amendments also may apply to rooming house operators.
RAAV has been meeting regularly with CAV during the review advocating its concerns about some of the amendments especially the abolishment of operators being able to use long agreements under part 2 of the RTA. The change will allow residents to vacate from the rooming house giving 14 days notice to the operator if a second long term lease is in place instead of at the end of the lease period.
An amendment which will be withdrawn is the 120 day notice issued to residents to vacate which operators may be used in exceptional circumstances.
Some penalties for breaches of the Act by operators have been increased significantly.
RAAV has made a number of submissions to CAV on these proposed amendments and has participated in a number of workshops involving stakeholders. RAAV will be participating in further discussions to comment on regulations which are being developed by CAV.
RAAV will be conducting information sessions and workshops which will commence at RAAV’s Annual General Meeting on 26 October and in April to June next year.
The reforms to the RTA may be viewed by accessing CAV’s website. There is a link on CAV’s website Fairer Safer Housing page on the Engage Victoria website – Fairer Safer Housing. Operators are encouraged to read this to start preparing for the implementation of the amendments.