Renting in Victoria

Read the full report here.

How can it be that Victoria has some of the best protections for renters anywhere in the world, and yet renters are struggling to find an affordable rental property, and are feeling powerless, confused and insecure?

On paper, renters in Victoria now have stronger rights than in any other state or territory. Victoria’s Residenial Tenancies Act was amended in March 2021 to make renting fairer and safer. Renters now have more protections, including:

  • Limitations around evictions.
  • Rents can only increase once every 12 months.
  • Specific protections for victim survivors of family violence.
  • Higher standards for amenity, thermal comfort and energy efficiency.

These are immensely positive reforms that changed Victoria’s renting landscape for the better.

Yet, reports from the frontline remain grim.

Support workers who assist renters – and were consulted for this analysis – report that:

  • Renters are struggling to find a suitable property, particularly properties that are affordable and meet people’s specific needs
  • Rental properties fail to comply with minimum standards, with mould still identified as a common concern.
  • Renters who receive rent increases are forced to choose between making cutbacks on essentials to absorb the rent increases or facing the hostile open market, which often involves homelessness or settling for unsuitable housing.

VCOSS is the peak body for Victoria’s social and community sector, and the state’s premier social advocacy body. We work towards a Victoria free from poverty and disadvantage, where every person and community experiences genuine wellbeing. Read more.

We welcome the opportunity to provide this input.

This work is authorised by VCOSS CEO Juanita Pope.

VCOSS acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country, and we pay respect to Elders and Ancestors. Our business is conducted on sovereign, unceded Aboriginal land. The VCOSS offices are located on Wurundjeri Woiwurrung land in central Naarm.