Rental Minimum Standards - Changes Effective 29 March 2021





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Under the new rental laws, rental providers (landlords) must ensure that their rental property meets certain minimum standards.


The minimum standards cover basic but important requirements relating to amenity, safety and privacy, and rental providers owe a duty to ensure their property meets these standards. The minimum standards apply only to rental agreements signed on or after 29 March 2021.


What are the rental minimum standards?

All rental properties must comply with the rental minimum standards listed below. There are 14 categories:



Door Locks

  • All external entry doors to the rented premises which are not able to be secured with a functioning deadlock, other than any screen door attached to an external door, must at least be fitted with a locking device that:
- is operated by a key from the outside and
- may be locked from the inside with or without a key

  • This does not apply to a front door that opens to common property (e.g. entrance to an apartment building)
  • This does not apply if the property is a registered place and a request for a permit to comply with this standard has been refused under the Heritage Act 2017.



Ventilation

Rented premises must meet the ventilation standards in the Building Code of Australia. 



Vermin Proof Bins 

Must be supplied by local council and compliant with council regulations.



Toilets

  • Rented premises must contain a toilet in working order connected to an appropriate waste system
  • Must be in a room or structure intended to be used as a toilet area.


 
Bathroom Facilities 

  • Reasonable hot and cold water supply
  • washbasin, shower/bath
  • minimum 3 star rated showerheads.



Kitchen Facilities

  • Dedicated food preparation area
  • sink with hot and cold water
  • if there is an oven it must be in working order
  • stovetop in good working order that has two or more burners
  • this does not apply if the property is a registered place and a request for a permit to comply with this standard has been refused under the Heritage Act 2017


 
Laundry Facilities

If provided, must be connected to a reasonable amount of hot and cold water.



Structural Soundness

Rented premises to be structurally sound and weatherproof.



Mould & Dampness 


Each room free from mould and damp caused by the building structure.


 

Electrical Safety

Must have electrical safety switches installed from 29 March 2023.



Window Coverings

All windows in bedrooms and living area must have coverings that can block light and provide privacy from 29 March 2022.


 

Windows

  • External windows that can be opened must be able to be set in open/closed position
  • if there are no locks there must be latches to secure against external entry.



Lighting

  • Interior rooms and corridors must have appropriate access to light, it can be natural or artificial
  • Any habitable rooms (such as a bedroom, living room or study) must have access to natural light and artificial light.



Heating

  • Phased approach to reforms – over a 3 year period
  • On and from 29 March 2021, a fixed heater in the main living area will be required for all rented premises including Class 1 properties (attached and detached houses) and Class 2 properties (multi-unit residential buildings)
  • If a fixed heater in the main living area has not been installed, an energy efficient heater (2 star minimum) must be installed
  • From 29 March 2023, an energy efficient fixed heater (minimum 2 star rated) in the main living area will be required for all rented premises
  • If the rental property is in a class 2 building (apartment block) and it is not feasible to install an energy efficient heater, (e.g. due to Owner’s Corporation rules or excessive costs), then the energy efficiency requirement does not apply, but a fixed heater is still required.



When will these standards begin to apply? 

The minimum standards will be phased in and will only apply when a new residential rental agreement begins on or after 29 March 2021.  


What if the rental property doesn’t meet the minimum standards?

If the rental property does not meet the minimum standards, the renter can end the rental agreement before they move in. Renters can also request an urgent repair to make the rental property meet the minimum standards at any time after they move in.

What if the rental property doesn’t meet the minimum standards?

If the rental property does not meet the minimum standards, the renter can end the rental agreement before they move in. Renters can also request an urgent repair to make the rental property meet the minimum standards at any time after they move in.


Learn more at Consumer Affairs Victoria.