Yarra City Council calls for fairer rental laws
Thursday 18 May 2017
Yarra has become the first Council in Victoria to support the ‘Make Renting Fair’ campaign.
Yarra Mayor, Councillor Amanda Stone, said that many renters currently face unfair treatment from landlords and insecure or short-term leases.
“More than half of Yarra residents are renters and this number will grow in the years to come, as a result of population growth and high house prices in the inner-city,” Cr Stone said.
“83% of renters in Victoria have no long-term security  and face the possibility that they could be served with a ‘no reason’ eviction notice at any time. The balance of power is tipped firmly in favour of landlords, leaving individuals and families vulnerable.
“Unfortunately, those who are hit hardest by unfair rental laws are often those who are already facing disadvantage, including those who have experienced homelessness, people living with mental illness or a disability, older people and low income households.
“The Victorian Government is currently reviewing the Residential Tenancies Act, which controls safety, security and privacy for 1.2 million people across the state. We will be writing to the Minister for Consumer Affairs, the Hon. Marlene Kairouz, urging her to make rental laws fairer by scrapping ‘no reason’ eviction notices, introducing minimum property standards, and a number of other measures.
“The way we live is changing, with more people are renting for more of their lives. It is critical that renters are treated fairly under the law and their rights are protected,” Cr Stone said.
At its meeting on 16 May 2017, Yarra Council voted unanimously support a Tenant’s Union of Victoria request to advocate for fairer rental laws and to support the Make Renting Fair campaign. Read the full Council resolution below:
12.1 – COUNCIL RESOLUTION
Moved: Councillor Nguyen Seconded: Councillor Bosler
1. That Council:
(a) note that the Victorian Government is currently reviewing the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (the Act), which controls safety, security and privacy for some 1.2 million people across the state;
(b) note the request from the Tenant’s Union of Victoria seeking Council’s support to:
(i) securing fair rental laws in Victoria as part of the Victorian Government’s current review of the Act; and
(ii) the “Make Renting Fair Campaign” which seeks:
a. removal of ‘no reason’ eviction notices;
b. reforming of unjust tenancy database practices;
c. introduction of minimum property standards that address health, safety and energy efficiency;
d. creation of incentives for landlords to undertake necessary repairs;
e. prevention of unwanted visits and photography;
f. allowing tenants to undertake reasonable modifications;
g. prevention of unreasonable evictions;
h. implementation of the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Family Violence;
i. maintenance of existing protections for vulnerable tenants;
j. rejection of punitive measures currently under consideration, including:
i. making evictions quicker and easier;
ii. enforcing onerous and unfair lease terms;
iii. introducing new bond payments for pet owners; and
iv. restricting stays by guests and family; and
(c) promote its support of the Make Renting Fair Campaign within the municipality and write to the Minister for Consumer Affairs, The Hon. Marlene Kairouz, advocating for fair rental laws as outlined above.