This website is for use by legal professionals (lawyers and law practices) only. If the information is used incorrectly, you could risk losing money or your legal rights. If you are a member of the public looking for free advice about your legal problems please visit legalaid.vic.gov.au, or contact our Legal Help advice line on 1300 792 387, Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6 pm. 

If you decide to use or rely on the information or make decisions based on the information in this website (which VLA does not recommend) VLA is not liable to you or any third party in any way for any loss, damage, costs or expenses you or they may suffer or incur as a result.

Changes to Residential Tenancies Act – March 2021

Summary of the changes due to amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act, which give better protection for tenants.

Published:
Monday 29 March 2021 at 12:00 am

From 28 March 2021 the temporary protections for renters ended. From this date renters will not longer:

  • have protection against eviction for rent arrears if they suffered COVD-19-related hardship
  • be able to end a rental agreement (whether fixed-term or periodic) due to COVID-19-related hardship
  • have recourse to arbitration for a rent reduction
  • be able to seek termination order proceedings at VCAT.  

From 29 March 2021, amendments to Residential Tenancies Act 2021 commence. Among the changes are:

  • new names: renter, rental provider and rental agreement replace tenant, landlord and lease
  • VCAT must apply the reasonable and proportionate test when deciding whether to make a possession order
  • renters who fall behind in their rent get 4 chances a year ('strikes') to repay the debt without fear of eviction
  • VCAT may adjourn possession order proceedings and refer a renter to financial counselling 
  • end of 120-day 'no reason' notice to vacate
  • new grounds for issuing notice to vacate: damage, danger, threats and intimidation, keeping pet without permission
  • easier process for getting back the bond
  • new minimum standards apply to rental accommodation
  • clearer process for dealing with goods left behind
  • Director must establish a 'rental non-compliance register' for rental providers/agents who break the law or breach VCAT orders
  • rental providers must make certain disclosures before entering a rental agreement
  • additional information to be provided to renters about unlawful discrimination
  • general increase in maximum penalties

See Key changes to residential tenancy in 2021.

Updated