Landlords could cop up to $57k in fines for unsafe properties in Victoria

The Victorian government is cracking down on minimum rental standards in the wake of a concerning rise in tenant complaints.

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Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gabrielle Williams, and Consumer Affairs Victoria director, Nicole Rich, have joined forces to remind landlords of their obligations to deliver safe and functional rental properties to tenants.

“Every Victorian renter has the right to live in a safe and secure home,” said Williams. “That’s why we introduced the minimum standards back in 2021 and it’s why we established the renting taskforce to crack down on rental law breaches.”

Under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997, it is a criminal offence to let a new renter move into a rental property that does not meet minimum standards.

Individuals can face maximum penalties of over $11,000, while companies face maximum fines of over $57,000.


Member for Albert Park, Nina Taylor, said: “We’re making sure rental providers do the right thing and renters know their rights, so every rental property can be called a home.”

In 2023, poorly maintained rentals were in the top five issues that Consumer Affairs Victoria received complaints about.

The awareness campaign for minimum rental standards is among several changes that the state government recently instituted to protect renters’ rights, including banning rental bidding and creating a $4 million renting taskforce.

There are 14 categories of minimum standards that landlords must comply with in Victoria.

  1. Bathrooms: All rental properties must have a washbasin, shower or bath, a “reasonable supply of hot and cold water”, and a three-star water-efficient shower head.
  2. Electrical safety: Rentals must have modern switchboards with circuit breakers and electrical safety switches.
  3. Heating: All properties must have a fixed heater in the main living area.
  4. Kitchen: Every kitchen must have a stove with two or more burners, and a sink with hot and cold water.
  5. Laundry: If there is a laundry, it must have hot and cold water.
  6. Lighting: All rooms, corridors and hallways must have access to both natural and artificial light.
  7. Locks: All external doors must be fitted with a functional deadlock.
  8. Mould and damp: All rooms must be free of mould and damp caused by the building’s structure.
  9. Structural soundness: The property must be structurally sound and weatherproof.
  10. Toilets: Toilets must be in good working order, connected to a sewage system, and located in a separate room to main living areas.
  11. Ventilation: All habitable rooms must have adequate ventilation.
  12. Vermin proof bins: Rental providers must supply a rat-proof rubbish and recycling bin.
  13. Window coverings: Bedrooms and living rooms must be fitted with light-blocking curtains and blinds.
  14. Windows: All external windows must have a functioning latch to prevent entry from the outside.

Exemptions and additional standards apply for heritage listed properties, rooming houses and apartments.

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