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Renting out a property that doesn't meet standards? You could cop an $11,000 fine

Updated: 2 days ago

(This is a repost of an article which appeared in sbs.com.au - link to original article https://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/renting-out-a-property-that-doesnt-meet-standards-you-could-cop-an-11000-fine/5km2d0mij published 21 March 2024 2:19pm)

Dodgy Victorian landlords and real estate agents are set to be targeted by a new government task force that can issue fines of up to $57,000 for companies and $11,000 for individuals.

Rule-breaking landlords and real estate agents in Victoria will be targeted and hit with hefty fines if they break the state's rental standards laws.

KEY POINTS
- A new task force will crack down on advertising and rental properties that do not meet minimum standards.
- Violators face fines of up to $57,000 for companies and $11,000 for individuals if they break laws in Victoria. 
- Potential illegal conduct can be reported to the designated task force.

A new task force will crack down on false advertising, renting out properties that do not meet minimum standards and not lodging bonds.

 

Consumer Affairs Minister Gabrielle Williams said the task force would start responding to complaints this year and be staffed by intelligence analysts, inspectors, investigators and lawyers.
What are the rental minimum standards?
She said some landlords had continued to behave badly despite the state government implementing more than 130 rental reforms in 2021.

"Most rental providers and estate agents do the right thing – today's announcement is about sending a clear message to those trying to get away with rental offences," Williams said.

Rental minimum standards in Victoria include having a functional kitchen, lockable external doors and being structurally sound and waterproof.

Allowing a renter to move into a property that does not meet standards is a criminal offence and attracts penalties of more than $57,000 for companies and $11,000 for individuals.
How can you report potential illegal conduct?
The task force will be run by Consumer Affairs Victoria and allow the public to report potential illegal conduct to its intelligence team and upload evidence like photos through its website.

Its launch comes after the Greens secured a parliamentary inquiry into the state government's plan to demolish 44 public housing towers and privatise much of the attached land.

The inquiry will investigate the rationale behind levelling the towers and the plan's impact on current public housing residents.

Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam, said for the past six months the government had refused to answer questions about its plan.

"They've failed to consult, refused to answer questions and left communities in the dark, hoping that 10,000 residents will quietly leave their long-time homes so the government can knock them down," Ratnam said.

"Demolishing public housing will make the housing crisis worse."

Premier Jacinta Allan accused the Greens of teaming up with the coalition to block and stop investment in public housing.

"That is going to see resources being devoted to a political inquiry in the upper house (and) diverted away from building more homes for more Victorians," she told reporters on Thursday.

 
Don't take the risk - ask us how we can help give you peace of mind and clarity across your entire portfolio with RentSafe.

Call 1300 818 138 or email rentsafe@taskforce.com.au.

Download our Minimum Rental Standards brochure here.

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