Security of tenure

    Housing security, or security of tenure, is about having choice, control and certainty over your housing circumstances. Tenure security is about the ability to create a home and a sense of belonging in the community.

    What’s the problem?

    There are a lot of different factors that influence how secure a tenant feels in their housing situation. The one that comes to many people’s mind is the length of their fixed-term agreement. If you’ve got one of those you should be right, right? Well not necessarily. Tenure security is not only about the length of your lease. Other aspects that give you tenure security are:

    • having a rent that you can afford to pay (and knowing that it won’t be increased haphazardly);
    • having your home be properly maintained and being able to get repairs done through an accessible and simple process;
    • having privacy and quiet enjoyment of your home; and
    • having confidence that you will be able to stay in your home for as long as you want whilst maintaining your responsibilities as a tenant.

    Sadly legislation in Victoria fails tenants in these four areas.

    What’s the solution?

    There are a great number of ways in which the Victorian government can improve housing security for tenants. The top three ways the government can increase security of tenure is to:

    • limit the landlords’ ability to evict tenants for no fault, including abolishing all no-reason notices to vacate;
    • create easier options for the resolution of common breaches of duty by the landlord (particularly privacy and repairs);
    • introduce better regulation of rent increases for tenants during continuous occupation.

    How can you help?

    1) Sign our petition

    The Victorian Government is currently reviewing our Residential Tenancies Act (RTA), which controls safety, security and privacy for 1.2 million people across the state. Help us to make renting fair by signing our petition.

    2) Tell us your story

    Have you been served with a notice to vacate for no reason? Or had your rent increased during your tenancy agreement? Have you been forced to move because your landlord would not undertake repairs or continued to invade your privacy?
    Case studies about your experiences can help us to campaign for better tenancy laws and practices. We have lots of statistics based on our research and our advice work but your stories can add a strong ‘human’ voice to our evidence base. This can be very powerful when we are talking to politicians or the media about the issues that tenants face. It can also provide good examples of real problems when we are writing submissions or newsletters.

    We will never use your story in a way that could identify you unless you specifically give us your consent. Tell us your story.

    3) Tell the Minister

     
    The Hon. Marlene Kairouz MP
    Minister for Consumer Affairs
     
    You can tell the Minister that she should make housing more secure for renters.
    Send an email via the form below. You can add to our message or write your own.

    I want more certainty in my rented home

    Dear Minister,

     

    Renters in Victoria do not feel secure enough in their housing. Tenure security is important as stable housing enables people to construct a home, make connections to their community and facilitate social and economic participation.

     

    The Victorian renting legislation is failing tenants in their ability to have security in their housing. There are a great number of ways in which the Victorian government can improve housing security for tenants.

     

    The Victorian government needs to:

     

    1)   Abolish No Reason Notices to Vacate (S120) and End of Lease Notices to Vacate (S60 & S90).

     

    2)   Facilitate a simpler process for tenants to have repairs undertaken by the landlord.

     

    3)   Strengthen the legislation to give tenants a right to ‘privacy’ as well as ‘quiet enjoyment’ of their homes.

     

    4)   Regulate that landlords cannot increase the rent during a fixed-term tenancy agreement.

     

    I urge you to consider these recommendations in the review of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997.

     

    Yours sincerely,

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    The Tenants Union of Victoria acknowledges the support of the Victorian Government.