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The Victorian government’s review of its currents residential tenancy legislation could result in significant reduction in the size of the state’s rental market.

In the latest step in its Plan for Fairer Safer Housing review program, the government is calling for responses to a recently released discussion paper which focuses on the condition of rental properties in the state.

A key point in paper is whether Victoria’s residential tenancy legislation should be updated to come in-line with jurisdictions such as South Australia and Tasmania and enforce minimum standards a dwelling must meet before it can be offered for lease.

The discussion paper puts forward 15 points that have suggested as possible minimum standards to the government by stakeholders groups, such as ensuring the property can be connected to utilities, is safe and secure, weatherproof and fitted with kitchen and laundry facilities and a hard-wired smoke alarm.

Other points include fitting rental properties with a temperature control device and making rental properties energy efficient through the use of insulation, water saving tapware and draught-proofing.

Cameron Osborne, director of property management firm Melbourne Asset Management, told Your Investment Property that the minimum condition standards would likely be a step forward for Victoria, though there is a need for balance.

“Currently in Victoria you can rent out a cardboard box. There’s no minimum standards at all which is pretty crazy and unfortunately people are renting out things like caravans and shipping containers,” Osborne told Your Investment Property.

“It’s probably going too far when it comes to things like energy efficiency. If an owner has to do that sort of thing then they’re going to have to put the rents up to cover costs or they’ll choose not to rent a property out. Either way that’s probably going to impact the number of properties available to rent at the cheaper end of the market,” he said. READ MORE

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