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Changes to Victoria’s renting laws: Rental provider must provide a free set of keys for each renter

March 24, 2021
Changes to Victoria’s renting laws: Rental provider must provide a free set of keys for each renter

Updated 7 July 2021

There are major reforms in rental laws coming into effect on the 29th March for those with investment properties in Victoria, thanks to the Andrews' Labor Government.

This change aims to provide a minimum standard of security for renters when it comes to keys.

What does this mean for landlords & rental providers?

All landlords and rental providers must provide a free set of keys to each tenant in the rental agreement. This includes keys to the front and back doors. But also other security devices, such as building entrances, individual rooms (where applicable) and private parking.

Additionally, all external doors that can be locked must be secured with a functioning deadlock. This applies to all tenants renting out a residential space.

As of 7 July 2021, Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) now has a clearer definition of a functioning deadlock.

A deadlock means a deadlatch with at least one cylinder.

CAV has expanded on this. Some of the cases where a deadlock doesn't require fitting to external doors include:

  • a different type of lock is required under another Act;

  • it's a screen door that is in the same door frame as the external door, and this screen door has its own deadlock;

  • the door is not directly accessible because of another security barrier, such as a locked door to an apartment complex or a locked gate.

The Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2018 also requires landlords and rental providers to provide locks to secure all windows of the rented premises capable of having a lock. This means that windows must be secured with a mechanical device such as a latch, catch or winder (etc.). Having a timber or metal rod in the track does not meet the minimum standard.

It also notes that should the tenant request any extra keys or security devices; the rental provider may charge a reasonable fee before providing them. [eho]

Does this apply to all forms of rentals?

Yes, it does. The changes in Victoria’s renting laws cover all tenants. Whether they rent an entire property, are in caravan parks and residential parks and those renting in a rooming house (where the tenant rents one or more rooms within a building).

Speaking of rooming houses, is there anything else that I should know?

Victoria’s renting laws already set out minimum standards for rooming houses. This includes that entry and exit doors to a resident’s room must be fitted with a lock. This lock needs to be operated by a key from the outside and can be unlocked from inside without a key. Additionally, the rooming house operator must provide their residents with 24-hour access to their room.

We recommend you visit the Victorian Government website for more information relating to rooming house standards.

As a renter, is there anything I should know?

In general, when it comes to the security of your rental property, there are plenty of things to look out for. This includes the strength of the external doors, checking there are no cracks in windows and more. Finally, for more security tips for renters, this article is a must-read. This blog will also provide you with important links to relevant government sites.

If you need to upgrade your rental property's security, you will find everything you need with us, Secure Your World. Get started here.