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LANDLORDS MUST STAY ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE LAW WHEN IT COMES TO MANAGING YOUR PROPERTY. HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW.

What Are My Legal Obligations?

As a landlord, you have numerous legal obligations under the Residential Tenancy Act. Your property manager will ensure you comply with the appropriate legislation, but it’s a good idea to talk to them about your responsibilities if you have any concerns.

Here are some of the legal obligations you must meet as a landlord…

Health and safety

Landlords are bound by law to guarantee the safety of a rented property. That means you must take all reasonable steps to ensure no injury is caused to your tenants, neighbours or members of the public.

As a landlord, you must ensure:

The structure of the house is safe and well maintained.

All landlord-owned appliances have been safely installed and maintained.

All utilities such as gas, electricity and water are in working order.

Any health issues such as mould, asbestos and lead paint are promptly addressed.

You are responsible for fitting smoke alarms, which must be hard-wired and include a battery backup in all buildings construction after 1 August 1997. They should be tested regularly and replaced every 10 years.

Smoke alarms

You are responsible for fitting smoke alarms, which must be hard-wired and include a battery backup in all buildings construction after 1 August 1997. They should be tested regularly and replaced every 10 years.

Entering the property

In Victoria, there are strict rules that govern when a landlord can enter their property. You may only enter the property at a date and time agreed to by the tenant, and you must provide at least 24 hours notice of your intent to enter the property to carry out maintenance, repairs or other duties listed in the tenancy agreement.

Showing the property to new tenants

If you have chosen not to renew the lease of your current tenants, you may only show the property to potential buyers or tenants no more than 14 days before the current lease expires.

Inspections

You may make one general inspection every six months, but must provide your tenant with at least 24 hours notice.

Claiming from the bond

If a tenant leaves your property damaged, you may be entitled to claim money from their bond in order to make repairs. You must complete a bond claim form no more than 10 days after the end of the tenancy and it’s illegal to submit a bond claim form that does not show how the bond amount is to be distributed.

Evictions

If you have chosen to evict a tenant, you must provide a Notice to Vacate. If the tenant does not leave by the stated date, you may seek on Order for Possession from VCAT. It is illegal for a landlord or agent to use force to remove a tenant – only the police may carry out a forced eviction with a Warrant for Possession.

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