The Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) has been temporarily amended in response to the Covid-19 pandemic for a period of six months from 29 March 2020. The changes give effect in Victoria to the National Cabinet commitment to a temporary moratorium on many types of eviction. They also freeze rent increases and make a number of other changes aimed at sustaining tenancies throughout the pandemic.
These changes include the discontinuation of Notices to Vacate, voiding of notices already sent, limitation of the grounds on which a tenancy can be terminated and creation of an alternative tenancy termination process which requires an application to VCAT to seek a termination order.
CHIA Vic has provided a summary of the changes to members and assisted member organisations in adapting to the changes. Further information will soon be available as regulations are released and CHIA Vic will be providing a briefing to the sector and practice notes at that time.
Along with these temporary changes, permanent amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act which were due to come into force by 1 July 2020 have now been pushed back and are now due to come into force by 1 January 2021. This provides more time for organisations to prepare for the amendment. It will also allow CHIA Vic time to work with the Department of Health and Human Services to address potential issues that the amendments may cause for the community housing sector and to seek further amendments to address these issues.