The past week has seen a number of new reforms to VIC legislation that will affect current and potential property owners. Read below our summary of what’s been announced and how it could affect you.
During 2018 over 130 changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 were passed in Victoria. These reforms aim to protect both landlords and renters by making fair changes. Many of these updates have already been implemented, however, the full-suite doesn’t come in to effect until July 2020.
As of the 19th of July 2019, two major changes will kick into gear:
1. Rent increases limited to once per year for new tenancy agreements
Both periodic and fixed-term rental agreements are affected by this reform. Any rental agreement from the 19th July 2020 can only increase the cost of rent annually instead of twice annually as it was previously.
Landlords are still required to provide 60 days notice of any rental increase in writing. An updated notice of increase form will be available on the vic.gov.au site as of the 19th of July 2019.
2. The ‘Renting a home: a guide for tenants’ guide can now be shared electronically
Previously the Renting a home: a guide for tenants guide was to be provided to tenants as a printed booklet. New tenants now have the option to consent to receive the guide electronically via one of the following options:
- The landlord/agent can include a clause in the tenancy agreement
- Filling in the Consent to electronic service of notices and other documents form
- The tenant can request in writing
A number of changes to Victorian rental laws have taken place since September 2018 and further improvements for renters and rental providers will trickle through until July 2020.
Have you been thinking of buying or building a new development in Victoria? It has just been announced by the Victorian government that they are going to be to significantly extending a tax on development agreements.
Changes brought by the State Taxation Acts Amendment Bill 2019 means developers will be regarded as acquiring “beneficial ownership” of any site worth more than $1 million and will be subjected to 5.5 per cent stamp duty on potentially the entire value of the land.
This could potentially make housing more expensive for consumers and could push developers elsewhere, as anyone who enters into development agreements will now pay stamp duty as if there was a transfer of land.
With the state’s Treasury predicting a further 13.1 per cent decline in the Victorian market before it stabilises, this could trigger a $5.2 billion write-down in stamp duty expectations.
This is only affecting Victoria for now, but it is predicted that the other states will follow suit soon. We will post any updates in this space.
Disclaimer: The views, information, or opinions expressed in this blog post are for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon. We have not taken into account specific situations, facts or circumstances, and no part of this blog post constitutes personal financial, legal, or tax advice to you. You should seek tax advice from your accountant, specific to your situation.