Temporary changes to the Victorian RTA in response to COVID-19
Temporary changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (RTA) have been introduced to protect Victorian tenants and landlords from the impact of COVID-19.
SDA providers who have transitioned to use of RTA lease agreements are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the changes as they impact SDA residency agreements.
COVID-19 temporary measures for SDA residency agreements include:
- Suspension of rent increase: A provider must not increase rent payable, or give notice of a proposed rent increase.
- Reduction of rent: The participant may apply for reduced rent.
- Payment plans when rent is outstanding: The participant may be entitled to a payment plan for rent and outstanding arrears of rent.
- SDA provider must allow payment of rent by Centrepay: Unless advised as ineligible, the SDA provider must permit rent to be paid by the bill paying service known as Centrepay, administered by the Department of Health and Human Services of the Commonwealth, and any other prescribed payment method.
- Breaching a term of the SDA agreement: The SDA resident or SDA provider, in some circumstances, is taken not to have breached terms or provisions in the SDA agreement where they were unable to comply because of a COVID-19 reason. For example, the SDA participant has a duty to permit a person exercising their right of entry. This temporary change means there may not be a breach of duty if access is denied because the SDA participant is unable to comply due to a COVID-19 reason.
For more information on the above RTA measures, and other SDA specific measures introduced in response to COVID-19, see Division 6 of Part 16 – COVID-19 Temporary Measures of the RTA.
For enquires related to the Residential Tenancies Act 1997, please contact Consumer Affairs Victoria 1300 55 81 81.