30 Apr New rules for Victorian tenants wishing to move out.
I hope this finds you well.
We wanted to provide you with an important update that may directly affect you.
You will have heard that during Covid-19 a landlord cannot evict a tenant. But did you also know that it is now illegal in Victoria for a residential tenant who is not severely impacted by Covid 19 to move out of their home even if their lease has ended and is only month to month.
Yep – That is correct. It is a surprising and unusual change in unique times but unless a tenant is severely impacted by Covid-19 they cannot give notice of their intention to vacate their home even if their lease is periodic (month by month) has ended.
So if you are a tenant on a month to month lease and are not severely impacted by Covid-19 you cannot legally give notice to move out of your home to move to a different leased property or
– move back in with your parents.
– or move into your new home you have purchased.
– or move in with some friends to save money.
Unless you satisfy one of 4 criteria being you…
1. require temporary crises accommodation,
2. are accepting an offer for public housing,
3. requiring special personal care, or
4. are severely impacted by Covid 19,
you cannot move out of your tenanted home for 6 months from the end of March. That takes us to the end of September. So until then no owner can ask a tenant to move out, and no tenant can give notice to move out, unless they satisfy one of those 4 criteria.
You can also apply to VCAT to ask that your tenancy agreement be reduced if you are in a fixed term agreement. You can only do this if you are experiencing severe hardship. Before making a decision VCAT will take into account both the hardship you may suffer if the agreement cannot be reduced and the hardship the landlord may suffer if it is reduced.
This is a bizarre situation that has recently become law following the Covid-19 Omnibus emergency measures bill which included amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act and was passed through Victorian Parliament recently. Tenants Victoria web site has just been updated with details on this and if you would like more information please call us or visit their web site. The link is provided below.
This is a big change to what everyone is used to and you may not consider it to be right or fair but we are in very interesting times.
If you are a tenant wanting to move, please talk to us to discuss your situation but you may need to stay where you are for a bit longer unless you satisfy one of those 4 criteria.
We can only guess what the reason for this change is but maybe the government is trying to provide some balance between landlords and tenants by saying, if an owner is not able to evict a tenant during Covid 19 then the tenant is also unable to vacate the property to give each party the same level of security.
If you have any questions please contact us on 03 8539 3333 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep well and thanks for your understanding and cooperation during these unique times.