Rent controls on the cards in Victoria following Greens pressure


The Victorian Greens have welcomed reports the Victorian Labor Government is considering limiting landlords to one rent increase every two years, along with a cap on rent increases. 

This follows tireless pressure from the Greens and would help alleviate the worsening rental crisis by preventing out-of-control rent increases.

However, the Greens say that to support renters doing it tough right now, the Government must also implement an immediate rent freeze, to prevent more renters from facing housing stress or homelessness.

Victorian Greens renters’ rights spokesperson, Gabrielle de Vietri, said the current crisis was dire.

Rents are rising faster than wages and driving up inflation, and many renters are being forced to decide between paying rent or putting food on the table. Some renters have converted their living rooms into bedrooms to help cover the skyrocketing cost of rent, while others are sleeping in tents and caravans.

Ms de Vietri said that in order to tackle the crisis head-on, the Government needed to implement a two-year rent freeze, followed by a cap on rent increases.

To ensure security for renters, any cap must be connected to the property, not the tenant, and must be set at a retrospective rate. 

The Government must also regulate the short-stay industry and strengthen the state’s vacancy tax.

Last month, through constructive negotiations with the Government on its budget tax reforms, the Greens secured a commitment from the Government to consider all of the above measures as part of its plan to tackle the rental crisis.

That same month the Greens also introduced a bill in the Upper House to control rent rises. They also recently established a parliamentary inquiry into the rental crisis, which is about to commence its public hearings.

Quotes attributable to Victorian Greens renters’ rights spokesperson, Gabrielle de Vietri MP: 

“Unlimited rent rises should be illegal. Finally the state government has realised they can’t keep ignoring renters and letting landlords hike up the rent by however much they like.

“It’s clear that pressure works. Until recently, this Government had no plan for renters. 

“But after tireless campaigning from the Greens and the community for renter safeguards, the Government is now considering much-needed rent controls.

“With so many renters around the state facing housing stress and homelessness, the Government can’t delay any longer, and needs to act now.

“Along with a potential cap on rent increases, we also need to see an immediate rent freeze, short-stay regulations, and a stronger vacancy tax.”