Renting taskforce will remain toothless while Labor continues screwing renters over


The Victorian Greens have said the Victorian Labor Government’s announcement of a “renting taskforce” is merely an attempt to distract from the thousands of renters barely hanging on by a thread.

The Greens say the hiring of 14 new staff members to enforce rental standards will do nothing as long as the law allows landlords to hike up rents and kick people out for just asking for repairs and maintenance. 

Under the current legislation, landlords can increase rents by unlimited amounts, and CAV is powerless to enforce a limit. 

Many renters in the Victorian Rental Crisis Inquiry reported being scared to report issues or ask for minimum standards, because landlords have the power to increase the rent by as much as they like to force renters out.

One renter who submitted to the inquiry, Mark, said that despite their rental being mouldy and in need of repair, “due to the crisis we are too afraid to report it for fear of backlash”.

Victorian Greens renters’ rights spokesperson, Gabrielle de Vietri, said it was good that pressure from renters had compelled Labor to announce something.

However, she said that as long as unlimited rent rises and no grounds evictions were still legal, 14 new staff would do very little to address the serious complaints of the almost 700,000 Victorians who rent.

She added that renters would continue to struggle until Labor fixed the power imbalance between renters and landlords that sees too many renters unable to enforce their rights, for risk of homelessness.

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

"It’s good that pressure from renters have compelled Labor to act, but this is truly tinkering around the edges.

“How can this make renting fairer while unlimited rent increases are still legal?

“How can this make renting fairer when landlords can evict a renter for absolutely no reason?

“Hiring more people to address dodgy rental providers is important, but it will do next to nothing until this government addresses its own role in the worsening housing crisis.”