The Commissioner for Residential Tenancies provides independent advice to the Victorian Government to inform the development of residential tenancy policy and legislative frameworks, programs and services.
A key focus of the role is to promote the rights of renters and residents of rooming houses, caravan parks and residential parks, and specialist disability accommodation, and to support their participation in the private residential rental sector. The word ‘renter’ on this website can include people in any of these housing arrangements.
This is an important role, as more Victorians are renting, for different reasons and for longer periods of time.
The private rental sector has always catered for a broad range of renters. However, in the past more were newly formed households, younger people and students. Renting was commonly a relatively short-term transitional arrangement, which ended in a move to home ownership or to social housing.
Over time, more families with children and older people on fixed incomes have become long-term renters. Stability and security - and the opportunity to participate in their community over the longer term - are important to ensuring their health and well-being.
As the rental sector changes, the Commissioner will focus on renters’ experiences in the private rental sector and be a strong champion for their rights.
The Commissioner for Residential Tenancies is located within the Department of Justice and Community Safety. The Commissioner is not connected to Consumer Affairs Victoria or agencies within the Department of Justice and Community Safety.
What the Commissioner can do
The Commissioner is the voice of renters on emerging and systemic issues. These are issues which have a significant impact, are ongoing, and affect many renters including those in private renting arrangements, residents of rooming houses, caravan parks and residential parks, and specialist disability accommodation.
The Commissioner will:
- identify and act on systemic and community-wide issues affecting renters across the private rental sector by:
- listening to their experiences
- consulting widely with renters, advocacy groups and stakeholders
- understanding the wider housing system within which rental arrangements operate
- inform and advise the Victorian Government on current and emerging issues
- recommend changes to renting laws, programs and services to inform and support renters.
What the Commissioner cannot do
The Commissioner and her team cannot provide direct support or legal advice to renters.
The Commissioner’s role is not individual advocacy such as resolving disputes, providing legal advice, representing renters at court or tribunal hearings or dealing with complaints about government services. Other agencies and support services deal with these matters.
For information about these agencies and services, visit our Where to get help page.