The Commissioner's role

The Commissioner for Residential Tenancies provides independent advice to the Victorian Government to recommend changes to renting laws, programs and services to improve the renting rights, practices and tenant experiences across Victoria.

Dr Heather Holst, as Victoria's first Commissioner for Residential Tenancies, listens to the first-hand experiences of renters, renter advocacy groups and key stakeholders to identify community-issues and advocate for opportunities for change to Government.

The Commissioner:

  • exposes market practices and regulatory gaps that erode the rights of renters
  • furthers initiatives to increase renters' understanding and knowledge of their rights
  • pursues opportunities to strengthen the rights of renters and improve market practices
  • supports the development of improved dispute resolution processes and other mechanisms to better enable renters' to exercise their rights
  • assists in the implementation of the amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act (External link) to ensure the reforms improve renter experiences as intended 
  • work collaboratively with government and rental sector stakeholders for their consideration and action

Tell the Commissioner about renting issues that affect you 

The Commissioner listens to the experiences of tenants in private rental (as well as residents of rooming houses, caravan parks and residential parks, and specialist disability accommodation). You can engage with the Commissioner by: 

The Commissioner uses the information provided directly from renters to inform her submissions to Government. 

How your story helps

A personal story is often the most powerful way to influence change to policies, laws and programs. Stories are remembered and continue to have an influence after you tell them. 

Each year we will publish a report on the issues that have been raised directly by renters. We will only use the stories you have told us to illustrate particular issues. We will only do this with your agreement. If we use your story we will not include any details that identify you, such as, your name or the address of your rental property.

Telling your rental story will help identify and demonstrate the issues and concerns for renters and help make renting better for all Victorian 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, see Where to get help.

Renting in Victoria Annual Snapshot

The Commissioner produces an Annual Snapshot publication to provide summary data about what is happening in the Victorian rental sector. 

The Annual Snapshot aims to improve general knowledge about renting and assist people developing policy and services by providing them with information on rental issues and other helpful data. 

The Annual Snapshot draws on information from demographic and population data sources such as the Australian Census and the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority, and the main organisations that renters turn to for assistance such as Tenants Victoria, Consumer Affairs Victoria, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, welfare agencies and community legal services. 

Read the Renting in Victoria Snapshot 2022 (External link)

Read the Renting in Victoria Snapshot 2021

Read the Renting in Victoria Snapshot 2020

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