In the past, renting a home was a short term solution, particularly among young people who were studying or saving to buy a home.
Australians are renting in growing numbers, and for longer. Around one third of private tenants in Australia have rented continuously for over ten years. And renting is no longer the domain of young people. An increasing number of long-term tenants are older people on fixed incomes, or families who need stability.
Characteristics and demographics
The number of people renting a home in Victoria is growing.
The 2016 Census found that almost one in three households were renting. In the 20 years to 2016, the number of households renting rose by more than 60 per cent. By comparison, over the same period the number of all Victorian households - those renting plus homeowners - increased by just over 40 per cent.
Around nine in 10 households rent privately-owned housing while one in 10 live in public housing. Only a small number of households rent community housing.
Renters in private rental housing are typically:
- living with other renters, either as a couple, in a family or a group household
- aged between 25 to 34 years – although younger renters outnumber older renters, the fastest growing group of renters are those aged 55 and over
- living in a house with two or more bedrooms
- four times more likely to have moved in the last year than homeowners
- paying increasingly more of their income towards rent
- living in a rental property managed by a real estate agent.
Services to support renters in Victoria
There are several government and community agencies have responsibilities for the Victorian private rental sector. Together these agencies provide support services for renters including:
- information and advice to help people independently resolve disputes
- third party conciliation, mediation and negotiation services
- inspections and advice to help in the resolution of disputes, or to support legal actions
- legal advice and representation at hearings
- alternative dispute resolution and hearings which make binding orders and decisions
- financial help to vulnerable and disadvantaged renters to support their participation in the private rental sector.
If you need help with your renting situation please click here to see our list of services that can help you.
Annual private rental sector snapshot
Each year the Commissioner will review the characteristics and trends in the private rental sector and publish an annual statistical snapshot. This will inform government and community decision-makers and the Victorian public.