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.

The rental sector in Victoria is comprised of:

  • Community housing, which is provided by non-profit organisations and includes both temporary and long-term rental housing.
  • Public housing, which is owned by the Victorian government and provides long-term subsidised rental accommodation for disadvantaged Victorians, and
  • the private rental market, which is rented housing provided by private owners or operators. About 2/3 of private owners use a real estate agent to manage their rented housing and about 1/3 of private owners self-manage.

Around nine in 10 households that rent live in privately-owned housing while one in 10 live in public housing owned by the Government. Only a small number of households (about 1 in 50) that rent live in community housing.

The Commissioner’s main area of interest is the private rental market.

Renters in private rental market 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.