Renters in Victoria will now be able to make minor modifications to their home without the approval of their landlord.
A suite of new reforms came into effect on Monday, including new rental minimum standards and bans on rental bidding and evictions for no specified reason.
The approved modifications include installing picture hooks, shelves, LED light globes, child safety gates and wall anchoring devices to secure furniture.
Landlords also must not unreasonably refuse modifications such as painting, planting vegetable and herb gardens or installing a dishwasher, flyscreen or pet door.
Renters can also make urgent repairs without their landlord’s permission, with the landlord required to pay them back within seven days of the renter giving written notice of the reasonable cost of the repairs.
Rental properties will also need to meet minimum standards, like having fitted heaters, hot and cold water, door locks and kitchens with functioning sinks, cooktops and ovens.
The reforms were among 130 amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act, which passed parliament in 2018.
Several reforms have already come into effect, including allowing renters to keep pets and a ban on increasing rent more than once a year.
The latest reforms were scheduled to begin in July last year but were delayed by the pandemic.
“These reforms are about giving renters the right to safe, secure and affordable accommodation, while ensuring rental providers can continue to manage their properties effectively,” Consumer Affairs Minister Melissa Horne said in a statement on Monday.
“We’re delivering on our promise to make renting fair for all Victorians – whether you’re a renter or a rental provider, the new laws will make a positive difference to how we view renting in Victoria.”