What is the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA)?
In Australia, laws that apply to tenancy agreements vary from state to state. The legislation that covers landlords and tenants in Victoria is called the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA). The purpose of the RTA is to define the rights and duties of landlords and tenants/residents of:
- Rented premises
- Rooming houses
- Caravan parks
Your rights and duties as a tenant vary slightly with each of the options.
The provisions in the RTA outline procedures to avoid and/or resolve disputes under the Act.
Need to know more?
- Consumer Affairs Victoria produces a booklet called Renting a home: A guide for tenants and landlords. It is your landlord's duty to provide you with a copy of this booklet at the start of your tenancy. It's also available from Student Housing Services.
- Useful fact sheets are also available on the Tenants Victoria website.
- Our Student Housing Advisers are also available to answer your tenancy questions.
Am I covered by the RTA?
If you have an agreement with your landlord, you will most likely be covered by the RTA.
The RTA covers Australian and international tenants. It also covers tenants regardless of whether they are students, professionals or unemployed.
Tenancy agreements or leases are legally binding documents. Learn about your tenancy rights and duties to avoid troubles with your landlord.
Take note that you may not be covered by the RTA if you share a property with your landlord. Contact the Housing Service or the Tenants Union of Victoria if you would like advice.
Who is exempt from the RTA?
Exemption from the RTA applies to housing that is operated by or formally affiliated with an educational institution.
Take note that some housing providers might falsely claim an exemption to avoid compliance with the RTA. Compliance is not a choice. Check with Student Housing Services if you are unsure about this.
Before the housing provider can claim affiliation they must have a formal written agreement with an education institution. If any housing facility claims affiliation with this University, or another educational institution, we would encourage you to request a copy of any such agreement.
Tenants who live in rental properties not covered by the RTA still have rights and duties under the Fair Trading Act (1999).