Landlords who take money to provide eco-friendly services such as landscaping and cleaning, for example, will not be welcome to rent to tenants in return, a council is hearing.
The Victorian Landlord and Tenant Board (VLTB) is expected to hear from a group of landlords on Tuesday about the possibility of providing eco-minded tenants with “environmental” services.
In a submission to the Landlord & Tenant Act 1975, the VLTB said the “ecological” nature of the services provided by landlords would be of concern to tenants, who would likely feel they were getting a good deal.
“The use of eco-services by landlords in the provision of services to tenants is likely to have an impact on their relationship with the landlord and their ability to engage in productive activities in the community,” it said.
“In some instances, a landlord may be entitled to provide a service in return for an advance payment of rent.”
Landlords may not pay for eco-like services by taking money from rentersRead moreThe VLTb recommended that if a landlord did take money for an eco-service it should be paid to a charity or other organisation, such as a local health or education charity, that supports the environment.
However, it said that the landlord may also be required to “pay back the money to the tenant in some circumstances, including if the landlord’s activities benefit the environment or a person in the tenant’s household”.
The Victorian Government has announced it is looking into how to tackle the problem of landlords taking money for eco services.
A spokesperson for the VGTB said it was important that landlords were “clear” about what they were taking from tenants and that they were not “treating the tenants like disposable commodities”.
“If you are a landlord who takes money from a tenant and you do not pay the rent or make a contribution towards a sustainable or ecological project, the landlord will not have to pay back the payment to you,” the spokesperson said.
The VGTb will also hear from tenants about how to protect themselves from landlords taking “ecosocial” money.
Topics:community-and-society,social-policy,law-crime-and_justice,law,housing,social_distribution,property,landlord-and–tenant,tenants,community-organisations,community,rentals-and‐rental-relations,government-and-“parties” source News23 title Victorian Landlords need to be more ethical about taking money to ‘save’ their tenants article Victorian Landholders are being urged to become more ethical in their dealings with tenants by the Victorian Landmaster and Tenants Board (VTLTB).
The Landlord, Tenant and Landowner Act 1975 states landlords are obliged to “act in a manner which promotes the conservation and improvement of the environment” and “willfully” violate any of the above.
“A landlord will be guilty of wilful contravention of this Act if:”a) he or she wilfully and intentionally contravenes any provision of this [Act] in relation to the supply of an amenity;”b) he [or she] wilfully contravene any provision in relation with the provision or installation of an ecological service or a social service;”c) he wilfully fails to provide or provide or fail to install any environmental or social service in compliance with any provision contained in this Act; or”d) he (or she) wilfully acts in a wilful manner or in disregard of the requirements of this or any other Act, including a requirement contained in any other enactment or a requirement of the local community planning authority.”
The Act requires landlords to:• provide “an environmentally friendly, socially acceptable and sustainable service to a person living in a dwelling unit” or • provide “a social service that is environmentally or socially acceptable, and that is used to improve the conditions of the community” to tenants.
The act also provides that landlords must provide “any environmental or socially unacceptable service” to their tenants.
“It is important that all of your obligations under the Act are met and that you act in a way that promotes the preservation of the environmental, social and economic wellbeing of the tenants, and not in an unethically or illegally exploitative manner,” the Vltb said.
A report from the Victorian Government’s Environmental Policy Unit (EPU) this year found that between 2001 and 2014, over half of the state’s dwelling units were rented out to foreign owners.
It found that over 90% of the properties rented out were for “economic reasons”.
The report found that about one-third of the rental units in Victoria were occupied by foreign owners, which could affect the environmental impact of a building.
The EPU report found “over half of those dwelling units in NSW were occupied and used for a foreign owner’s economic