Victorian renters will be granted a new suite of privileges including protections for pet owners, the ability to nail in picture hooks, and an amended bond repayment system, after a shake-up to current laws passed Parliament last night.

In a statement, Minister for Consumer Affairs Marlene Kairouz said the changes will present Victorian renters with new ways to make their property feel a little less like temporary accomodation. That’s a big deal, considering the huge chunk of Victorians locked out of the property market.

Basic standards for rental properties will now include working stoves, heating, and deadlocks, while landlords will be further compelled to ensure the safety of gas and electrical systems in their properties.

As for the financial headaches of securing and exiting rental agreements, Kairouz said the laws will punish the accursed the rental bidding process, ensure rent increases only come into play once a year, and limit bond payments to four calendar weeks’ worth of rent.

On the topic of bond, the laws plan to enshrine a system where renters can apply for their repayment at the end of the lease without the landlord’s written consent. They’ll still be able to dispute the repayment within a fortnight of the notice going through, though.

Notably, the move is also slated to aid survivors of family violence. Survivors will be able to extricate themselves from rental agreements, and will not be saddled with debts racked up by their abusers.

And yes, renters will be able to bang nails into walls to hang pictures (and to avoid the dreaded paint-peeling menace of those goddamned sticky hooks) without prior consent. Landlords will also only be able to refuse pet owners from bringing their fluffy pals in if they successfully file a complaint with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

It’s the latest effort the Daniel Andrews Labor government hopes will make life easier for renters. Last year, a new long-term tenancy agreement was revealed, allowing tenants to sign on to a property for five years at a stretch. 

Now, if you excuse us, we have nails to smash into walls.

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