3 Legislative background
Leases of most residential Premises in Victoria are governed by the provisions of the RTA. If a lease is subject to the RTA, the written lease Agreement must be in the form prescribed by the RTA and otherwise comply with the RTA.
However, Teacher Housing owned by the Minister and leased to staff of a school are exempt from the provisions of the RTA by virtue of section 21 of the RTA, which provides that the RTA does not apply to residential leases if the Premises are, or situated in:
- any Premises used as a school or for education and training purposes, or
- any residential Premises ancillary to a school or an institution which provides education and training if those Premises
- are owned or leased by the school or the institution or formally affiliated with the school or institution, and
- are used to accommodate students or staff using the Premises referred to in paragraph (a)
The exemptions under section 21 of the RTA do not apply if:
- the Premises are located outside a school, and
- the Tenant is not a staff member at a school
Australian Consumer Law
Lease Agreements for residential Premises that are exempt from the RTA may still be a consumer contract within the meaning of the ACL.
A consumer contract includes any right (including rights in relation to real or personal property) granted or conferred in trade or commerce, where the services are of a kind ordinarily acquired for personal, domestic or household use or consumption.
Where the ACL applies, the Tenant has the benefit of a number of consumer guarantees, including that the service will be provided with due care and skill; that the service will be fit for a particular purpose and that the service will be supplied within a reasonable period of time.
In summary, Premises owned by the Minister that are tenanted to staff or students of the Host School are exempt from the RTA, regardless of where the accommodation is located.
Reviewed 01 June 2020