A ‘rental provider’ is defined in the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (Vic) (‘RT Act’) (s 3) as a person by whom premises are let under a residential rental agreement or are to be let under a proposed agreement. If the renter is a public renter, their rental provider is the Director of Housing.
Rental providers who are considered to be ‘public authorities’ for the purposes of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic) (‘Human Rights Charter’) are legally bound to act compatibly with, and give proper consideration to, the human rights set out in the Human Rights Charter.
The Director of Housing is a public authority. Many community housing providers and transitional housing managers may also be considered to be public authorities and are subject to the Charter (see ‘Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act’ in ‘Rental laws and human rights‘).
Note that writing the wrong name on a form (e.g. an application to VCAT) can have detrimental consequences for the renter. A VCAT order that specifies the wrong party is unenforceable. Nonetheless, this may be able to be corrected (see ss 119, 120A Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 (Vic) (‘VCAT Act’)).
When filling in forms and sending correspond-ence, a renter should specify the rental provider’s name, not the agent’s, although such forms and correspondence can be sent or given to the agent.
If there is no real estate agency involved, parties may wish to obtain a copy of some identification to ensure they have a serviceable address for documents (see s 66 RT Act). If no details have been provided, a title search of the rental premises may identify the owner of the premises.