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Our regulatory foundations

The Housing Registrar’s approach to regulation and registration is underpinned by the Housing Act 1983 (the Act)particularly Part VIII, and Schedules 7 and 8. These sections were implemented as amendments to the Act in January 2005.

Key elements of the Act are:

  • establishment of a housing regulation framework for Victoria and creation of the Registrar with a range of functions
  • voluntary registration for rental housing agencies
  • establishment of a register for specific information which all registered agencies are required to maintain
  • introduction of performance standards(pdf 443KB) to be met by registered agencies. Capacity to meet performance standards is assessed at registration. Once registered, all agencies must comply with the standards at all times
  • creation of a two-tiered complaints process for tenants and prospective tenants of registered agencies
  • reporting requirements for agencies to the Registrar
  • investigation processes and powers for the Registrar should serious issues arise with an agency
  • intervention powers for the Registrar where necessary with an agency

In addition to the Act amendments in 2005, the relevant Minister published performance standards(pdf 443KB) and Intervention Guidelines(doc 45KB) in August 2005. In 2014 the performance standards were updated to align with the National Regulatory System for Community Housing (NRSCH).

The Act and these two Ministerial determinations form the basis for Victorian housing regulation. A more detailed, operational regulatory framework(pdf 463KB) has been developed in consultation with currently registered housing agencies, agencies seeking registration and peak bodies.

Our information sheets on housing regulation in Victoria(docx 47KB), the regulatory framework(docx 51KB), and regulation in action(docx 48KB) provide brief introductions to various aspects of our regulation model.

National Regulatory System for Community Housing (NRSCH)

Whilst Victoria is not participating in the NRSCH at this time, it has contributed strongly to the development of the system and committed to cost effective alignment of the performance and reporting requirements of its current regulatory system with the NRSCH, including the National Regulatory Code.

Key objectives

Our key objectives in delivering regulation are to:

  • ensure that each registered agency is well governed, well managed and financially viable
  • protect and ensure accountable use of government assets managed by the affordable housing sector
  • build confidence in the public and private sector to invest in and grow affordable rental housing
  • ensure quality and continuous improvement in service delivery and outcomes for tenants

Principles

We are committed to five principles of good regulation:

  • Transparency - clear explanations of decisions and actions taken
  • Accountability - decisions justified by data and evidence
  • Proportionality - monitoring is appropriate to the risks facing an individual agency
  • Consistency - judgements and actions are applied in a predictable way
  • Targeting - focused engagement