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RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES ACT 1997 - SECT 3

Definitions

    (1)     In this Act—

S. 3(1) def. of annexe inserted by No. 67/2010 s. 5(1).

"annexe "means a movable dwelling that—

        (a)     is attached to a registrable movable dwelling or unregistrable movable dwelling; and

        (b)     extends the habitable area of that dwelling;

S. 3(1) def. of A rating repealed by No. 32/2010 s. 78(1).

    *     *     *     *     *

"Authority" means the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority established under this Act;

S. 3(1) def. of bond amended by No. 67/2010 s. 5(2).

"bond" means—

        (a)     an amount paid or payable by a tenant to secure his or her performance and observance of the tenancy agreement or any of the provisions of this Act relating to the tenancy agreement; or

        (b)     an amount paid or payable by a resident to secure his or her performance and observance of any agreement relating to the residency or of any of the provisions of this Act relating to the residency; or

        (c)     an amount paid or payable by a site tenant to secure his or her performance and observance of the site agreement or any of the provisions of this Act relating to the site agreement;

"Building Appeals Board" means the Building Appeals Board under the Building Act 1993 ;

"business day" means a day other than a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday;

"caravan" means—

        (a)     a movable dwelling; or

        (b)     an immovable dwelling situated in a caravan park

but, except in Part 14, does not include such a dwelling occupied in pursuance of a contract of employment;

"caravan park" means an area of land on which movable dwellings are situated for occupation on payment of consideration, whether or not immovable dwellings are also situated there;

"caravan park owner" means any person who is (either wholly or partly) the owner of a business which operates a caravan park;

"caravan park provisions" means any provisions of this Act to the extent to which they apply to a caravan park, a resident of a caravan park, a caravan park owner, a caravan owner, a caravan park mortgagee or a caravan mortgagee, but does not include Part 14;

S. 3(1) def. of common area amended by No. 67/2010 s. 5(3).

"common area" means any area in which facilities are provided for the use of tenants, residents or site tenants otherwise than as part of the rented premises, room, site or Part 4A site;

S. 3(1) def. of Council inserted by No. 56/2012 s. 14.

"Council" has the same meaning as in section 3(1) of the Local Government Act 1989 ;

"determination" in relation to the Tribunal

        (a)     includes order, direction, decision or declaration; and

        (b)     if a determination is varied under this Act, includes that determination as varied;

S. 3(1) def. of Director substituted by Nos 46/1998
s. 7(Sch. 1), 17/1999 s. 41(1), amended by No. 21/2012 s. 239(Sch. 6 item 36.1).

"Director" means the Director within the meaning of the Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act 2012 ;

"Director of Housing" means the Director of Housing incorporated under the Housing Act 1983 ;

S. 3(1) def. of domestic partner inserted by No. 27/2001 s. 3(Sch. 1 item 10.1), substituted by No. 12/2008 s. 73(1)(Sch.  1 item 51.1).

"domestic partner" of a person means—

        (a)     a person who is in a registered relationship with the person; or

        (b)     a person to whom the person is not married but with whom the person is living as a couple on a genuine domestic basis (irrespective of gender);

"dwelling" means any structure that is designed to be used for human habitation and that is capable of being so used, and includes a motor vehicle or trailer that is so designed and capable;

S. 3(1) def. of eligible resident inserted by No. 45/2018 s. 5(6).

"eligible resident" means a resident of a caravan park who owns a dwelling affixed to a site in the caravan park other than an annexe but does not include a resident who only owns a registrable movable dwelling;

S. 3(1) def. of eligible site tenant inserted by No. 45/2018 s. 5(6).

"eligible site tenant" means a site tenant who owns a Part 4A dwelling;

S. 3(1) def. of exclusion condition inserted by No. 52/2008 s. 257, amended by No. 53/2010 s. 221(Sch. item 9.1), substituted by No. 53/2016 s. 116(b).

"exclusion condition" means—

        (a)     an exclusion condition included in a family violence safety notice under section 29 of the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 ; or

        (b)     an exclusion condition included in a family violence intervention order under section 82 of that Act; or

        (c)     a condition that corresponds to an exclusion condition referred to in paragraph (a) or (b), included in a non‑local DVO that is a recognised DVO; or

        (d)     an exclusion condition included in a personal safety intervention order under section 67 of the Personal Safety Intervention Orders Act 2010 ;

S. 3(1) def. of exclusive occupancy right inserted by No. 63/2005 s. 4(a).

"exclusive occupancy right", in relation to a room or rooming house, means a residency right of a kind set out in section 92A;


S. 3(1) def. of facilities amended by No. 67/2010 s. 5(4).

facilities means—

        (a)     land or buildings intended for use for storage space or car parking;

        (b)     laundry facilities;

        (c)     cooking facilities;

        (d)     recreational areas;

        (e)     lifts;

        (f)     garbage storage and disposal facilities;

        (g)     bathroom, toilet and washing facilities;

        (h)     appliances for heating or cooling premises;

              (i)     communications facilities;

        (j)     lawns, gardens and outhouses;

        (k)     stairways;

        (l)     any area designed or set aside for common use by tenants, residents or site tenants

provided for the use of a tenant, resident or site tenant otherwise than as part of the rented premises, room, site or Part 4A site;

S. 3(1) defs of family violence intervention order and family violence safety notice inserted by No. 52/2008 s. 257.

family violence intervention order and family violence safety notice have the meanings given by the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 ;


S. 3(1) def. of fixed term site agreement inserted by No. 67/2010 s. 5(1).

"fixed term site agreement" means a site agreement for a fixed term;

S. 3(1) def. of fixed term tenancy agreement amended by No. 40/2018 s. 4(2).

"fixed term tenancy agreement" means a tenancy agreement for a fixed term including, in the case of a fixed term tenancy agreement for more than 5 years, any extension of that tenancy agreement exercised in accordance with a term permitting the extension of that tenancy at the end of the fixed term;

S. 3(1) def. of GST inserted by No. 67/2010 s. 166.

"GST" has the same meaning as it has in the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 of the Commonwealth except that it includes notional GST of the kind for which payments may be made under Part 3 of the National Taxation Reform (Consequential Provisions) Act 2000 by a person that is a State entity within the meaning of that Act;

"guarantee" includes indemnity;

S. 3(1) def. of health or residential service amended by Nos 48/2006 s. 42(Sch. item 30), 23/2006, s. 248(1), 49/2010 s. 231, 26/2014 s. 455(Sch. item 25), 38/2018 s. 295(2)(a)(b).

"health or residential service" means—

        (a)     a residential care service, State funded residential care service, health service establishment, denominational hospital or public hospital within the meaning of the Health Services Act 1988 ; or

        (b)     premises used for a designated mental health service within the meaning of the Mental Health Act 2014 ; or

        (c)     premises used for a residential service within the meaning of the Disability Act 2006 ; or

        (d)     premises used for a secure welfare service within the meaning of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 ; or

        (e)     premises where accommodation is provided by a service agency for the purpose of delivering support services by that agency to a client of that agency; or

        (f)     premises used for a supported residential service within the meaning of the Supported Residential Services (Private Proprietors) Act 2010

but does not include premises used for specialist disability accommodation that is an SDA enrolled dwelling;

S. 3(1) def. of hearing repealed by No. 52/1998
s. 235(2)(a).

    *     *     *     *     *

"hiring charge" means the amount paid by a resident to a caravan owner to occupy a caravan;

"invalid" in relation to an agreement or guarantee, means void;

"landlord" means—

        (a)     the person by whom premises are let under a tenancy agreement; or

        (b)     the person by whom the premises are to be let under a proposed tenancy agreement;

"motor vehicle" means a motor vehicle within the meaning of the Road Safety Act 1986 ;

"movable dwelling" means a dwelling that is designed to be movable, but does not include a dwelling that cannot be situated at and removed from a place within 24 hours;

S. 3(1) def. of NDIA inserted by No. 38/2018 s. 295(1).

"NDIA "has the same meaning as it has in section 498B;

S. 3(1) def. of NDIS inserted by No. 38/2018 s. 295(1).

"NDIS "has the same meaning as it has in section 498B;

S. 3(1) def. of non-local DVO inserted by No. 53/2016 s. 116(a).

"non-local DVO" means a non-local DVO within the meaning of the National Domestic Violence Order Scheme Act 2016 ;

"owner" in relation to rented premises, means the owner in fee simple of the premises;

S. 3(1) def. of park closure compen-sation order inserted by No. 45/2018 s. 5(6).

"park closure compensation order" means an order made by the Tribunal under section 215B;

S. 3(1) def. of Part 4A dwelling inserted by No. 67/2010 s. 5(1).

Part 4A dwelling means a dwelling fully or partially owned by a site tenant

        (a)     designed, built or manufactured to be transported from one place to another for use as a residence; or

        (b)     any other prescribed Part 4A dwelling

but does not include—

        (c)     a registrable movable dwelling; or

        (d)     a registrable movable dwelling with an annexe attached; or

        (e)     a dwelling that was previously a registrable movable dwelling but that has been modified to the extent that it no longer satisfies the definition of a registrable movable dwelling, unless it was so modified before the commencement of section 5 of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2010 ;

S. 3(1) def. of Part 4A park inserted by No. 67/2010 s. 5(1).

Part 4A park means an area of land where—

        (a)     sites of land are available for occupation under a site agreement; and

        (b)     Part 4A dwellings may be situated on those sites; and

        (c)     common areas or facilities are available for the use of a person occupying a Part 4A site

and includes a caravan park if the caravan park contains Part 4A sites;

S. 3(1) def. of Part 4A site inserted by No. 67/2010 s. 5(1).

Part 4A site means a site that is available for occupation under a site agreement;

S. 3(1) def. of partner inserted by No. 27/2001 s. 3(Sch. 1 item 10.1).

"partner" of a person means the person's spouse or domestic partner;


S. 3(1) def. of periodic site agreement inserted by No. 67/2010 s. 5(1).

"periodic site agreement "means a site agreement other than a fixed term site agreement;


"periodic tenancy agreement" means a tenancy agreement other than a fixed term tenancy agreement;

"personal documents" means—

        (a)     official documents; or

        (b)     photographs; or

        (c)     correspondence; or

        (d)     any other document which it would be reasonable to expect that a person would want to keep;

S. 3(1) def of personal safety intervention order inserted by No. 53/2010 s. 221(Sch. item 9.2).

personal safety intervention order has the meaning given by the Personal Safety Intervention Orders Act 2010 ;



S. 3(1) def. of police officer inserted by No. 37/2014 s. 10(Sch. item 144.1).

"police officer" has the same meaning as in the Victoria Police Act 2013 ;


S. 3(1) def. of prescribed rating system inserted by No. 32/2010 s. 78(2).

"prescribed rating system", in relation to water appliances, fixtures and fittings, means a system of rating the water efficiency of water appliances, fixtures and fittings that is prescribed;

S. 3(1) def. of principal registrar inserted by No. 52/1998
s. 235(2)(b).

"principal registrar" means principal registrar of the Tribunal;

S. 3(1) def. of proprietor inserted by No. 56/2012 s. 14.

"proprietor", in relation to a rooming house, means   a person providing prescribed accommodation within the meaning of the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 , where the prescribed accommodation is a rooming house;

S. 3(1) def. of Public Advocate inserted by No. 38/2018 s. 295(1).

"Public Advocate" has the same meaning as in the Disability Act 2006 ;

S. 3(1) def. of public statutory authority amended by No. 23/2016 s. 26(1).

"public statutory authority" means an office or body corporate or unincorporate established by or under an Act for a public purpose and includes a Council;

S. 3(1) def. of recognised DVO inserted by No. 53/2016 s. 116(a).

"recognised DVO" means a recognised DVO within the meaning of the National Domestic Violence Order Scheme Act 2016 ;

S. 3(1) def. of registered rooming house inserted by No. 56/2012 s. 14.

"registered rooming house" means a rooming house registered in accordance with Division 4 of Part 6 of the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 because it is prescribed accommodation within the meaning of that Act;

S. 3(1) def. of registrable movable dwelling inserted by No. 67/2010 s. 5(1).

registrable movable dwelling means a movable dwelling that is or has been registered or is required to be registered under the Road Safety Act 1986 ;

S. 3(1) def. of Registrar repealed by No. 52/1998
s. 235(2)(c).

    *     *     *     *     *

S. 3(1) def. of rent amended by Nos 63/2005 s. 4(b), 67/2010 s. 5(5), 38/2018 s. 295(2)(c).

"rent" (except in Part 12A) means—

        (a)     in relation to a tenancy agreement, the amount paid to a landlord by a tenant to occupy rented premises and use facilities and services; or

        (b)     in relation to the residency of a rooming house, the amount paid to a rooming house owner by a resident to occupy a room and use facilities and services; or

        (c)     in relation to the residency of a caravan park, the amount paid to a caravan park owner by a resident to occupy a site and use facilities and services; or

        (d)     in relation to a site agreement, the amount paid to a site owner by a site tenant to occupy a Part 4A site and use facilities and services

but does not include any amount for which a tenant or resident is liable under section 52, 57, 108, 109A, 162 or  206ZE;

"Rent Special Account" means the Rent Special Account established under section 485;

"rented premises" in relation to a tenancy agreement to which this Act applies means the premises let under the tenancy agreement;

"residency right" means—

        (a)     in relation to a room or rooming house, a right conferred by section 92 ; or

        (b)     in relation to a site or caravan in a caravan park or a caravan park, a right conferred by section 143;

S. 3(1) def. of resident amended by Nos 63/2005 s. 4(c), 67/2010 s. 5(6).

"resident" means—

        (a)     in relation to a rooming house, a person   who, with the agreement of the rooming house owner, occupies a room as his or her only or main residence; or

        (b)     in relation to a caravan park, a person (other than a site tenant) who occupies a site in the caravan park as his or her only or main residence and—

              (i)     who has obtained the prior written agreement of the caravan park owner to do so (whether that agreement was given in respect of that site or another site in the caravan park); or

              (ii)     who has so occupied any site in the caravan park for at least 60 consecutive days;

"Residential Tenancies Fund" means the Residential Tenancies Fund established under this Act;

"room" means a room in a building, where the room is occupied or intended to be occupied for the purpose of a residence by a person having a right to occupy the room together with a right to use in common with others any facilities in the building but does not include a self-contained apartment;

S. 3(1) def. of room capacity inserted by No. 63/2005 s. 4(a).

"room capacity" means the number of persons who may be accommodated in a room;

S. 3(1) def. of rooming house amended by Nos 45/2002 s. 27(1), 38/2018 s. 295(2)(d).

"rooming house" means a building, other than an SDA enrolled dwelling, in which there is one or more rooms available for occupancy on payment of rent

        (a)     in which the total number of people who may occupy those rooms is not less than 4; or

        (b)     in respect of which a declaration under section 19(2) or (3) is in force;

rooming house owner in relation to a rooming house which is leased to a person who conducts the business of operating the rooming house, includes the lessee;

"rooming house provisions" means any provisions of this Act to the extent to which they apply to a room, a rooming house, a resident of a room in a rooming house, a rooming house owner or a rooming house mortgagee;

S. 3(1) def. of Rooming House Register inserted by No. 56/2012 s. 14.

"Rooming House Register" means the register of rooming houses established under section 142E;

S. 3(1) def. of rooming house standard inserted by No. 56/2012 s. 3.

"rooming house standard" means a standard prescribed under section 142C for the purposes of Division 8 of Part 3;

S. 3(1) def. of SDA enrolled dwelling inserted by No. 38/2018 s. 295(1).

"SDA enrolled dwelling" means a permanent dwelling

        (a)     that provides long-term accommodation for one or more SDA residents; and

        (b)     that is enrolled as an SDA dwelling under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (Specialist Disability Accommodation) Rules 2016 of the Commonwealth as in force from time to time or under other rules made under the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 of the Commonwealth; and

        (c)     that may comprise of—

              (i)     an area or room exclusively occupied by an SDA resident and common areas shared by other SDA residents under an SDA residency agreement; or

              (ii)     the dwelling as a whole occupied exclusively by an SDA resident under an SDA residency agreement; or

              (iii)     the dwelling as a whole occupied under a tenancy agreement by at least one SDA resident and other occupants who may or may not be SDA residents;

S. 3(1) def. of SDA provider inserted by No. 38/2018 s. 295(1).

"SDA provider" has the same meaning as it has in section 498B ;

S. 3(1) def. of SDA residency agreement inserted by No. 38/2018 s. 295(1).

"SDA residency agreement "has the same meaning as it has in section 498B;

S. 3(1) def. of SDA resident inserted by No. 38/2018 s. 295(1).

"SDA resident" has the same meaning as it has in section 498B ;

S. 3(1) def. of SDA resident's administrator inserted by No. 38/2018 s. 295(1).

"SDA resident's administrator" has the same meaning as it has in section 498B;

S. 3(1) def. of SDA resident's guardian inserted by No. 38/2018 s. 295(1).

"SDA resident's guardian" has the same meaning as it has in section 498B;

"self-contained apartment" means a portion of a building which forms a self-contained residence, including kitchen and bathroom and toilet facilities, under the exclusive possession of the occupier;

S. 3(1) def. of separately metered amended by No. 45/2002 s. 86.

"separately metered" means that there is, in respect of rented premises, a room or a site, a meter—

        (a)     that has been installed or approved by the relevant supplier of the utility; and

        (b)     that measures, in relation to those premises or that room or site only, the quantity of a substance or service that is supplied to, or used at, those premises or that room or site;

S. 3(1) def. of service agency substituted by No. 23/2006 s. 248(2).

"service agency" means a disability service provider within the meaning of the Disability Act 2006 ;

"services" includes the provision to a resident by a rooming house owner of meals, linen or room cleaning services;

S. 3(1) def. of shared room inserted by No. 63/2005 s. 4(a).

"shared room" means a room that is occupied by one or more residents with shared room rights;

S. 3(1) def. of shared room right inserted by No. 63/2005 s. 4(a).

"shared room right" means a residency right of a kind set out in section 92B;

"site" means a site in a caravan park;

S. 3(1) def. of site agreement inserted by No. 67/2010 s. 5(1).

site agreement means an agreement under which a person lets land as a Part 4A site for the purposes of the occupation of a Part 4A dwelling on that land by the Part 4A dwelling owner as a residence;

S. 3(1) def. of site agreement provisions inserted by No. 67/2010 s. 5(1).

"site agreement provisions "means any provisions of this Act to the extent to which they apply to a Part 4A site, a Part 4A dwelling, a site owner or a site tenant;

S. 3(1) def. of site owner inserted by No. 67/2010 s. 5(1).

"site owner "means the person by whom a Part 4A site

        (a)     is let under a site agreement; or

        (b)     is to be let under a proposed site agreement;

S. 3(1) def. of site tenant inserted by No. 67/2010 s. 5(1).

"site tenant" means the person to whom a Part 4A site

        (a)     is let under a site agreement; or

        (b)     is to be let under a proposed site agreement;

S. 3(1) def. of spouse inserted by No. 27/2001 s. 3(Sch. 1 item 10.1).

"spouse" of a person means a person to whom the person is married;

S. 3(1) def. of standard form tenancy agreement inserted by No. 40/2018 s. 4(1).

"standard form tenancy agreement" means—

        (a)     in relation to a tenancy agreement for a fixed term not exceeding 5 years, the standard form prescribed for the purposes of section 26(1) ;

        (b)     in relation to a tenancy agreement for a fixed term of more than 5 years, the standard form prescribed for the purposes of section 26(1A)(b)(ii) ;

"support services" means—

        (a)     assistance with one or more of the following—

              (i)     bathing, showering or personal hygiene; or

              (ii)     toileting; or

              (iii)     dressing or undressing; or

              (iv)     meals; or

        (b)     physical assistance for persons with mobility problems; or

        (c)     assistance for persons who are mobile but require some form of supervision or assistance; or

        (d)     development of independent living skills;

S. 3(1) def. of temporary crisis accommo-dation inserted by No. 45/2002 s. 4.

"temporary crisis accommodation" means accommodation provided on a non-profit basis for a period of less than 14 days;

S. 3(1) def. of tenancy agreement amended by No. 38/2018 s. 295(2)(e).

"tenancy agreement" means an agreement, whether or not in writing and whether express or implied, under which a person lets premises as a residence, but does not include an SDA residency agreement;

"tenant" means—

        (a)     the person to whom premises are let under a tenancy agreement; and

        (b)     the person to whom premises are to be let under a proposed tenancy agreement;

this Act includes the regulations;

"trailer" means a trailer within the meaning of the Road Safety Act 1986 ;

S. 3(1) def. of Tribunal substituted by No. 52/1998
s. 235(2)(d).

"Tribunal" means Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal established by the  Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 ;

S. 3(1) def. of unregistrable movable dwelling inserted by No. 67/2010 s. 5(1), amended by No. 43/2012 s. 3(Sch. item 42.1).

"unregistrable movable dwelling" means a movable dwelling that—

        (a)     is constructed on a chassis or in prefabricated sections; and

        (b)     once installed, is a freestanding dwelling with solid walls and roof; and

        (c)     is not a registrable movable dwelling;

S. 3(1) def. of urgent repairs amended by No. 38/2018 s. 295(2)(f) (i).

"urgent repairs" means any work necessary to repair or remedy—

        (a)     a burst water service; or

        (b)     a blocked or broken lavatory system; or

        (c)     a serious roof leak; or

        (d)     a gas leak; or

        (e)     a dangerous electrical fault; or

        (f)     flooding or serious flood damage; or

        (g)     serious storm or fire damage; or

        (h)     a failure or breakdown of any essential service or appliance provided for hot water, water, cooking, heating or laundering by—

              (i)     a landlord in rented premises; or

              (ii)     a rooming house owner in a rooming house; or

              (iii)     a caravan park owner or a caravan owner in a caravan park or caravan; or

              (iv)     an SDA provider in an SDA enrolled dwelling; or

              (i)     a failure or breakdown of the gas, electricity or water supply to rented premises, a rooming house, a caravan or an SDA enrolled dwelling; or

        (j)     an appliance, fitting or fixture provided by a landlord, rooming house owner, caravan park owner, caravan owner or SDA provider that uses or supplies water and that is malfunctioning in a way that results or will result in a substantial amount of water being wasted; or

        (k)     any fault or damage that makes rented premises, a rooming house, a room, a caravan or an SDA enrolled dwelling unsafe or insecure; or

        (l)     a serious fault in a lift or staircase; or

        (m)     any damage of a prescribed class;

"Valuer-General" means the Valuer-General under the Valuation of Land Act 1960 ;

S. 3(1) def. of visitor amended by No. 67/2010 s. 5(7).

"visitor" in relation to—

        (a)     a tenant, means a person on rented premises or premises in which the rented premises are situated with the permission of the tenant; and

        (b)     a resident of a rooming house, means a person in a room or rooming house with the permission of the resident; and

        (c)     a resident of a caravan park, means a person on a site or in a caravan or caravan park with the permission of the resident; and

        (d)     a site tenant, means a person on a Part 4A site or in a Part 4A dwelling or Part 4A park with the permission of the site tenant.

    (2)     In this Act, a reference to a landlord or a tenant is a reference to a landlord or a tenant under a tenancy agreement to which this Act applies.

S. 3(3) inserted by No. 27/2001 s. 3(Sch. 1 item 10.2), substituted by No. 12/2008 s. 73(1)(Sch.  1 item 51.2).

    (3)     For the purposes of the definition of domestic partner in subsection (1)—

        (a)     "registered relationship" has the same meaning as in the Relationships Act 2008 ; and

        (b)     in determining whether persons who are not in a registered relationship are domestic partners of each other, all the circumstances of their relationship are to be taken into account, including any one or more of the matters referred to in section 35(2) of the Relationships Act 2008 as may be relevant in a particular case.

S. 3(4) inserted by No. 45/2002 s. 27(2).

    (4)     Nothing in this Act prevents a rooming house from consisting of more than one building.



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