Who is a landlord?

A landlord is defined in the RT Act as a person by whom premises are let under a tenancy agreement or are to be let under a proposed agreement (s 3). If the tenant is a public tenant, their landlord is the Director of Housing.

Landlords who are considered “public authorities” for the purposes of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic) (“Charter Act”) are legally bound to act compatibly with, and give proper consideration to the human rights set out in, the Charter Act. The Director of Housing is a public authority. Many community housing providers and transitional housing managers may also be considered public authorities and be subject to the Charter (see “Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act”).

Writing the wrong name on a form (e.g. an application to VCAT) can have detrimental consequences for the tenant. A VCAT order specifying the wrong party is unenforceable.

When filling in forms and sending correspondence, the tenant should specify the landlord’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). If no details have been provided, a title search of the rental premises may aid to identify the owner of the premises or a serviceable address.