Application by a protected person
If you are a protected person under a family violence intervention order or personal safety intervention order you may apply to VCAT to reduce a fixed term rental agreement, for example to protect your own safety or the safety of your children.
You may also apply to VCAT to terminate an existing tenancy agreement and requiring the landlord to enter into a new tenancy agreement.
A protected person who wants VCAT to make orders to reduce the term of a fixed term tenancy agreement or terminate the existing agreement and enter into a new one, apply using the protected person application form.
These applications come under section 234 of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997.
Under section 62A of Schedule 1 to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 as a protected person you can have a support person at a VCAT hearing. This may be a lawyer, a social worker, a friend or family member or any other person you choose.
We can also give you access to a family violence support worker.
Need help with your application?
We have a family violence support officer who can help you with your application and provide other support. Contact 03 9628 9856 during business hours.
VCAT cannot give you legal advice. Seek legal help if you are unsure about your legal options. The following services may be able to help you:
Do I need a lawyer or professional representative?
You do not need to have legal or other professional representation to appear at VCAT.
For renting cases, most landlords are represented by an estate agent. If you are a tenant and your landlord is represented by their real estate agent, you are automatically entitled to professional representation.
When your dispute is about regaining possession of a rental property, you do not need permission from VCAT to be legally represented.
Find free or low-cost legal services that may be able to assist you.
Access and privacy
VCAT hearings and files are usually public.
VCAT has limited authority to restrict who can access cases and files but, in certain circumstances, you can apply for confidentiality. For more about applying for confidentiality.
Legislation that applies to this type of case
Sections 233A and 234 of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997
When VCAT processes your application form we assign a reference number to the case and send you and the other parties information about what to do next. Generally cases heard under the Residential Tenancies List are short and often go straight to final hearing without a directions hearing. Read more about what happens when VCAT opens a case.
The VCAT member decides the case based on the evidence given at the hearing. If you are an applicant you need to prove what you are claiming. In the same way, if you are a respondent you need to back up your defence with evidence. The best evidence is what you and your witnesses give verbally, supported by original documents. Read more about how to prepare for a final hearing.
Arrive at VCAT with plenty of time so that you are not late for your hearing. When your case is called, move into the hearing room and make sure you are ready to present your case. Usually the applicant and the applicant's witnesses give evidence first. Then the respondent and the respondent's witnesses give their evidence. Read more about what to expect on hearing day.
In the Residential Tenancies List the VCAT member generally gives a decision to the parties verbally. If you want reasons to be provided in writing you should make your request at the beginning of the hearing. If you wait until the end of hearing it may be too late to ask for the decision to be provided in writing. Read more about what to expect after the final hearing.