Application by a rooming house resident or rooming house owner
If you are a rooming house resident or rooming house owner or operator you can apply to VCAT to decide a dispute, including a dispute related to a residential tenancy database.
A rooming house owner is any person who conducts the business of operating a rooming house.
A rooming house resident is someone who lives in the room as their only or main residence.
A building is a rooming house if it is set up so that four or more people may occupy one or more rooms and share facilities.
Notices you must attach to your application
Under some sections of the Act, if you are applying to the Residential Tenancies List as a rooming house owner or operator or resident you must attach the relevant prescribed document.
Rooming house residents
Check the list below and attach the relevant document to your application if you are applying under one of these sections of the Act.
- section 103, order declaring rent excessive – attach a copy of the report from Consumer Affairs Victoria
- section 132(1), non-urgent repairs – attach a copy of the report from Consumer Affairs Victoria
- section209, compensation or compliance order – attach a copy of breach of duty notice given under section 208 of the Act
- section 321B, Challenge validity of notice – attach a copy of notice to vacate
Rooming house owners
See a list of applications made by rooming house owners under section 323(a) and documents needed: Supporting documents for Residential Tenancies cases.
Cases VCAT can hear
VCAT can hear disputes between rooming house owners and rooming house residents.
Cases VCAT cannot hear
VCAT cannot hear disputes between tenants and tenants, or disputes between neighbours.
Before applying to VCAT try to resolve the dispute between yourselves.
Apply online using the Residential Tenancies Hub. If you cannot use the Residential Tenancies Hub, you can apply with our PDF application form. You must send the completed application form to us and then within seven days, send it to the other parties. If you send it to the other parties first, send it to VCAT within seven days. If you are applying under some sections of the Act you may also be required to attached specific documents to your application. Read more about applying to VCAT.
When VCAT processes your application form we assign you a reference number and send you a letter. The letter tells you 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.
We encourage you to negotiate with the other party to reach a resolution. At VCAT we often use mediation or compulsory conferences as a way to resolve disputes before going to a hearing. However, as most cases in the Residential Tenancies List are short, and involve amounts less than $1000, we rarely schedule compulsory conferences. Read more about resolving a case by agreement.
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.
You do not need to have legal or other professional representation to appear at VCAT.
For cases heard under the Residential Tenancies List, 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.
Read more about professional representation at VCAT.
Remember your reference number
VCAT gives you a reference number for your case. Use this number whenever you call or write to us or the other people involved in the case.
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
Residential Tenancies Act 1997
Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998