Application by a tenant or landlord

If you are a tenant or a landlord with a renting dispute you may be able to apply to VCAT to hear your case.

Cases VCAT can hear

VCAT can hear disputes between tenants and landlords.

Cases VCAT cannot hear

VCAT cannot hear disputes between tenants and tenants, or disputes between neighbours.

Before you apply

Find out which Section Number of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 applies to your claim type. You will need to quote the relevant Section Number in your application's claim details. You may also have to provide documents to support your claim. Find out what section numbers in the Residential Tenancies Act mean.

Time limits may apply, so you should apply to VCAT as soon as possible. Find out about time limits.

How to apply

There are three ways that you can apply to VCAT to hear a dispute between a tenant and landlord. You should check whether you need to pay an application fee.

Residential Tenancies Hub

We recommend applying through the Residential Tenancies Hub. The hub lets you pay your application fee online, gives you a VCAT reference number, get your hearing Definition The time and place at which VCAT hears the parties argue their case and makes a decision. date immediately (in most cases), see all applications you have made through the hub, and withdraw your application if you resolve your renting dispute before a hearing.

If you are an estate agent or from a community housing group, you will need to provide us with some information to register for the Residential Tenancies Hub.

When applying through the hub, you will need to send VCAT any supporting documents separately by email, in person or by post.

Online application form

Using this online form lets you pay application fee online and upload any supporting documents. You can choose to create an account to see all your previous applications.

Paper-based form

You can choose to print a form and send it to us by post. Application fee payments will need to be made by post or in person.

Need help with your application?

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