Changing a tenancy agreement due to family violence

If you live in a rental property and have experienced (or are experiencing) personal or family violence, you may apply to VCAT to reduce a fixed term tenancyDefinitionThe agreement between a landlord and a tenant for the rental of a property. 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.

If you want VCAT to make orders to reduce the term of a fixed term tenancy agreement or terminate existing agreement and enter into a new one, use this form to apply.

You must quote one of the following section numbers under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 based on your rented premises:

  • Section 233A – if you live in a residential property
  • Section 317AA – if you live in a caravan park
  • Section 317M – if you live in a site (Part 4A)

You can have someone providing you with support at a VCAT hearingDefinitionThe time and place at which VCAT hears the parties argue their case and makes a decision. . This may be a lawyer, a social worker, a friend or relative or any other person you choose.

We can also give you access to a family violence support worker.

Do I need a lawyer or professional representative?

You do not need to have legal or other professional representation to appear at VCAT. If you wish to be represented by a lawyer or a professional advocate, usually you must ask for VCAT's permission. Be aware that the regulatory body in most cases uses legal representation.

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 legal services that may be able to assist you.

Need help with your application?

We can explain the application process and what the form is asking you for. Contact us to get support.

We cannot give you legal advice. This means we cannot tell you what to write in your application or recommend how to get the outcome you want.

Seek legal help if you are unsure about your options or need advice about your claim.

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