Residential tenancies

Before you apply – Residential tenancy disputes

Residential disputes between tenants and landlords, residents and owners of caravan parks or rooming houses, renters and the Director of Housing, and about specialist disability accommodation and supported residential services.

Before you apply

What we can help with

What we can't help with

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Temporary changes to renting law due to COVID-19

COVID-19 Emergency measures have changed renting laws and VCAT applications you can make from 29 March to 28 September 2020. Find out more.

Get a referral before you apply

Make sure you ask Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) for a referral to VCAT.

We can accept your application without it but if you don’t have this at the hearing, it will be delayed (adjourned).

Get help and advice before you apply

We can help you understand how to apply. We can’t give you legal advice or tell you what to write in your application. These organisations may be able to help you.

Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV)

Information and advice on renting and accommodation, estate agents, building, shopping and trading.

Tenants Victoria

Advice on renting and your rights. This service is available to tenants of all property types, including caravan parks.

Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV)

Represents real estate professionals in Victoria in city, rural and regional areas.

Tell us more about your dispute
We'll explain fees, timeframes and get you into the right application.
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Example cases

Case 1: Urgent repairs

Your heater is broken and you can’t afford to have it fixed. You email the landlord and ask them to fix it, but they haven’t organised the repairs. You can apply to VCAT to order your landlord to have your heater fixed.

Case 2: Unpaid rent

Your tenant is behind on paying their rent. You have spoken to them but they haven’t paid.

You contact Consumer Affairs Victoria for a referral to VCAT. They explain to you that you can apply to VCAT for a termination order to end their lease by a certain date. If they don’t leave on that date, you can then apply for a possession order.

When we make a decision we consider:

  • if the tenant has a reason for not paying related to COVID-19

  • if paying the rent would cause them severe hardship.

if it’s reasonable and proportionate to make the order taking into account the interests of all parties to the agreement.

Help and support

  • VCAT suggests you contact your landlord via your agent (where applicable) to discuss what options may be available to you.

    If you're experiencing difficulties visit Consumer Affairs Victoria for further information.

  • If you’re affected by family violence, we have a family violence support worker who can support you. They will work with you to make sure you are safe at the hearing and have access to justice. 

    You can call the VCAT family violence support worker on 03 9628 9856 during business hours.

    Read more about family violence support at VCAT

  • We offer support to ensure VCAT is culturally safe and inclusive for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

    We can help you with:

    • booking a Koori hearing room
    • organising a Koori Engagement Officer to attend you hearing or mediation with you
    • general information and advice about your case.

    Call our Koori Helpline to speak to a Koori Engagement Officer on 0417 516 335, Monday to Friday, 8am-5pm.
     
    Read more about Koori support at VCAT

  • VCAT will contact you to let you know the scheduled time for the hearing.

    A phone hearing or videoconference is no different to a hearing in person, so ensure you are in a quiet location and have any relevant paperwork at hand.

    Find out more information about what to expect on hearing day.

    If you want more information or need to tell us about an alternative number or party name, call 1300 01 8228.

    Make sure you check upcoming hearings to keep up to date with your hearing time. Due to capacity issues, we may not be able to remind you when your upcoming hearing is.

    Find out how to join a video conference

  • If you believe paying VCAT fees would cause you financial hardship, you can apply for fee relief at the same time you apply to VCAT.   

    If we agree, this means we may: 

    • waive the fee 
    • reduce the amount you have to pay 
    • postpone the amount you have to pay.

     
    Any individual can apply for fee relief, including people who don’t have a concession card, but you must meet eligibility criteria. We’ll ask you to give us a summary of your personal financial situation to support your application. 
     
    You only need to apply once. Our decision applies to all VCAT fees you’re asked to pay in your case.

    Learn more about fee relief