Before you start your application, check the information you need to give us and have the right documents ready.
1 Talk to your rental provider (landlord)
If you want to get out of your rental agreement (lease) early, think about what date you want the lease to end or when you intend to leave the property.
It may be useful to talk to your rental provider (landlord) or real estate agent about ending or changing your rental agreement.
If you and everyone else on the rental agreement can come to an agreement, you may not need to come to VCAT. This includes getting agreement with the person who subjected you to personal or family violence, if they are on the rental agreement. If you can’t come to an agreement, you may need to apply to VCAT.
2 Get help with your application
Contact our family violence support worker during business hours on 03 9628 9856.
Our support worker can:
- help you understand the VCAT process
- help you fill out the application and send documents
- connect you to other services for ongoing support
- arrange for you to attend by phone conference at your VCAT hearing
- support you during the VCAT hearing.
Our family violence support worker cannot give you legal advice about your personal situation or tell you what to write in the application or speak on your behalf at a hearing but can refer you to legal and other support services.
The organisations below can help you to apply and speak on your behalf (represent you) at a hearing.
These organisations may be able to help you with legal advice:
- Justice Connect – 1800 606 313
- Tenants Victoria – 03 9416 2577
- Victoria Legal Aid – 1300 792 387
- Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service – 1800 064 865
- Federation of Community Legal Centres – 03 9652 1500
- Domestic Violence Victoria - 03 9921 0828
These organisations may be able to help you with your safety concerns:
- safe steps Family Violence Response Centre (24/7 response) – 1800 015 188
- Berry Street - 9429 9266
- Orange Door
- Elizabeth Morgan House Aboriginal Women's Service – 03 9482 5744
- inTouch (Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence) – 1800 755 988
- Magistrates' Court of Victoria Family Violence website
- Domestic Violence Victoria
- More family violence hotlines on the White Ribbon website
If you have concerns for your personal safety or want to apply for an intervention order contact Victoria Police on 131 444.
3 Find the right section number
You do not need to mention on the application form the section number of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 to:
- end the rental agreement and leave the rental property
- create a new rental agreement and stay at the property
- challenge a notice to vacate.
If you want to apply about other issues (eg. bond, compensation, repairs), you must write the section number of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 that relates to your issue in the application form so that VCAT and the other party understand what you are claiming.
4 Decide what outcome you want
Be clear about the outcome you want and the orders you want VCAT to make in your application so we can progress it without delay or rejection.
5 Have these documents ready
Submit these documents with your application:
If you have an intervention order
Attach a copy of one of the following documents:
- a Family Violence Safety Notice, a Family Violence Intervention Order (IVO) or a recognised non-local National Domestic Violence Order (DVO)
- your personal safety intervention order
You should also attach a copy of your application for the intervention order or safety notice.
If you are also applying about the bond on the rental property
- the RTBA bond receipt or bond number
If you are applying to challenge a notice to vacate
- Copy of the notice to vacate being challenged
Documents you can also attach to your application
- Copy of the rental agreement
6 Send a copy of your application to other parties
We treat applications to end or create a new rental agreement as urgent, so you must send a copy of your completed application and your supporting documents to every person named in this application immediately.
If you have safety concerns around sending your application to any of the parties, VCAT’s Family Violence Support Worker can send a copy of your application for you.
You will still need to send a copy of the application to all other parties you don’t have safety concerns about.