Residential tenancy applications involving bond, compensation or pets
What we’re doing about bond, compensation or pet disputes.
In the past few years, VCAT’s capacity to hear cases was heavily impacted due to the current challenges in the rental market, COVID-19 pandemic and changes in rental laws. We did our best to prioritise urgent cases, which resulted in a backlog of cases involving bond, compensation or pet issues.
Some of these cases have been waiting for several months or more. We understand the impact of these delays on our users and are working hard to reduce the backlog.
Applications lodged before 1 October 2023
We are now prioritising cases with bond, compensation or pet issues. We’re dedicating resources to hear these applications.
If this applies to your case, you don’t need to do anything. We’ll contact you as soon as we can progress your case. We’ll ensure we hear the oldest and most urgent cases first.
We’re committed to resolving all cases lodged before 1 October 2023 as soon as possible.
We’ll schedule hearings that you need to attend either in person or via teleconference. We decide the hearing format based on the complexity and individual circumstances of your case. Your application is of high priority to us, so we want to help you avoid delays. This means it’s usually not possible to re-schedule your hearing date or change the format.
Otherwise, we may schedule a hearing 'on the papers'. A hearing on the papers is a process where a VCAT member makes a decision on a case based on documents lodged by parties. You won't need to attend and will receive our decision about your case by email.
Updated contact information ensures we can get the right information to you as quickly as possible. Make sure that your contact details are up to date by sending any changes in your information to email@example.com.
Applications lodged from 1 October 2023 onwards
If you apply about a bond, compensation or pet issue, we will usually hear your case within 12 weeks.
We case manage as soon as possible along with all other applications. We will not add these applications to a backlog queue.
Let us know if contact details for any parties change by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help and support
How do I apply about a rental dispute involving bond, compensation or pets?
To apply, see: Before you apply - Residential tenancy.
Can I cancel an application I lodged before 1 October and re-apply?
If you withdraw your application, you can't apply again about the same rental dispute. Laws prevent you from being able to do this without our written permission.
We're allocating exclusive resources to address the backlog. Applications before 1 October involving bond, compensation or pet issues are of high priority to us.
How is VCAT dealing with residential tenancy disputes about bond, compensation or pet matters in the backlog?
We've created a new team who will resolve applications received before 1 October 2023. This team will check your application to make sure you're ready for a hearing and decide on your case.
We may group cases from the same applicant and hear them on the same day to save time. For example, schedule as many hearings for bond, compensation or pet disputes managed by the same real estate agent in one day.
We'll schedule hearings in person, by phone or 'on the papers'. A hearing on the papers is when a VCAT member makes a decision on a case based on documents from parties. You won't need to attend and will receive our decision about your case by email.
VCAT has locations in Melbourne, Bendigo, Bundoora, Frankston and Oakleigh. When we conduct hearings in person, we'll hold many of them as close as possible to the rental properties involved in these disputes. This will make it more convenient for parties.
We decide the hearing format based on how complex your case is and individual circumstances. Your application is of high priority to us, so we want to help you avoid delays. This means it’s usually not possible to re-schedule your hearing date or change the format.
We’ll contact you as soon as we can progress your case. We’ll ensure we hear the oldest and most urgent cases first.