​Application by a rooming house resident or rooming house owner

If you are a rooming house resident or rooming house owner or operator you can apply to VCAT to decide a dispute, including a dispute related to a residential tenancyDefinitionThe agreement between a landlord and a tenant for the rental of a property. database.

A rooming house owner is any person who conducts the business of operating a rooming house.

A rooming house resident is someone who lives in the room as their only or main residence.

A building is a rooming house if it is set up so that four or more people may occupy one or more rooms and share facilities.

    Changes to renting laws

    Under the Residential Tenancies (Covid-19 Emergency Measures) Regulations 2020 (reg 12), which took effect on 13 May 2020:

    • VCAT can accept but is not able to consider your application at a hearingDefinitionThe time and place at which VCAT hears the parties argue their case and makes a decision. unless you have contacted Consumer Affairs Victoria and have been provided with a referral to VCAT
    • this means if you have not obtained a referral from Consumer Affairs Victoria by the time of the hearing, the hearing will not be able to proceed
    • at the VCAT hearing, if VCAT does not have evidence that Consumer Affairs Victoria has referred your dispute to VCAT, the hearing will be adjourned until you obtain a referral.

    To obtain a referral, complete CAV's application form.

    For more information about COVID-19 and your rights, go to Consumer Affairs Victoria's website.


    Cases VCAT can hear

    VCAT can hear disputes between rooming house owners and rooming house residents.

    Cases VCAT cannot hear

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

    Notices you must attach to your application

    Under some sections of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997, if you are applying as a rooming house owner, operator or resident you must attach the relevant prescribed document.

    If you are a resident applying to have your rent reduced for a specific period, you must also complete a financial circumstances statement in support of your application

    Rooming house residents

    Attach the relevant document to your application if you are applying under one of these sections of the Act.

    • Section 103, order declaring rent excessive – attach a copy of the report from Consumer Affairs Victoria
    • Section 132(1), non-urgent repairs – attach a copy of the report from Consumer Affairs Victoria
    • Section 209, compensation or compliance order – attach a copy of breach of duty notice given under section 208 of the Act
    • Section 321B, challenge validity of notice – attach a copy of a Notice to Vacate.

    To find out more read What section numbers in the Residential Tenancies Act mean.

    Rooming house owners

    Find out the relevant Section Number of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 that applies to your claim type. You will need to quote it in claim details of your application. You may also have to provide documents to support your claim. To find out more read What section numbers in the Residential Tenancies Act mean.

    Time limits

    Time limits apply. Check specific time limits.

    How to apply

    There are two ways that you can apply to VCAT. You should check whether you need to pay an application fee.

    Online application form

    Using this online form allows you to save your application as a draft, pay application fees and upload any supporting documents. Create a login and submit.

    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.

    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 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.

    Legislation that applies to this type of case