Resolving disputes about long term renting agreements

Posted on 01 Feb 2019

Tenants and landlords can now apply to VCAT to resolve disputes about long term renting agreements, with changes to the law from 1 February 2019.

Long term renting agreements are fixed term tenancies of more than 5 years. The agreement must be in writing and in a form approved under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997.

More bond may be required

A landlord can ask for an extra amount of bond under a long term tenancyDefinitionThe agreement between a landlord and a tenant for the rental of a property. agreement in specific circumstances.

A tenant can apply to VCAT if they do not agree with the extra bond. 

Ending a long term agreement

If the agreement is not in writing and in an approved form, the tenant can give 28 days notice of intention to vacate.

A landlord can end a long term agreement by giving a:

  • 90 day notice to vacate, where tenant is asked to leave on the date that the fixed term agreement ends
  • 120 days notice to vacate for no specified reason, where the tenant is asked to leave on or after the date that the fixed term agreement ends.

Compensation, compliance and legal requirements

A landlord or tenant can apply to VCAT for a compensation or compliance order if they believe the other partyDefinitionA person or organisation directly involved in a VCAT case, including a person or organisation that has brought the case before VCAT or who is defending claims made against them. has breached certain terms of the agreement.

The legal requirements for long term tenancy agreements are outlined in the Residential Tenancies Amendment (Long-term Tenancy Agreements) Act 2018, which commenced 1 February 2019.

VCAT can resolve other disputes relating to long-term tenancy agreements, as these are governed by the Residential Tenancies Act 1997.

Find out about resolving a renting dispute at VCAT.