Go to all resources

Renting and personal or family violence

If you are living in a rented premises and you have been (or are being) subjected to personal or family violence, you can apply to VCAT to:

  • get out of your tenancyDefinitionThe agreement between a landlord and a tenant for the rental of a property. agreement or residency agreement early (reduce the term of your agreement)
  • stay in the property but change the agreement to your name by creating a new agreement
  • challenge certain kinds of notices to vacate if the reason you are being asked to vacate relates to family or personal violence.

There is no cost for this application.

Contact us on 1300 01 8228 if you have any questions.

Before you apply to VCAT

If you want to get out of your tenancy agreement or residency agreement early, think about what date you want the lease to end or when you intend to leave the property.

You may want to seek legal advice and talk to your landlord or real estate agent about changing your tenancy or residency agreement. If your landlord agrees, you may not need to come to VCAT. If your landlord does not agree, you may need to come to a VCAT hearingDefinitionThe time and place at which VCAT hears the parties argue their case and makes a decision. .

Applying to VCAT

Complete the form: Application by a person experiencing personal or family violence.

For printed forms, call us on 1300 01 8228.

Submit your application to VCAT and send a copy to the landlord and any other tenant named on the tenancy agreement.

At a hearing

Be prepared and bring any documents that support your case.

Arrive 30 minutes before the hearing and check in with the VCAT customer service staff.

In some circumstances, you can ask to attend by telephone or use a remote witness facility. Talk to our support worker about this.

Each 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. will be given an opportunity to speak during the hearing.

VCAT is a tribunal and not as formal as a court. You can speak for yourself or find a lawyer or another representative to speak for you.

Find out more about what happens at a hearing.

Other services

Free legal information and advice

Family violence support

VCAT support worker

If you are living in or have left a rented property and you have been or are experiencing personal or family violence, our family violence support worker can:

  • help you to understand the VCAT process
  • help you complete an application form and send (serve) documents
  • connect you to other services for ongoing support
  • in some circumstances support you during the VCAT hearing and provide remote witness facilities.

To contact the support worker, call 03 9628 9856 9am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday.

VCAT general enquiries

9am to 4.30pm
Monday to Friday
1300 01 8228

For telephone interpreting services, contact Translating and Interpreting Service on 13 14 50.

Also see: Renting a home.