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 tenancy 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 hearing.
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 party 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.
Free legal information and advice
- Justice Connect – 1800 606 313
- Tenants Union of Victoria – 03 9416 2577
- Victoria Legal Aid – 1300 792 387
- Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service – 1800 064 865
Family violence support
- safe steps Family Violence Response Centre (24/7 response) – 1800 015 188
- 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
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
Also see: Renting a home.
- Title Renting and personal or family violence
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