Compensation claims - property

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The Victorian Property Fund (VPF) provides compensation for individuals and corporations when an estate agent, conveyancer or their respective representative has misused or misappropriated trust money or property in the course of their work.

Such misuse or misappropriation is known as defalcation, and can include:

  • theft
  • embezzlement
  • failing to account
  • fraudulently misappropriating.

For example, a defalcation has occurred if an agent misused trust money (including deposits or rent) when handling a sale or managing a rental property.

You can claim the full amount of your monetary loss and costs associated with making a claim for compensation.

Note: You cannot make a claim simply because you believe the agent or conveyancer acted unprofessionally, gave bad advice, or misrepresented the property. For general tips, view our Resolve your problem or complaint page.

How to make a claim

Step 1: contact our Estate Agents Resolution Service (EARS) on 1300 737 030. Calling us costs the same as a local call. Additional charges may apply if you are calling from overseas, on a mobile or payphone.

Step 2: complete a Claim for compensation from the Victorian Property Fund (Word, 147KB)

Step 3: Check that you have attached all the required documents from the relevant list following, then lodge your claim. Lodgement details are on the form.

Required documents

Landlords

If you are applying as a landlord, please attach copies of:

  • the rental management authority between yourself and the estate agent
  • the rental agreement (lease) between you and the tenant
  • receipts, bank statements or cheque stubs from the tenant to show they have made rental payments for the period you are claiming
  • records or bank statements to show you have not received payments for the period you are claiming
  • landlord statements sent to you by the estate agent that are relevant to this matter
  • any correspondence between you and the estate agent about this matter. This can include emails and text messages.

Please note that you do not need to make separate claims for separate properties.

Residential tenants

If you are applying as a residential tenant, please attach copies of:

  • the rental agreement (lease) between you and the landlord
  • a completed bond lodgement form
  • proof that you paid the bond, such as:
    • a receipt from the estate agent, your bank or Australia Post, or
    • bank statements or cheque stubs.
  • written acknowledgement from the estate agent currently managing your tenancy that you have vacated the premises
  • written acknowledgement from your landlord that you are entitled to the full bond
  • written consent from any co-tenant/s waiving their claim on the bond
  • any correspondence between you and the estate agent or your landlord about this matter. This can include emails and text messages.

Commercial tenants

If you are applying as a commercial tenant, please attach copies of:

  • the rental agreement (lease) between you and the landlord
  • proof that you paid the security deposit, such as:
    • a receipt from the estate agent, your bank or Australia Post, or
    • bank statements or cheque stubs.
  • written acknowledgement from the estate agent currently managing your tenancy that you have vacated the premises
  • written consent from your landlord to release the deposit, or an order made by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT)
  • any correspondence between you and the estate agent or your landlord about this matter. This can include emails and text messages.

Sellers

If you are applying as a seller of a residential property, please attach copies of:

  • the sales authority between you and the estate agent
  • the contract of sale between you and the purchaser of your property
  • a receipt, bank statement or cheque stub from the purchaser to show they paid the deposit you are claiming
  • the Statement of Settlement issued by the estate agent for your sale
  • records or bank statements to show you did not receive the payment of the deposit
  • written consent from the purchaser to release the deposit, or an order made by VCAT
  • any correspondence between you and the estate agent about this matter. This can include emails and text messages.

Purchasers

If you are applying as a purchaser of a residential property, please attach copies of:

  • the contract of sale between you and the seller of the property
  • a receipt, bank statement or cheque stub to show you have paid the deposit you are claiming
  • written consent from the seller to return the deposit, or an order made by VCAT
  • records or bank statements to show you did not receive the return of the deposit
  • any correspondence between you and the estate agent about this matter. This can include emails and text messages.

After you make a claim

We will let you know in writing when we receive your claim, and if we need more information. If you do not attach all the required documents, you may delay the claim process.

We will review your claim and either approve or reject it.

Appealing a decision

If we reject your claim, you can appeal the decision by applying to VCAT within three months of receiving the decision.

For information on how to appeal a decision, visit the VCAT website.

About the Victorian Property Fund

The VPF is a trust fund established under the Estate Agents Act 1980 and administered by Consumer Affairs Victoria. Its income comes from:

  • licence fees paid by estate agents and conveyancers
  • any fines and penalties payable under the Estate Agents Act 1980 and Conveyancers Act 2006
  • interest on licensed estate agents and conveyancers’ trust accounts
  • investment income.

We administer claims and grants from the VPF. For information on grants, view our Victorian Property Fund grants page.