Resolving renting disputes

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What you can do to resolve a dispute

If you are having problems with your landlord or tenant, first try to resolve the issue by speaking with them directly about the problem.

If the matter remains unresolved, write to your landlord or tenant about the problem.

If your dispute relates to an illegal eviction or an urgent repair, view our Emergencies and urgent issues page.

Our website has information on a range of tenancy issues including:

If you reach an agreement with your landlord or tenant, put it in writing so you have a record of it.

If you have not reached an agreement, what you do next depends on the type of problem or complaint.

For some matters, such as non-urgent repairs or a breach of duty, you will need to issue a notice. You can download notices from our Forms and publications page. If you cannot resolve your dispute by using our information or issuing the relevant notice, it may be best to contact us for information and advice on your next steps.

For general tips on resolving disputes. view our Resolve your problem or complaint page.

Our dispute services

In certain circumstances, we may offer our voluntary dispute services to help resolve disputes between landlords and tenants. These may include situations where: 

  • there is evidence of non-compliance with Victorian renting laws, or 
  • where you have tried to resolve the problem and it remains unresolved. 

We focus these services on those who need it most - especially those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged. For more information, view the Dispute services section on Our compliance policy page.

Other tenancy disputes

Division of rental bonds

If a landlord or property manager, and a tenant or resident, cannot agree on the division of the bond, either party can apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). VCAT will hear the case and make a decision on how to divide the bond. Landlords must apply to VCAT within 10 business days of the tenant or resident leaving the property.  Tenants or residents can apply to VCAT at any time after the end of the tenancy or residency.

Tenant vs tenant disputes

We cannot help with disputes between tenants; contact the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria.

Commercial or retail lease disputes

Our information and dispute services apply only in limited circumstances to commercial or retail leases.

If you rent a property mainly as your home, but also run a business from the property, our information may apply. For example, if the property has a shop with a retail lease and an apartment with a residential tenancy lease, and they are leased to different tenants, the tenant in the apartment is covered by our residential tenancy laws.

Our renting information and services do not apply to other commercial or retail leases. For more information, visit the Victorian Small Business Commissioner (VSBC) website.

Help for older tenants

Housing for the Aged Action Group (HAAG)

HAAG provides free and confidential information and advice on housing options for people over 55 years of age, who need to find more affordable and secure accommodation.

HAAG also provides advice and support to older tenants if they are having difficulties, such as:

  • keeping up with their rent
  • living in housing that is in poor condition and needs repair
  • having problems with their tenancy agreements.

For more information, visit the HAAG website.

Residents in retirement villages

Older, financially disadvantaged Victorians living in retirement villages can seek assistance from the state-wide Retirement Housing Assistance and Advocacy Program (RHAAP). 

For a list of other organisations that can help with renting matters, view the Renting section on our Who to go to for help page.