Renting rules and support during the moratorium

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A State of Emergency and State of Disaster have been declared in Victoria to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). For the latest information and advice about current restriction levels in Victoria, visit the Department of Health and Human Services website.

To see rights and responsibilities in other areas we regulate, view:

Renting

The Victorian Government has put in place a moratorium on evictions, rent relief for eligible tenants, suspension of rental increases, and a continued dispute resolution process. The moratorium also made changes to how a tenant or landlord may end a tenancy during the moratorium period. Details are set out under ‘Information for tenants’ and ‘Information for landlords’ on this page.

The moratorium has been in place since 29 March 2020 and will continue until 28 March 2021.

Where a tenant is seeking a reduction in rent, we encourage landlords, agents and tenants to try to reach an arrangement, put it in writing, and register it with us. If you can’t reach an agreement, you can use the new, free dispute resolution service. To assist you in this process, please see a:

Tenants, landlords, estate agents and property managers are encouraged to read the information on this page to understand the changes prior to taking further action. 

The laws described on this page only apply to residential tenancies. For information about commercial leases, see Commercial and retail leases and visit the Victorian Small Business Commission.

If you’re suffering financial hardship due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, there are laws to help protect you as a tenant from eviction and allow you to negotiate a rent reduction with your landlord.

The moratorium on evictions will apply from 29 March 2020. This means that you can’t be evicted if you are served a notice to vacate from 29 March 2020 until the moratorium ends, because you can’t pay your rent due to the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19) on your financial situation.

This will apply if you’re a tenant or sub-tenant:

  • in a residential property
  • living in a rooming house
  • in social housing
  • under a site agreement at a caravan park
  • in specialist disability accommodation.

Information about reduced rent agreements

See the new process for negotiating a reduced rental agreement.

How much can the landlord raise my rent from 29 March 2020?

Your landlord cannot increase the rent from 29 March 2020. They can increase the rent after the moratorium ends, but only within the terms of your lease agreement and the Residential Tenancies Act. If your landlord issues you with a notice of rent increase after this time and you think that an increase is not reasonable, you can apply to us for a rent assessment.

What if I am not getting a response from the property manager?

If you have contacted your property manager to negotiate a rent reduction, you should expect them to reply in a timely manner and confirm they have put your request to the landlord.

You and your landlord should try to reach an agreement to reduce the rent, rather than deferring payment. If you agree to defer payment, you may end up with a debt you cannot repay at the end of the moratorium. If you are not happy with being asked to defer and repay rent at a later date, you should start the dispute resolution process.

If you are not happy with the response you have received, or feel it is taking too long, you can request our help. You do not need to have agreement or approval from your landlord or property manager to seek help. If you have been unsuccessful in reaching a reduced rent agreement, you should start the dispute resolution process.

What conditions should I agree to in the reduced rent agreement?

You and your landlord should try to reach an agreement to reduce the rent, rather than deferring payment. If you agree to defer payment, you may end up with a debt you cannot repay at the end of the moratorium.

Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for a rent relief grant. Being eligible for a rent relief grant isn't the only reason you can ask for a rent reduction agreement.

Over the next few months, your personal circumstances and your landlord's may change. You might reflect this in your agreement by putting in a date in the future to relook at the agreement or a trigger, such as change in employment or income status.

If you require further advice about your personal circumstances, please call 1300 55 81 81.

My reduced rent agreement is expiring. Can it be extended?

If both you and your landlord both agree, your reduced rent agreement can be extended. This applies to agreements that you reached either privately or by using our dispute resolution services.

You should register the extended agreement with us. Contact us for help if your landlord does not want to extend the agreement.

The dispute resolution order is expiring. Can it be extended?

If the Chief Dispute Resolution Officer (CDRO) for Residential Tenancies made a binding dispute resolution order about your rent, neither you nor the landlord can extend the order.

The CDRO can amend or extend a dispute resolution order in certain circumstances. Contact your Dispute Settlement Centre Victoria case officer to discuss changes to a dispute resolution order.

Can the end date on an agreement or order be after the moratorium is due to end?

Yes. The end date on a reduced rent agreement or a dispute resolution order can be after the end of the moratorium.

What will happen once these conditions expire?

You and your landlord must still comply with your dispute resolution order after these conditions expire. Dispute resolution orders made by the CDRO continue to be enforceable after the end of the moratorium.

Can I be put on a blacklist for not paying rent?

The landlord must not list you on a residential tenancy database (blacklist) if you are unable to pay rent because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. For more information, view Tenancy databases (blacklists).

Can a support person help me negotiate a reduced rent agreement?

The dispute resolution process is designed to be simple and easily accessible to most tenants. You do not need a lawyer or any other advisor to get a positive outcome, and the process is designed to be fair for all parties.

We recognise that you may need additional support to represent your interests or communicate details about the hardship you face as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19), and that person may be with you or represent you at any stage. You should make sure you both understand what your support person is authorised to say or agree to on your behalf.

Examples where this may be appropriate include:

  • a translator – please call the free translation service on 1300 405 282 (9am to 5pm Monday to Friday – except public holidays.)
  • a financial counsellor who can help you with a number of financial matters, including your ability to pay rent
  • a tenancy agency that is helping you
  • a community legal centre who may provide advice based on the complexity of your situation.

Am I eligible for the rent relief grant and where can I apply for the grant?

The rent relief grant is part of an $80 million rental assistance package from the Victorian Government to provide rent relief for tenants experiencing rental hardship due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

This is a one-off grant for tenants living in their primary residence to help them maintain safe, secure and stable accommodation. The grant is administered by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). To learn more about the rent relief grant and check eligibility under this scheme, visit the DHHS website.

To be eligible for the grant, tenants will need to register a reduced rent agreement with us or have gone through our dispute resolution process to reach a reduced rent agreement.

Deferral of rent is not considered a rent reduction and therefore does not meet the eligibility criteria.

Information about ending a tenancy

You can use a removalist to help when moving under Stage 4 restrictions, but the curfew hours apply.

What if I’ve already been served a notice to vacate?

From 29 March 2020, you cannot be evicted from rented premises unless the landlord has obtained an order from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) terminating the tenancy.

  • If your landlord served a notice to vacate on or after 29 March 2020, it has no effect.
  • A notice to vacate which was issued prior to 29 March 2020 and seeks to evict you on or after that date also has no effect.

The landlord may seek an order through VCAT to terminate the tenancy under specific circumstances. More detail is provided in the VCAT section on this page.

Can I end my periodic (month-to-month) tenancy?

You can end your periodic tenancy by issuing a notice of intention to vacate as normal. Use the Notice to landlord of rented premises (Word, 1.9MB). For more information, view If the tenant or resident wants to leave. Fees may apply if you end your tenancy in this way.

You can also end your periodic tenancy by giving a 14-day notice of intention to vacate, if you need to move for the following reasons:

  • you require special or personal care
  • you are moving into public or community housing
  • you require temporary crisis accommodation
  • you are a specialist disability accommodation (SDA) resident and have been given a notice that the SDA provider’s registration, or enrolment of the SDA dwelling, has been revoked
  • you are suffering severe hardship
  • you have been notified that the landlord has applied to VCAT to terminate the tenancy.

You do not need to apply to VCAT to end your tenancy in these circumstances.

Can I end my fixed-term tenancy early?

You can end your fixed-term tenancy by providing a notice of intention to vacate:

  • giving 14 days’ notice, if you need to move for the following reasons:
  • you require special or personal care
  • you are moving into public housing
  • you require temporary crisis accommodation
  • you are suffering severe hardship
  • you are a specialist disability accommodation (SDA) resident and have been given a notice that the SDA provider’s registration, or enrolment of the SDA dwelling, has been revoked
  • you have been notified that the landlord has applied to VCAT to terminate the tenancy.

You do not need to apply to VCAT to end your tenancy in these circumstances.

Are there circumstances when I won’t be charged fees for ending a tenancy early?

You will not be liable to pay lease break fees or charges if you end your tenancy early by giving 14 days’ notice of intention to vacate in the following circumstances:

  • you require special or personal care
  • you are moving into public housing
  • you require temporary crisis accommodation
  • you are suffering severe hardship
  • you are a specialist disability accommodation (SDA) resident and have been given a notice that the SDA provider’s registration, or enrolment of the SDA dwelling, has been revoked
  • you have been notified that the landlord has applied to VCAT to terminate the tenancy.

You do not need to apply to VCAT to end your tenancy in these circumstances.

If you end the tenancy due to severe financial hardship or family violence reasons, you can apply for a referral to VCAT.

VCAT has the power to make a determination about whether it is reasonable and proportionate to end the tenancy, and in those situations, no fees are payable.

To end your fixed term tenancy without attracting lease break fees, you must:

  1. Give your landlord a written notice of intention to vacate.
  2. Specify a termination date in that notice that is at least 28 days after the date on which you give the notice to your landlord.
  3. Ensure the termination date is not earlier than the date on which the fixed-term agreement period is due to end. For example, if your tenancy is due to expire on 31 August, you must specify a termination date of 31 August.

If your notice of intention to vacate specifies a termination date that is earlier than the end of the fixed-term agreement period, you may be required to pay lease break fees for ending the tenancy early.

Consumer Affairs Victoria has referred my landlord to VCAT – if I want to end the tenancy, do I have to wait for this process to complete?

If the landlord has lodged an application to VCAT to end the tenancy and you also want to end it, you may issue a notice of intention to vacate giving 14 days’ notice.

You cannot be charged fees for ending the tenancy in these circumstances.

If my landlord is referred to VCAT to end my tenancy, how long will I have before I have to leave?

VCAT will consider whether it is reasonable and proportionate to end the tenancy in the circumstances. You should not assume that you will be required to leave. You should prepare for the VCAT hearing with evidence about the impact of eviction on you. There are free supports available to assist you if you don’t feel confident. These services are:

  • tenancy advocates
  • community legal centres
  • translation services
  • Indigenous supports.

If VCAT determines that the tenancy will end, then the amount of time you will be given to leave after VCAT orders the tenancy to end depends on the circumstances.

VCAT could order you to leave immediately if it finds that:

  • you or your visitor have caused serious damage
  • you are endangering safety of neighbours, the landlord (or their agent), or contractors/employees of the landlord
  • you have been given a notice to leave under s368 of the Residential Tenancies Act in relation to serious acts of violence
  • the rented premises are unfit for human habitation or destroyed.

VCAT must give you at least 14 days to leave if it finds that:

  • you have made serious threats or intimidation against the landlord, their agent or their contractors/employees
  • you have failed to comply with a VCAT order under s212 of the Residential Tenancies Act - read more information on the Victorian Legislation website.
  • you have made illegal use of the property
  • you have assigned or sublet without the landlord’s consent

VCAT must give you at least 28 days to leave if it finds that:

  • you failed to comply with your obligations under the tenancy agreement or the Residential Tenancies Act, including by not paying rent, in circumstances where you could have done so without suffering severe hardship
  • you have not complied with a VCAT order excluding a pet from the premises
  • VCAT must give you at least 60 days to leave if:
  • your landlord is selling the premises
  • your landlord or their family member are moving in.

I feel pressured by my landlord or property manager to agree to end my tenancy, and I don’t know how to respond.

It is important to know your rights as a tenant. You cannot be evicted from your residential property without the landlord obtaining an order from VCAT to do so.

There are limited circumstances where VCAT can receive an application for termination, and it will consider whether ending the tenancy is reasonable and proportionate in the circumstances.

If you are having trouble paying your rent, you should seek a reduced rent agreement with your landlord. See a guide to the process for tenants.

There are supports available to you if you are unable to effectively communicate with your landlord or property manager. These free services are:

  • tenancy advocates
  • community legal centres
  • translation services
  • Indigenous supports.

If you want advice on your tenancy before taking action, you can also ask questions by lodging an enquiry.

What happens if I am in social housing?

You cannot be evicted from your social housing without the landlord obtaining an order from VCAT to do so.

There are limited circumstances in which VCAT may consider whether it is reasonable and proportionate to evict you from your social housing. In addition to the matters listed above, these include if the landlord of the premises is:

  • a statutory authority, and the premises are required for a public purpose after the termination date
  • the Director of Housing, and:
    • the premises were provided as transitional housing by the Director of Housing and the tenant is unreasonably refusing to accept an offer of alternative accommodation
    • the premises are intended for repair, renovation, rebuilding or demolition which cannot occur without the tenant vacating
    • the tenant has committed drug offences in the premises or in a common area, or
    • the tenant commits a prescribed indictable offence
  • a public statutory authority and the tenant has misled them regarding their eligibility for public or social housing

Further information for tenants

Financial assistance may be available to support you

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) offers a new rent relief grant for those facing financial hardship.

Eligible tenants can apply for rent relief if they register an agreement they have reached with their landlord with us, or use our dispute resolution process to reach a reduced rent agreement. Learn more about the rent relief grant and check your eligibility under this scheme.

If you are not eligible for a rent relief grant, there is a range of information and other services available to support you. You may also be eligible for Commonwealth Rent Assistance through Centrelink.

What if I am experiencing family violence?

Due to the impacts of coronavirus, the Victorian Government will bring forward the commencement of amendments contained in the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2018 to protect renters who are experiencing family violence or personal violence.

Persons who have been subjected to family violence or personal violence may apply for a referral to VCAT for an order to terminate or vary the existing tenancy agreement. These applications are included in the list of urgent matters which VCAT will continue to hear while the laws are in effect.

Under Stage 4 restrictions, you can leave your home in an emergency, or if there is family violence, or violence by another person in your home and you are at risk.

If you are escaping harm from family violence, safe accommodation is available. Safesteps is Victoria’s 24/7 family violence support service for advice, help and support. Call 1800 015 188 or email safesteps@safesteps.org.au. If you feel unsafe at home and it is an emergency, call police on Triple Zero (000).

If you are experiencing family violence from someone who resides in your rental property, you can apply for an intervention order to exclude them from the property. To apply for an intervention order, visit the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria. You can also apply for an interim intervention order in person at a local Magistrates' Court.

Where can I learn more?

To stay updated on changes to renting laws, subscribe to our email list.

You can also ask questions by lodging an enquiry.

The moratorium supports landlords and helps protect tenants from eviction in residential properties, other than in exceptional circumstances, and allows for the rent to be reduced if the tenant is suffering financial hardship due to the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The moratorium on evictions applies from 29 March 2020. If you have served a notice to vacate on or after 29 March 2020 to a tenant who cannot pay their rent because of financial hardship resulting from the coronavirus (COVID-19), it is not effective.

This will apply to you if you are:

  • the landlord of a residential property
  • the operator of a rooming house
  • the owner of a caravan park
  • a provider of specialist disability accommodation.

Information about reduced rent agreements

See the new process for negotiating a reduced rental agreement.

What if my tenant refuses to pay rent?

Contact the tenant to determine why they have stopped paying rent. You cannot evict the tenant for non-payment of rent unless you can establish that the non-payment is in circumstances where the tenant could comply without suffering severe hardship.

If that is the case, you may seek a Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) order to have the tenancy terminated on the ground that the tenant has breached their obligations under the Residential Tenancies Act or the tenancy agreement.

In this case, contact us.

Please include appropriate evidence to support your reason for seeking a VCAT decision, such as correspondence from the tenant advising that they are not paying.

We will determine whether one of the exceptions applies and refer it to VCAT for determination where appropriate.

If the tenant is not paying rent due to the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, you should try to come to an agreement with them about the rent they can afford to pay in these challenging times.

See the new process for negotiating a reduced rental agreement

Tenants can break their lease early, or have their fixed term rental period reduced, in some circumstances during this period. The process for claiming the bond remains the same.

Contact us for further information.

How long will the new rent be frozen for, and how much can I increase the rent by after this period?

You will not be able to increase the rent from 29 March 2020. You can increase the rent after the moratorium ends, but only by a reasonable amount and in accordance with the terms of the lease agreement and the Residential Tenancies Act 1997.

What conditions should I consider in the reduced rent agreement?

You and your tenant should try to reach an agreement to reduce the rent, rather than your tenant deferring payment. If you agree to deferred payment, your tenant may end up with a debt they cannot repay at the end of the moratorium.

Your tenant’s circumstances may be relevant to eligibility for a rent relief grant, but this should not be a condition of a rent reduction agreement.

You and your tenant’s personal circumstances may change over coming months. You might reflect this in your agreement by putting in a review date or a trigger, such as change in employment or income status.

A reduced rental agreement I have made with my tenant is expiring. Can it be extended?

If you and your tenant agree, you can extend a reduced rent agreement. This applies to agreements you reached privately or through our dispute resolution services.

You should register your extended agreement with us.

A dispute resolution order is expiring. Can it be extended?

If the Chief Dispute Resolution Officer (CDRO) for Residential Tenancies made a binding dispute resolution order for you and your tenant, neither of you can extend the order. 

The CDRO can amend or extend a dispute resolution order in certain circumstances. Contact your Dispute Settlement Centre Victoria case officer to discuss changes to your dispute resolution order.

Can the end date on an agreement or order be after the moratorium ends?

The end date on a reduced rent agreement or a dispute resolution order can be after the end of the moratorium.

What will happen once the temporary laws expire?

You and your tenant must still comply with your dispute resolution order after the temporary laws expire. Dispute resolution orders made by the CDRO continue to be enforceable after the end of the moratorium.

What does it mean if my tenant is eligible for the rent relief grant?

The rent relief grant is part of an $80 million rental assistance package from the Victorian Government to provide rent relief for tenants experiencing rental hardship due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

This is a one-off grant for tenants living in their primary residence to help them maintain safe, secure and stable accommodation. The grant is administered by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). To learn more about the rent relief grant and check eligibility, visit the DHHS website.

To be eligible for the grant, tenants will need to register a reduced rent agreement with us or have gone through our dispute resolution process to reach a reduced rent agreement. 

Deferral of rent is not considered a rent reduction and therefore does not meet the eligibility criteria.

Can the grant be paid directly to me as a landlord or an estate agent on my behalf?

The rent relief grant is a payment made by the DHHS on behalf of the tenant and is paid directly to the landlord or real estate agent acting for the landlord.

Information about ending a tenancy

What if I had issued a Notice to vacate prior to 29 March 2020? 

If the notice was issued prior to 29 March 2020 and seeks to evict a tenant after that date, it is not effective. You cannot evict your tenant unless VCAT has determined it is reasonable and proportionate in the circumstances. Please contact us for determination of whether the situation falls within a category VCAT can consider – more detail is provided in the VCAT section on this page.

Can my tenant end their periodic tenancy during the moratorium period?

Your tenant may issue a notice of intention to vacate as normal. They should use the Notice to landlord of rented premises (Word, 1.9MB). For more information, view If the tenant or resident wants to leave.

Can my tenant end their fixed-term tenancy early?

Your tenant may end their fixed-term tenancy by providing a notice of intention to vacate:

  • giving 14 days’ notice, if they need to move for the following reasons:
  • they require special or personal care
  • they are moving into public or community housing
  • they require temporary crisis accommodation 
  • they are a specialist disability accommodation (SDA) resident and have been given a notice that the SDA provider’s registration, or enrolment of the SDA dwelling, has been revoked
  • they are suffering severe hardship
  • they have been notified that you have applied to VCAT to terminate the tenancy.

Your tenant does not need to apply to VCAT to end the tenancy in these circumstances.

Your tenant can also contact us for a referral to VCAT to reduce the term of their fixed-term tenancy due to severe hardship or family violence. The tenancy agreement will automatically terminate if the tenant vacates the rented premises after the expiration of the reduced term. For more information, view Changing the rental agreement due to violence.

Are there circumstances when my tenant won’t be charged fees for ending a tenancy early?

If your tenant needs to end the tenancy due to severe hardship (financial hardship or for family violence reasons) they may apply to us for a referral to VCAT. Tenants will not be required to pay any lease break fees or charges if VCAT makes an order to reduce the fixed term tenancy.

The tenant also won't be liable to pay lease break fees or charges if they end the tenancy early by giving 14 days’ notice of intention to vacate in the following circumstances: 

  • they require special or personal care
  • they are moving into public housing or community housing
  • they require temporary crisis accommodation 
  • they are a specialist disability accommodation (SDA) resident and have been given a notice that the SDA provider’s registration, or enrolment of the SDA dwelling, has been revoked
  • they are suffering severe hardship
  • they have been notified that you have applied to VCAT to terminate the tenancy.

For your tenant to end their fixed-term tenancy without attracting lease break fees, they must:

  1. Give you a written notice of intention to vacate.
  2. Specify a termination date in that notice that is at least 28 days after the date on which they give you the notice.
  3. Ensure the termination date is not earlier than the date on which the fixed term agreement period is due to end. For example, if the tenancy is due to expire on 31 August, they must specify a termination date of 31 August. 

If the notice of intention to vacate specifies a termination date that is earlier than the end of the fixed-term agreement period, the tenant may be required to pay lease break fees for ending the tenancy early.

I want to end the tenancy Consumer Affairs Victoria has referred me to VCAT – can my tenant end their tenancy before this process is complete?

If you have lodged an application to VCAT to end the tenancy and the tenant also wants to end it, your tenant may issue a Notice of intention to vacate giving 14 days’ notice. 

They cannot be charged fees for ending the tenancy in these circumstances. 

If VCAT determines that the tenancy will end, how long will my tenant have to leave?

VCAT will consider whether it is reasonable and proportionate to end the tenancy in the circumstances. This means that you should not assume that the tenant will be required to leave. 

If VCAT orders that the tenancy will end, then the minimum amount of time your tenant must be given to leave after the VCAT decision depends on the circumstances:

  • VCAT could order immediate termination if it finds that:
    • the tenant or their visitor have caused serious damage 
    • the tenant is endangering your safety, the safety of your agent, contractors or employees, or the safety of neighbours 
    • the tenant has been given a notice to leave under s368 in relation to serious acts of violence 
    • the rented premises are unfit for human habitation or destroyed.
  • VCAT must give the tenant at least 14 days to leave if it finds that:
    • the tenant has made serious threats or intimidation against you or your agent, contractors or employees
    • the tenant has failed to comply with a VCAT order under s212 of the of the Residential Tenancies Act the tenant has made illegal use of the property 
    • the tenant has assigned or sublet without your consent.
  • VCAT must give the tenant at least 28 days to leave if it finds that:
    • the tenant failed to comply with their obligations under the tenancy agreement or the Residential Tenancies Act, including by not paying rent, in circumstances where they could have done so without suffering severe hardship 
    • the tenant has not complied with a VCAT order excluding a pet from the premises.
  • VCAT must give the tenant at least 60 days to leave if:
    • you are selling the premises
    • you or your family member are moving in.

Further information for landlords

What about my other responsibilities under the lease? 

You still have the same responsibilities to your tenant that currently exist under your lease, including carrying out repairs. An exemption would only apply if you are unable to comply with, or it is not reasonably practicable for you to comply with, a term, provision or obligation because of a ‘coronavirus (COVID-19) reason’. The same exemption applies to tenants who are unable to comply with their responsibilities.

What financial help is there for me?

We understand the global pandemic presents many challenges to landlords and tenants alike.

Contact your insurance and mortgage providers to determine the terms covering your situation.

Your tenants may be eligible for support under the Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) rent relief grant for those facing financial hardship. Tenants may be entitled to up to $3,000 to help cover any shortfall in their rent. This money is paid directly to you if your tenant is eligible. 

If you agree to a reduction in rent, you may also be eligible for a 25 per cent land tax reduction. A deferment to 31 March 2021 may also be possible. For more information, visit State Revenue Office – Tax relief for eligible businesses.

Where can I learn more?

To stay updated on changes to renting laws, subscribe to our email list.

You can also ask questions, by lodging an enquiry.

The new laws have changed parts of VCAT’s jurisdiction for residential tenancy matters for the duration of the rental eviction moratorium period.

Terminating a tenancy

If you wish to terminate a tenancy, the Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria must first determine whether the matter falls within one of the defined eligible categories. If so, you will be referred to make an application to VCAT, who will make a decision based on whether it is reasonable and proportionate to end the tenancy in the circumstances.

The specified exceptions are listed below: 

  • serious damage caused by the tenant or their visitor
  • endangering safety of neighbours, the landlord (or their agent), or contractors/employees of the landlord
  • serious threats or intimidation against the landlord, their agent or their contractors/employees
  • failure to comply with a VCAT order under s212 of the Residential Tenancies Act
  • the tenant has been given a notice to leave under s368 in relation to serious acts of violence
  • illegal use of the property
  • tenant failed to comply with obligations under the tenancy agreement or the Residential Tenancies Act, including by not paying rent, in circumstances where the tenant could do so without suffering severe hardship
  • landlord is selling rented premises
  • rented premises are unfit for human habitation or destroyed
  • assignment or sublet without landlord’s consent
  • landlord or their family member is moving back in
  • tenant has not complied with a VCAT order excluding a pet from the premises
  • premises are the property of a statutory authority which requires them for a public purpose after the termination date
  • premises were provided as transitional housing by the Director of Housing and the tenant is unreasonably refusing to accept an offer of alternative accommodation
  • landlord is the Director of Housing and the landlord is intending to repair, renovate, rebuild or demolish the rented premises
  • landlord is a public statutory authority and the tenant has misled them regarding their eligibility for public or social housing
  • tenant has committed drug offences in rented premises or in a common area, where the landlord is the Director of Housing,
  • tenant commits a prescribed indictable offence where the landlord is the Director of Housing
  • landlord is a public statutory authority and tenant no longer meets eligibility criteria

If you wish to end a tenancy on one of the above grounds, please refer to Information for tenants or Information for landlords on this page for more details. You may lodge an application for determination by the Director, Consumer Affairs Victoria here.

Other disputes

Before you can make an application to VCAT in relation to any residential tenancy matters, the Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria must first assess whether the dispute can be resolved through the Residential Tenancies Dispute Resolution Scheme. This includes:

  • a dispute about your rental agreement
  • an alleged breach of your obligations under your rental agreement
  • an alleged breach of the Residential Tenancies Act or the regulations made under it.

You may lodge an application for determination by the Director, Consumer Affairs Victoria here. The Director will either:

  • determine that the matter is suitable for resolution under the Residential Tenancies Dispute Resolution Scheme, and you will be contacted for further information and advice about how to resolve your matter, or
  • refer you to VCAT.

Some not-for-profit agencies may help eligible tenants in financial crisis. For initial advice and referral to a financial counsellor, visit the National Debt Helpline website.

The Tenancy Assistance and Advocacy Program (TAAP) can make a referral where appropriate. It supports tenants who are financially disadvantaged and vulnerable, and have certain specified tenancy issues.

If you need urgent help with housing, contact the Department of Health and Human Services’ housing assistance team. Call 1800 825 955 (free call, 24 hours) or visit the HousingVic website.