Quick Exit

Home of Your Own

A self help tool for renters affected by family violence

VCAT review applications

What to do if you have missed your VCAT hearing.

If police have told you are going to be evicted
Seek legal help urgently if your rental provider has made you aware that they have a warrant to evict you or the police have told you they are going to evict you. Call Victoria Legal Aid on 1300 792 387 (Mon to Fri, 8am to 6pm).

What can I do if I missed my VCAT hearing?
If you missed your VCAT hearing, you should apply for a review hearing urgently. This means VCAT may schedule a new hearing to decide if an order to evict you should be made. If your application to have the original order reviewed is successful, you will be able to stay in your house. You can download the application to reopen an order from the VCAT website.

In what circumstances can I apply for a review hearing? 
You can apply for a review hearing if: 

  • you did not attend the hearing and did not have someone else attend on your behalf, and 
  • you have an excuse that VCAT considers reasonable for not attending the hearing. Examples could include that you were unwell or that you did not know about the hearing, and 
  • you have a reasonable case to argue, which means you believe you have information that would have influenced the hearing outcome if you had been able to present it to VCAT. Examples could include that you could repay rent owing, the notice to vacate you received was related to family violence, or if you lose your home you would be homeless, and 
  • you apply to VCAT for a review hearing within 14 days of becoming aware of the order. VCAT can extend this timeframe in certain circumstances. 

A review hearing is not always guaranteed. If VCAT thinks your reasons are not strong enough, a review hearing may not be granted.

What if a warrant of possession has been issued?
You should apply for a review application urgently and follow these steps: 

  • Complete the application form and email VCAT (renting@VCAT.vic.gov.au) with the subject line: URGENT – warrant issued, review application request 
  • If you do not hear back from VCAT within an hour of submitting your application, call VCAT to confirm the application has been received and the warrant has been placed on hold. You can call VCAT on 1300 018 228 (Mon to Fri, 9am to 4.30pm). 
  • Keep a copy of your review application and if the police attend your home to evict you, show them a copy of the application. If VCAT makes an order to pause the eviction so your review application can be heard, you should also provide a copy of that order to your local police station.  
  • After VCAT has confirmed that the warrant has been put on hold, we recommend you get legal help.

If you need legal advice or more help to fill out the VCAT application form, call Victoria Legal Aid on 1300 792 387 (Mon to Fri, 8am to 6pm). 

If someone else went to your VCAT hearing and spoke on your behalf, VCAT will count that as you attending the hearing. If you’re not sure, you can check the bottom of your VCAT order. Under the date, it will say if the renter did not attend the hearing. If it’s blank, this means VCAT considers that you or someone on your behalf attended.

If the person using violence against you went to the hearing, you might be able to apply for a rehearing if they did not represent you. If you are in this situation, you should speak to a lawyer about what to do. 

Where can I get more help?  
You can get free legal help to help you understand your options.

If you need somewhere to stay, or more support with accessing housing, speak to a family violence service or a housing service.

If your VCAT hearing was for being behind in rent, our free self-help tool, Dear Landlord, can help you to generate a tailored VCAT review hearing application.

See our list of services, for free legal, family violence and housing support. 

This page contains legal information only. View our disclaimer