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Home of Your Own

A self help tool for renters affected by family violence

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Rental databases, also called ‘blacklists’, contain information about a renters’ history. You might be listed on a rental database if you left a property and you owed money for rent or damage (that was more than the bond), or if you were evicted for certain reasons. There are legal protections for renters who experienced family violence in a property to ensure they are not listed on these databases. 

Your rental agreement can end when: 

  • You and your landlord agree to end the rental agreement. 
  • The police execute a warrant of possession which requires you to leave your house. 
  • You terminate your lease by providing a notice of intention to vacate provided certain conditions are met. 
  • You apply to VCAT to end a rental agreement. 

You can check your rental agreement to find out if it’s fixed term or not.  

A fixed term is where you have an agreement for a set period of time. It is common to sign a lease for a period of 12 months, but it can be shorter or longer. 

A periodic lease is where your agreement is month by month without an end date. This usually occurs after a fixed term agreement expires and you do not sign a new fixed term agreement. 

Damage to a property can occur intentionally or negligently. It is more than the ordinary or expected ‘wear and tear’ from everyday use of the property by a renter or a visitor. For example, holes in the walls would generally be considered damage whereas minor marks on the wall would not. 

If you share a lease with someone who used violence against you, you may be able to end the lease and create a new lease in your name.   

If a rental provider is selling or advertising the home, you may be able to prevent photos that identify you or someone who is at risk of family violence from being taken and prevent open inspections occurring.  

If someone else went to your VCAT hearing and spoke on your behalf, VCAT will count that as you attending the hearing. 

If you dialled into a hearing by telephone or video conference, this generally means you were present at your VCAT hearing.  

If you have a copy of any orders made by the VCAT Member during the hearing, the order will say if you did not attend the hearing. If it’s blank, this means VCAT considers that you attended. If someone else went to your VCAT hearing and spoke on your behalf, VCAT will count that as you attending the hearing. 

If the VCAT Member (the person who hears and decides cases) grants a Possession Order, the rental provider can request a warrant of possession, which gives the police the power to evict you by removing you from the property. 

You will receive a notice of hearing in the mail or by email which will show you the date, time and location of the hearing. If you misplaced the notice, you can call VCAT on 1300 018 228 to double check the details. 

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal is an accessible and neutral Tribunal that helps to resolve renting disputes between renters and rental providers. 

A Notice to Vacate is a document that tells you why the rental provider wants to evict you. A rental provider must give you a Notice to Vacate before they can legally evict you.

If you get a Notice to Vacate, you don’t have to leave by the termination date listed. You still have options to stay in your home. The document will be titled ‘Notice to Vacate’ and will look like this:

Whether you or the person using violence against you are on the rental agreement will impact your options.  

If there is someone other than you and/or the person using violence against you on the rental agreement, this will not affect your results. Please choose the most accurate option for your situation. 

If your rental provider (previously known as your landlord) or agent has asked you to leave a rental property, this tool can provide you with information about your options to avoid eviction and to take action. 

An intervention order is a legal document that can keep someone away from you and your home or stop them from using violence against you. This can be an interim or final order from Victoria or another state. 

If the rental provider has told you that they plan to advertise the home you live in for sale or rent, and you are at risk of family violence, you can: 

  • object to photos of your home being taken or advertised, to protect your safety or the safety of children who live with you; and 
  • request that inspections happen by appointment only, and not by open house to protect your safety or the safety of children who live with you.