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Home of Your Own

A self help tool for renters affected by family violence

Getting an intervention order

About family violence intervention orders, how they can help you, and steps to apply.

If you are experiencing family violence, you can apply for a family violence intervention order (IVO). An IVO is a court order to protect a person, their children and their property from the person using violence.

Family violence is any behaviour from a partner, caregiver, family member or guardian that makes you fear for your safety or wellbeing, or that controls you.  
 
Family violence is not only physical violence. It also includes violent threats, stalking, controlling behaviour, unwanted sexual behaviour, verbal and financial abuse.  

When renting, violent or controlling behaviour can cause damage to property, affect your ability to pay rent, or impact your rental agreement and rental history.

An IVO will state that someone using violence cannot do certain things. If they break the conditions of the IVO, they can be charged by the police with a criminal offence.

For instance, an IVO may ban them from coming near you and your home or contacting you (or your children).  
 
An IVO can make it easier to make your rental safer or to stay safely housed, for example: 

  • to require that any rental or sales inspection of the property are conducted by private appointment rather than open house; 
  • to object to advertising photos or videos when the property is for sale or rent;  
  • to assist (although it is not required) in reducing the time left on a rental agreement and avoid early termination costs. 

How can I apply for an IVO? 

You can apply for an IVO at any Magistrates’ Court in Victoria. The court may order interim IVO, then there will be a hearing to decide if a final intervention order will be made and what the conditions will be.

Read more about applying for a family violence intervention order on the Legal Aid website.

If the police believe you (or your children) are in immediate danger of family violence, they may also apply for an IVO on your behalf. They can do this without your consent. 

Talking to your rental provider about your safety needs 
If you have an IVO, you can inform your rental provider so that they do not share information about you, or any new keys to the property with the person excluded by the intervention order. 

Home of Your Own can help you draft a letter to talk to your rental provider about your safety needs. 

Draft your letter, using Home of Your Own.

A lawyer can help you to make your application for a family violence intervention order. 

You can also speak to a family violence service who may be able to help you. 

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

This page contains legal information only. View our disclaimer

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