This means that from Monday 29 March 2021:
rent reduction agreements can no longer be lodged with Consumer Affairs Victoria
you can apply directly to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for dispute resolution
rental providers (landlords) can issue a notice to vacate to renters (tenants) and raise the rent again, but new rights and responsibilities apply
Unresolved rent reduction disputes will be referred to VCAT
If you have an unresolved dispute about a rent reduction that was registered with Consumer Affairs Victoria before 29 March 2021, it will be referred to VCAT.
If Consumer Affairs Victoria referred your dispute to the Dispute Settlement Centre Victoria before 29 March 2021, you will be issued with a notice that the dispute has not been resolved by alternative dispute resolution. This will allow you to make an application to VCAT.
If you're in either of these situations, the temporary changes to renting laws introduced because of COVID-19 will still apply to you. This means that:
- renters in financial hardship because of COVID-19 cannot be given a notice to vacate – rental providers can terminate a rental agreement in limited circumstances but must have an order from VCAT to do so
- rental providers cannot increase the rent
- renters can end a fixed term tenancy early in certain circumstances
Expiring rent reduction agreements
Changing a dispute resolution order that was made before 29 March 2021
Both renters and rental providers can apply to VCAT to change an existing dispute resolution order (order). The application must be made to VCAT within 60 days of the order being made, or within a longer period if VCAT is satisfied that special circumstances exist.
VCAT may amend, cancel or extend the time for compliance with the order if either:
- there has been a substantial change in the circumstances of the dispute
- a renter or rental provider has not complied with the order because of circumstances outside their control
Support is available
Financial hardship is stressful and can affect you in different ways. It’s important to know that there is support available from services like:
Reviewed 28 March 2021