COVID-19 information – renter protections end

The Victorian Government’s temporary COVID-19 protections for renters ended at midnight on 28 March 2021. This includes the end of the eviction moratorium, rent reduction mediation service, rent relief grant scheme, and freeze on rent rises.

Eviction moratorium

The moratorium on giving notices to vacate, for renters behind in rent due to financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, ended at midnight on 28 March 2021.

Rent reduction mediation service

The rent reduction mediation service to help renters negotiate lower rents with their rental providers (landlords), under the Victorian Government’s Residential Tenancies Dispute Resolution Scheme, ended at midnight on 28 March 2021. Any applicants waiting on decisions will have their matters referred to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for a decision.

Dispute resolution agreements and orders can be referred to VCAT for it to consider enforcement, variation, or cessation.

Notice periods for renters

Under the temporary protections the notice period for tenants needing to end their tenancy due to COVID-19 hardship was reduced to 14 days. This ended at midnight on 28 March 2021.

Family violence

Protection for family violence victims continues. Shortened notice periods and protection from lease-break and compensation claims for renters who needed to end their tenancy due to family violence and hardship before midnight on 28 March 2021 still apply.

Rent relief grants

The Victorian Government made available a rent relief grant, a subsidy up to $3000 for renters who had negotiated rent reduction agreements but were still paying more than 30% of their income as rent.

Renters who had already made rent reduction agreements, and/or had a referral number from Consumer Affairs Victoria by midnight on 28 March 2021, will still be able to apply. Renters who had a dispute registered with Consumer Affairs Victoria and who will be referred to VCAT may also be able to apply if VCAT makes an order. The Department of Families, Fairness and Housing will continue to assess these applications and deal with other matters relating to the grant. More information is on its website.

Rent increase freeze

The freeze on rent increases ended at midnight on 28 March 2021. Rental providers are now able to serve a Notice of Rent Increase – the minimum notice time is 60 days. If you started your tenancy agreement after 19 June 2019, the rent can only be increased once in 12 months. If your tenancy started before that date, six monthly rent increases can still occur. See a more detailed explanation on our page Rent increases.

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