If VCAT gives the rooming house operator a possession order they can use it to get a warrant, which they can give to the police to have you evicted.
They will need to prove to VCAT that the notice to vacate is valid, and why VCAT should make a possession order.
There must be a VCAT hearing before a possession order can be made.
The hearing cannot go ahead until after the termination (vacate) date in the notice to vacate.
Go to the hearing
You should go to the hearing so you can have your say.
For example, you may want to argue that the notice to vacate should not have been given or is not a valid notice.
If you got a notice to vacate for overdue rent you might want to ask for a payment plan, instead of a possession order
If VCAT decides the notice to vacate is valid, then before it can make a possession order, there are other things it needs to think about.
These include whether a different order could be made that would allow you to stay.
For example, instead of a possession order VCAT could make these orders:
- A payment plan order if you got a notice to vacate for overdue rent
- A compliance order telling you to fix the problem that caused you to get the notice to vacate
Reasonable and proportionate
VCAT also needs to decide if it is ‘reasonable and proportionate’ for you to be evicted before it can make a possession order.
If eviction is not ‘reasonable and proportionate’, VCAT cannot make a possession order.
VCAT needs to look at the reason the notice to vacate was given, including:
- Your behaviour
- The rooming house operator’s behaviour
- The seriousness of the problem
- How long and how often the situation has been going on
- Whether someone else was responsible
- Any family or personal violence matters
- Whether the problem has been, or can be, fixed
- How the other residents have been affected
- Whether a different order could be made instead of you being evicted
- The hardship you could suffer if you were evicted
- The hardship anyone else could suffer – such as the rooming house operator – if you were not evicted
- Anything else VCAT thinks is relevant
VCAT also needs to think about the impact the eviction would have on:
- Other residents
- The rooming house operator
- Neighbours or other people who may be, or were, affected by your actions
If a possession order is made
If a possession order is made it will include:
- The date you need to move out, which can be immediately
- How much time the rooming house operator has to get a warrant that they can give to the police to evict you – which can be up to 6 months
You could be evicted on the day of the hearing
You could be evicted on the same day as the hearing.
It is possible for VCAT to make a possession order with the same date as the hearing.
If the rooming house operator gets a warrant on the same day and gives this straight to the police, the police could evict you on the same day as the hearing.
At the VCAT hearing, if you think a possession order will be made, you can ask VCAT to give you extra time before the rooming house operator can get a warrant.
The maximum amount of extra time VCAT can give is 30 days.
VCAT can give you extra time by including in the possession order:
- A later date for when you need to move out, rather than immediately, or
- A date that delays the rooming house operator getting a warrant
Before giving extra time, VCAT will need to think about what hardship:
- You would suffer if VCAT did not give you any extra time
- The rooming house operator would suffer if VCAT did give you extra time
You should take anything to the hearing that can help show why you need extra time.
For example, take anything that shows you have not been able to find other accommodation, letters from support workers, medical certificates, and details of your financial situation.
Missed a hearing?
If you missed a hearing, then found out a possession order was made, you can apply to VCAT for a review.
You need to apply before the police evict you, because VCAT will not be able to get you back into your property if the police have already evicted you.
You also need to apply within 14 days of finding out about the order.
We recommend you apply for a review as quickly as you can – in person if possible – and ask VCAT for an urgent review hearing.
There is no fee to apply for a review, but you will need to have a good reason for missing the first hearing.
See contact details for VCAT in the ‘Useful contacts’ section near the bottom of this page.
Tell the police
If you apply for a review hearing, ask VCAT to give you written confirmation of this, then give a copy to the police, so they do not evict you.
You should also ask VCAT to contact the police to confirm that the warrant needs to be put on hold.
You should also do these things:
- Put a copy of VCAT’s written confirmation of the review hearing on your door
- Give a copy to the rooming house operator
- Keep copies for yourself