This information is a guide and should not be used as a substitute for professional legal advice.

Family violence and your tenancy

There are now extra family violence protections for renters. Find out where to get help, where to get an intervention order, and what you can do if you want want to stay or leave your home.

New rental laws

New rental laws came into effect from 29 March, 2021.

These laws include substantial changes to support and protect people experiencing family and personal violence.

These include:

  • Better processes when a family violence survivor wants to stay or leave
  • The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) must hear all applications to remove family violence perpetrators or allow survivors to leave the rented premises within 3 days of the application
  • VCAT can make orders about collection of goods left behind
  • Certain notice to vacate orders can be challenged if the family violence caused the notice to be given
  • Provisions around changing locks and keys are clearer
  • You can make certain modifications to the premises without consent, including installation of security lights, alarm systems, and CCTV systems that are not hardwired. The law further provides that the rental provider cannot unreasonably withhold consent to other modifications, such as hardwired security lights, alarm systems and other safety devices, that will increase safety and security
  • Protections against being listed on a tenancy database or having a listing removed if it was the result of family violence
  • The ability to request ‘open for inspections’ by appointment, and to object to photography and advertising material in certain circumstances
  • The ability to apportion damage and rental arrears in certain circumstances

Where to get help

Specialist family violence services as well as online resources are available to support people experiencing family and personal violence.

Domestic Violence Victoria

Intervention orders

An intervention order is a court order to to protect a person, their children and their property from another person’s behaviour.

If you experience violence from a family member, partner or ex-partner, you can apply for a Family violence intervention order.

Family violence protection for renters

If you live in rental housing and have been affected by family violence (sometimes called domestic violence), find information about:

  • Changing the locks
  • Getting an intervention order
  • Staying in the rental property
  • Leaving the rental property
  • Applying to VCAT (including sample applications)
  • Public housing tenants

Also see Consumer Affairs Victoria for information on protections for renters.

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