Applying to the Tribunal
If you cannot resolve a problem with your landlord or agent, you can apply to the Tribunal for an independent and legally-binding decision.
You will need to fill out an application form and send it to the Tribunal. This form is available from the Tribunal or the Tenants Union.
Where you are asked to name the respondent on the application form, make sure you tick the box next to landlord and give your landlord’s name, not the name of your real estate agent.
If you are a public tenant, your landlord is the Director of Housing. Once you have filled out the form, attach the application fee ($37.90 at the time of printing).
There is no application fee if you are applying for the return of your bond. The fee can be paid by credit card, money order or cheque. If paying by credit card you will need to complete a Payment by Credit Card form, available from the Tribunal.
If you want to pay by cash or eftpos, you must apply in person. If you cannot afford to pay the application fee, you can apply to have the fee waived by filling in a fee waiver form.
You must send a copy of your application to your landlord within 7 days. Send the copy by registered mail (keep the mail receipt and a copy of the application for yourself).
Allow 2 business days for mail delivery or deliver your application to the Tribunal Registrar in person. You can also lodge an application online.
Go to www.vcat.vic.gov.au and click on Fees-Forms-Brochures. Click on Application Forms-Brochures and go to Civil Division. Click on Residential Tenancies List and under the heading Online Application Forms, click on General Application Form.
Notice of Tribunal hearing
You will receive a notice from the Tribunal telling you when and where your hearing is to take place. If you cannot go to the Tribunal on the day of the hearing, you should request an adjournment.
You must ask for an adjournment no less than 2 business days before the hearing. Before you request an adjournment, contact the Tenants Union for advice.
If you need an interpreter, you should tell the Tribunal before the hearing date. The Tribunal should arrange for a free interpreter to be at your hearing. For advice on preparing a case for a Tribunal hearing, contact the Tenants Union.
Tribunal review hearings
If there was a good reason why you couldn’t go to the hearing, or you didn’t arrange to have someone represent you in your absence, you may be able to have the case reheard.
You must apply within 14 days of fi nding out about the Tribunal order. (If the Tribunal granted a Possession Order, see ‘Review hearings & eviction’ for more information.)