Disputing the claim
If you disagree with your landlord’s claim, or you cannot reach an agreement with your landlord as to how much compensation you should have to pay, they will have to apply to the Tribunal (VCAT) to resolve the matter.
Your landlord must convince the Tribunal that:
- they have sustained a loss or damage, and
- the loss or damage resulted from your breach of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 or your tenancy agreement, and
- the amount they are claiming is reasonable
You should contact the Tenants Union for advice on defending a compensation claim.
If the Tribunal has made an order that your landlord has to pay you compensation but you haven’t received the money, there are a number of options open to you.
The best option depends on your landlord’s financial circumstances. You should be aware that there are costs involved with each method and you should contact a Community Legal Centre for advice before proceeding.
For the closest centre go to www.community.org.au. If your landlord applies to the Tribunal for compensation and you are ordered to pay, your landlord can also take steps to enforce the financial order.
Consumer Affairs can prosecute landlords, agents and tenants for failing to comply with a Tribunal order, and this applies to both monetary and non-monetary orders.
The penalty is $2,442.80 plus $610.70 a day until the order is complied with, up to a maximum of $7,328.40.