Notice to Vacate
Received a “Notice to Vacate” for your rental property?
By law a Notice to Vacate must be delivered in person to the tenant or sent by registered mail.
New Rental Laws were introduced in Victoria from 29th March 2021. To see what has changed, visit TUV New Rental Laws.
For Rental Arrears:
If you are 14 days or more behind on rent, a ‘NOTICE TO VACATE’ for overdue rent (also called arrears) is the first step in the legal process of eviction. The notice must give you at least 14 days to vacate the property.
If you don’t wish to leave:
STEPS TO A SOLUTION:
- Ask if your landlord will cancel the legal process if you can catch up with your rent arrears with an arrangement.
- Suggest a certain date to pay in full, and follow through with that.
- Prepare a budget showing how you can afford the rent for future months.
You may be eligible for Centrelink Advance to cover a rental shortfall. A local Housing Agency may also be able to assist with your rent arrears payment.
Contact Tenants Union of Victoria Tenant advice line on (03) 9416 2577 for advice on eviction, or any Notice To Vacate. Some notices can be contested at VCAT - the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
A great self-help tool is “Dear Landlord” created by Justice Connect to navigate your way through rental issues and take action yourself. It has great information, free letter templates and advice on fixing rental issues. Click on “Dear Landlord”.
To Contest a Notice to Vacate
You will need to lodge an objection to the notice with VCAT, attend a hearing and explain your objection. Even if you don’t object to the Notice and arrears, you can also attend VCAT and nominate a payment solution at the hearing. This may result in the referee not granting a Warrant of Possession to the landlord.
VCAT may also extend your time to vacate the property. A Warrant of Possession is granted to the landlord if VCAT decides you must vacate.
YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Only the Police, not a landlord or agent, can physically evict a tenant from a property and only after a Warrant of Possession is issued by VCAT. A landlord or agent can’t change the locks unless a Warrant of Possession has been granted.