Matter initiated by the Commission pursuant to section 5(1)(b) of the Victorian Law Reform Commission Act 2000 (Vic) on 12 July 2023.
The Victorian Law Reform Commission will consider what changes should be made to legislation and practice to assist renters or residents of rented premises who are victim survivors of family violence where the violence has created a situation requiring the termination of an existing, or the creation of a new, residential rental agreement.
Some protections already exist in the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (Vic). Under section 91V of the Act a family violence victim survivor can apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) to terminate a rental agreement where they have experienced family violence by a party to the rental agreement.
Further, VCAT has the power to determine the parties’ liability under the terminated agreement in relation to outstanding rental payments, damage to property and outstanding utility charges.
Where the perpetrator is not a party to the rental agreement section 91U provides some but fewer protections than 91V for a victim survivor of family violence.
In conducting this review, the Commission will consider:
- the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 sections 91V, W and X and 91U, which deal with termination or creation of residential rental agreements in family violence and hardship situations
- the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 sections 420A and 420B, which deal with repayment of bonds in circumstances of family or personal violence
- the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 and VCAT processes which allow for the anonymisation of some tribunal records
- any other relevant matter.