Australian Information Commissioner
Tel: 1300 363 992
Renters who think their personal information is being misused should contact the Australian Information Commissioner.
Commissioner for Residential Tenancies
Tel: 1300 029 783; 0402 219 853
The Commissioner for Residential Tenancies does not provide individual advocacy or conciliation. Rather, the commissioner provides feedback to the Victorian Government about systemic issues faced by renters and by residents of rooming houses, caravan parks and specialist disability accommodation in Victoria’s private rental market.
Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV)
Tel: 1300 558 181
CAV can provide general information to all parties covered by the RT Act. CAV can also give information on any residential rental matters; investigate renters’, residents’ or rental providers’ complaints; independently investigate a rooming house without an application from a resident; negotiate settlements between rental providers and renters; and advise rental providers about disposal of unclaimed property.
Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria (EWOV)
Tel: 1800 500 509
The EWOV, among other powers, has jurisdiction to investigate and assist to resolve disputes between consumers and energy, gas and water retailers. The EWOV now has jurisdiction in relation to embedded networks; parties that sell or supply electricity via an embedded network are required to register with the EWOV. The EWOV does not generally assist with regard to physical faults to piping, cabling or facilities after the utility meter unless it is an emergency.
Energy Safe Victoria (ESV)
Tel: 1800 800 158; 9203 9700
ESV is the independent technical regulator responsible for electricity, gas and pipeline safety in Victoria. ESV has a team of investigators. It also issues licences and registrations to electricians, and issues and audits certificates of electrical safety, which guarantee that electrical work has been performed by a qualified electrician.
Housing call centre
Tel: 13 11 72
Renters of Victorian Government public housing wishing to request maintenance or repairs to their home should phone or email the housing call centre. Renters should ask for a ‘scheduled contract number’, which is a record of the phone call.
Tel: 7005 8984
The Housing Registrar registers and regulates agencies that are not-for-profit organisations that own, manage and develop affordable rental housing for low-income households. Complaints may be made to the Housing Registrar only after a formal complaint has been lodged with the registered housing provider.
Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA)
Tel: 1300 137 164
Web: www.consumer.vic.gov.au/bondauthority (information about the RTBA); https://rentalbonds.vic.gov.au (access to the RTBA register)
The RTBA holds all Victorian residential tenancy bonds, including those on rented premises, long-term caravans and rooming houses. Bonds are held in a neutral capacity, in trust for rental providers and renters, giving all parties equal say on how bonds should be repaid when rental agreements end.
Supreme Court Self-represented Litigant Coordinator
Tel: 8600 2031
The Self-represented Litigant Coordinator helps people without legal representation. The coordinator can provide procedural and practical advice; information about alternative methods of resolving a dispute; contact details of organisations that provide free or low-cost legal services; and self-help packs.
Tel (admin): 9411 1444
Tel (community worker line): 9411 1444
Tel (renter advice line): 9416 2577 (Monday to Friday, 10 am to 2 pm)
Tel (social housing renters advice line): 1800 068 860 (Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4 pm)
Tenants Victoria (formerly called the Tenants Union of Victoria) can help all renters in Victoria. People seeking general advice should first consult Tenants Victoria’s online fact sheets. Tenants Victoria provides practice notes for lawyers that contain more detailed information. Generally, Tenants Victoria does not advise about neighbourhood disputes, co-tenancy disputes, inter-tenant disputes or personal injury claims.
Victorian Building Authority (VBA)
Tel: 1300 815 127
Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT)
Tel: 1300 018 228
Tel (family violence support): 9628 9856
The Residential Tenancies List at VCAT can hear cases between renters and rental providers, caravan park owners and residents, and between rooming house owners and rooming house residents. VCAT can also hear cases between the Director of Housing and renters. VCAT cannot hear disputes between renters, or co-renters, disputes between residents, disputes with neighbours or disputes about internal Director of Housing policy. VCAT hears matters at venues throughout metropolitan and regional Victoria; see VCAT’s website for addresses.