Australian Information Commissioner
Tel: 1300 363 992
Tenants 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 A form of alternative dispute resolution. The parties negotiate with the help of an independent person called a conciliator. The aim is to sort out the dispute by mutual agreement, rather than having a decision made by a court or tribunal. See also arbitration; mediation; negotiation.. Rather, the commissioner provides feedback to the Victorian Government about systemic issues faced by tenants and by residents of rooming houses, caravan parks and specialist disability accommodation in Victoria’s private rental market.
Under the Australian Consumer Law, a person who buys goods or services for less than $40 000 or for personal or home use. Affairs Victoria (CAV)
Tel: 1300 558 181
CAV can provide general information to all parties covered by the RT A written law made by parliament. Also called an ‘Act of parliament’, ‘statute’ or legislation.. CAV can also give information on any residential tenancy matters; investigate tenants’, residents’ or landlords’ complaints; independently investigate a rooming house without an application from a resident; negotiate settlements between landlords and tenants; and advise landlords about disposal of unclaimed property.
Energy and Water A public official appointed to investigate citizens’ complaints against government departments and statutory authorities. A specialised ombudsman resolves consumer complaints in a particular industry, for example the banking ombudsman for the banking industry. See also statutory authority. Victoria (EWOV)
Tel: 1800 500 509
The EWOV, among other powers, has The authority of a court or tribunal to hear matters brought before it, based on some factor such as area or law, amount of money claimed, or geographic area. 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 A binding promise made as reassurance that another person will carry out their legal obligations (e.g. paying a debt). The person making the promise is called a guarantor. If the person being guaranteed fails to pay, the guarantor becomes responsible for the debt. that electrical work has been performed by a qualified electrician.
Housing call centre
Tel: 13 11 72
Tenants of Victorian Government public housing wishing to request Money paid to a person to financially support them. When a couple has separated both parents have a duty to support their children, and a court can order a parent to make regular payments to support the children. Maintenance for a spouse is now less common, and must be applied for within 12 months of a divorce. It is usually covered in a final settlement of all property. or repairs to their home should phone or email the housing call centre. Tenants should ask for a ‘scheduled An agreement that the law will enforce. number’, which is a record of the phone call.
Housing The officer in charge of the administrative section of a court, which is known as the registry. See also prothonotary.
Tel: 9651 1402
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 (1) An undertaking by someone to do or not do something, especially a good behaviour bond, which can be part of a sentence given by a court. (2) A tenant’s payment of money to a landlord at the start of a tenancy. The bond is held in case there is any damage to the property or the tenant fails to pay rent. 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 The agreement between a landlord and a tenant for the rental of a property. bonds, including those on rented premises, long-term caravans and rooming houses. Bonds are held in a neutral The ability to understand and be held responsible by the law for your actions. It also refers to a person’s ability to understand and agree to something, such as to undergo medical treatment. Full legal capacity is reached at 18 years of age, when a child becomes an adult., in A type of property ownership or arrangement where one party, known as the trustee, holds property or money for the benefit of another party, referred to as the beneficiary. for landlords and tenants, giving all parties equal say on how bonds should be repaid when tenancies end.
Supreme An independent body that hears legal claims brought by parties and decides between them. Serious cases are heard by a judge and jury, or just a judge. Less-serious cases are heard by a magistrate. A person who does not have a lawyer to appear for them in court and who presents their case to the court themselves. Also called ‘unrepresented litigant’. Coordinator
Tel: 8600 2031
The Self-represented A party in a civil action. 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 (tenant advice line): 9416 2577 (Monday to Friday, 10 am to 2 pm)
Tenants Victoria (formerly called the Tenants Union of Victoria) can help all tenants 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 Civil and Administrative A body set up to hear and decide disputes, usually with less formality and less strict rules of evidence than in a court proceeding. (VCAT)
Tel: 1300 018 228
The Residential Tenancies List at VCAT can hear cases between tenants and landlords, 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 tenants. VCAT cannot hear disputes between tenants, or co-tenants, 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.