Get help with housing and tenancy

Get help with housing and tenancy

We don’t give legal advice about housing and tenancy issues, but we can give you some information over the phone. We may also be able to refer you to another organisation that can help you.

Phone 1300 792 387, Monday to Friday from 8.45 am to 5.15 pm.

If you need an interpreter let us know.

Duty lawyer service

A duty lawyer helps people who do not have their own lawyer on the day of their court hearing. They can give free legal advice and may be able to represent people in court. Our duty lawyer service may be able to provide you with advice or representation on the day of your hearing, but prioritises clients who are facing eviction, who have hearings listed on the same day, or are rooming house residents or social housing tenants. We run a duty lawyer service at Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), level 5, 55 King Street, Melbourne. We do not have a duty lawyer at other VCAT venues. 

Our duty lawyer service operates from 9.30 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday.

Where to make a complaint about housing and tenancy

The Tenants Union of Victoria can help you apply and prepare for a hearing to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal’s Residential Tenancies List. They can also assist in making complaints to Consumer Affairs Victoria about landlords, real estate agents, rooming house owners or caravan park owners.

Consumer Affairs Victoria administers laws about all residential tenancies in Victoria, including rooming houses and caravan parks. They give information and advice about disputes between owners and tenants, and about retirement village disputes and complaints.

The Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria has a free telephone service that will work with you to try to resolve your dispute. The centre will talk about your problem with you, discuss options, suggest negotiation strategies and organise mediation, if required. Phone (03) 9603 8370 or 1800 658 528 (country callers).

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal hears disputes between tenants and owners. The list can make orders forcing the owner or tenant to do something, such as to make repairs or pay some money, or to stop doing something, such as causing a nuisance. The list can make orders about bonds or compensation.

If you have been refused public housing, bond assistance or any other type of rental housing assistance provided by Department of Human Services, you can appeal the decision. You can't appeal eviction orders, requests for emergency maintenance or tenancy responsibility charges. These matters are dealt with by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Other organisations that can help

Legal services

The Tenants Union of Victoria provides free legal advice and assistance for tenants and can help negotiate with owners, real estate agents and government departments. The Tenants Union of Victoria does not assist with disputes between tenants.

Your local community legal centre can give you legal information and advice. Most services are free.

Department of Human Services

The Department of Human Services provides public housing, bond assistance and other accommodation support for Victorians most in need.

More information

See Disputes with neighbours for information about disputes between neighbours about things like noise, pets and fences.

See Homelessness for information for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.