According to the law if a tenant is more than 14 days behind in rent, the landlord can give them a notice to vacate. This is the first step in the eviction process. In cases of family violence, you should let DHHS know as soon as possible to try and avoid the affected person from being evicted.

What you can do

If the affected person lives in public housing and gets behind in rent payments (also known as rent arrears) they should:

  • notify the Housing Services Manager as soon as possible
  • do it in writing
  • keep a copy of the letter/email.

What the policies say:

  • If the affected person hasn’t paid rent because of family violence, the Director of Housing may delay starting legal action;
  • If the affected person can’t come to VCAT because of family violence and they notify the Director of Housing, then the Director of Housing will ask to adjourn (postpone) the hearing;
  • If an affected person misses a payment in a repayment plan due to family violence, the Director of Housing may set up another repayment plan with the affected person, or wait to see if the missed payment can be made up, rather than taking steps to evict the affected person from the property.

Find out more

Tenancy Maintenance Manual, Chapter 1: Arrears, October 2017 [DHHS website]

This information is a guide only and should not be used as a substitute for professional legal advice.

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