This example shows how to fill in the Claim details section of the VCAT application if you want to reduce the amount of time left on a fixed-term lease so the affected person can leave early.

Temporary COVID-19 measures

The claim details below apply to section 234, which is the usual section relied on to apply for a reduction of a fixed term lease. Under this section VCAT has the power to aware compensation, similar to lease-break costs, to the landlord if they reduce the lease under s234(3). The claim details in the example below suggest that tenants ask for no compensation to be payable at the time they lodge their application.

Whilst the temporary COVID-19 measures are in place, tenants may prefer to apply for a reduction of their lease under the temporary section 543, as this gives VCAT the same powers to reduce the lease, but does not give them any power to award compensation, such as lease-break costs, and section 546 confirms tenants are not liable to pay any compensation to the landlord if VCAT reduced their agreement under section 543.

At the time of publication of this guide, there was no separate VCAT application form for s543 applications. If tenants are using the form for section 234 applications, Tenants Victoria recommends s234 be struck out and replaced with section 543.

Tick the boxes

Tick the box for Section 234 – to ask VCAT to reduce the fixed-term lease so you can leave early.
Tick the box for Other orders – if you want VCAT to order anything else. Then write the details in the box below. Examples include:

  • order about the bond
  • order about damage to property
  • order that if there is an inspection of the property and the perpetrator has someone represent them at the inspection, they must provide the name of their representative to the affected person
  • order that no compensation be paid to landlord for reduction of tenancy

Application form showing claim details boxes ticked and written details for reducing a fixed term lease.

Write the details

Write as much detail as possible. Attach a separate sheet if you need more room. These are some things you should include:

  • lease type (fixed term)
  • lease start and end date
  • how long the affected person has been living in the rental property
  • intervention order details (including any previous intervention orders or personal safety notices) and whether the intervention order is being appealed by the perpetrator
  • number and ages of dependent children
  • hardship that the affected person and their dependent children would be likely to face if the lease was not reduced
  • damage to the rental property

Application claim details for reducing a lease

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

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