This kit is designed for support workers and advocates who assist people affected by family violence or personal violence. The purpose of the kit is to help people in rental housing to know their rights, have a secure home and limit any financial loss.

The law

Residential Tenancies Act 1997 [AustLII website]
is the main legislation for rental housing in Victoria.

Family Violence Protection Act 2008 [AustLII website]
is legislation for family violence in Victoria.

Personal Safety Intervention Order Act 2010 [AustLII website]
is legislation for intervention orders when the perpetrator is not a family member.

The jargon

  • family violence: has the same meaning as under the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic) and means behaviour by a person towards a family member of that person that:
    - is physically or sexually abusive; or
    - is emotionally or psychologically abusive; or
    - is economically abusive; or
    - is threatening; or
    - is coercive; or
    - in any other way controls or dominates the family member and causes that family member to feel fear for the safety or wellbeing of that family member or another person; or
    - causes a child to hear or witness, or otherwise be exposed to the effects of the above behaviours.
  • personal violence: has the same meaning as under the Personal Safety Intervention Order Act 2020 (Vic), can be carried out by a person who is not a family member and means:
    - assault; or
    - sexual assault; or
    - harassment; or
    - property damage or interference; or
    - making a serious threat; or
    - stalking.
  • affected person: the person who has been affected by family violence or personal violence
  • protected person: how the person who has been affected by family violence or personal violence is referred to in the intervention order
  • perpetrator: the person who committed family violence
  • respondent: how the person who committed family violence or personal violence is referred to in the intervention order
  • excluded tenant: how the person who committed family violence or personal violence is referred to in VCAT applications if they are excluded from the rental property in an intervention order
  • family violence intervention order: a court order to protect the affected person from the perpetrator when the perpetrator is a family member, made under section 82 of the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic)
  • personal violence intervention order: a court order to protect the affected person from the perpetrator when the perpetrator is not a family member, made under section 67 of the Personal Safety Intervention Orders Act 2010 (Vic)
  • family violence safety notice: a safety notice under section 29 of the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic)
  • recognised non-local DVO: a prescribed order made in another state or country that is a recognised Domestic Violence Order under the National Domestic Violence Order Scheme Act 2016 (Vic). This means that an order made in another state or country may be recognised in Victoria.
  • exclusion condition: part of an intervention order, safety notice or non-local DVO to stop the perpetrator going to a specific place (e.g. the rented home)
  • fixed-term lease: a tenancy agreement for an agreed period such as 12 months. Note: Most tenancies begin with a fixed term. When the fixed term is over, the lease automatically continues as a periodic agreement unless someone ends the agreement or a new fixed-term lease is signed
  • periodic-lease: a tenancy agreement with no end date that continues until someone ends the agreement. Note: Most periodic leases are month-to-month but they can also be week-to-week
  • VCAT: Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal

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