VCAT Lawyer Service

We can provide a lawyer to help you at a VCAT hearing in urgent circumstances if you meet certain criteria

About the VCAT Lawyer Service

Tenants Victoria is offering a VCAT Lawyer Service to represent tenants at urgent, upcoming VCAT hearings, where the hearing is listed within one week of contact to this service.

The service is directed towards tenants facing:

  • The prospect of losing their rental property; or
  • Matters of an urgent nature related to health or safety If you are a worker from a community organisation

You can contact our VCAT Lawyer to see whether you can refer a matter to the Service, or we can otherwise be of assistance. In order to refer a matter to this service, the following criteria must be met:

  1. The tenant should meet our eligibility criteria (see below)
  2. A VCAT hearing should be listed within one week
  3. The VCAT matter should relate to one of the following:
    • An application for a termination and/or possession order
    • An illegal eviction; and/or
    • Issues with repairs where health or safety is a factor

To make enquiries or make a referral, please send an email to duty.lawyer@tenantsvic.org.au. Please include sufficient information to allow us to assess eligibility, if possible.

How to contact the VCAT Lawyer Service

If you are a tenant

If you have a matter and are eligible for the VCAT Lawyer Service please send an email to duty.lawyer@tenantsvic.org.au.

In the email please provide:

  • Your name, address and date of birth
  • Evidence of your income level and any vulnerability factors (see below)
  • A request for what you want help with
  • A chronology of your tenancy dispute, in dot points (if you can)
  • A copy of your VCAT hearing notice (a scanned copy or photo) to confirm you have a hearing date within one week

Criteria for assistance

To be eligible for the VCAT Lawyer Service, the tenant must meet the following criteria:

  • Financial hardship (earn $1,000 per week or less after tax); and
  • Be experiencing one or more of the following vulnerability criteria:
    • Disability
    • Illiteracy
    • Mental illness
    • Acquired brain injury
    • Culturally or linguistically diverse
    • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
    • Family violence
    • Youth
    • Older person

You do not meet criteria for assistance if: 

  • You are not a low-income earner; or
  • You fail to meet one of the other criteria for assistance; or
  • Your matter is not listed for hearing within one week

If you do not meet the criteria for the VCAT Lawyer service, and require assistance with your tenancy legal matter, please contact our advice line on 1800 068 860, 10am to 2pm, Monday to Friday, or submit an email query through our website at https://www.tenantsvic.org.au/contactus/.

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