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The current floods in Victoria are resulting in widespread damage to residential properties. If you are a renter or rental provider (landlord) who has been affected by the floods, it’s important to know your rights and responsibilities.

Rental agreements (leases) and notices

Ending the rental agreement when the property has been destroyed

If the property has been totally destroyed or damaged so that it is unsafe or unfit to live in, the renter or rental provider can issue a notice to end the rental agreement immediately.

Rental providers are not legally obliged to provide alternative accommodation for a renter. Emergency assistance may be available to help renters with accommodation.

Ending the rental agreement when the property is still intact

If the property is still intact but the renter no longer wishes to live there, they must negotiate with the rental provider to end the rental agreement or the usual rules for giving notice apply.

If the rental provider wants a renter to move out, they can either talk to the renter to reach an agreement or give the renter a notice to vacate. A rental provider can only give a notice to vacate for certain reasons listed under the law.

More about rental agreements

Urgent repairs

If repairs are urgently required, the renter should contact their rental provider immediately. Rental providers must respond to urgent repairs immediately but there may be delays as it can be difficult to get tradespeople to a property when many properties require repairs at the same time.

More about repairs

Bond refunds and rent

If the property has been destroyed or is unfit to live in and the rental agreement has ended, the bond should be returned to the renter. If the property was not destroyed but the rental agreement is to end, the usual arrangements for the refund of the bond apply.

More about bonds

If the property is not liveable, renters should contact their rental provider, agent or financial institution and ask for the direct debit to be cancelled. If the property is partially damaged, rental providers should consider reducing the rent.

More about rent

Flood assistance helplines

Consumer Affairs Victoria

Consumer Affairs Victoria has a dedicated flood relief hotline (1800 803 800) to provide advice and information for renters, rental providers and other consumers. The helpline is open from 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday. More information is also available at consumer.vic.gov.au/floods

Flood Recovery Hotline

The Flood Recovery Hotline (1800 560 760) is a single state-wide number for Victorians affected by the October 2022 Floods. It can help with navigating available support, clean up, accommodation and wellbeing. It is open 7.30am – 7.30pm every day.

Assistance payments

The Victorian Government provides a one-off payment to help meet immediate needs, including emergency food and shelter. The payment is accessible through an online application form.

To find out more about the support available, visit October 2022 Flood Recovery.

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