My Rights & Risks

If you have a specific question that isn't listed below, please send it through to contact@anikalegal.com and we will endeavour to get you an answer ASAP!

What are my rights as a tenant?

Your landlord must make sure your rented home is maintained in good repair. This includes anything in the home and any shared areas they own or manage (and it means they cannot refuse to do repairs if there is a real need for them!).

You have the right to tell your landlord if anything needs repair. You should tell your landlord as soon as possible, especially if not fixing the problem could cause more damage. You can check out our top six tenancy repair rights here.

How can I get my home repaired?

The quick answer? Contact your landlord or agent in writing. If you don’t hear back from them or if they won’t carry out your repair, you can start your case with us here.

What other options are there?

If you prefer to fly solo, here are some other options we’ve put together:

• Study up on free sites like Consumer Affairs Victoria and Tenants Victoria – there’s heaps of information there that might help you.

• Seek free legal help from other organisations, such as
Community Legal Centres or Victoria Legal Aid. It’s helpful to know that the amount of help you can receive from these providers will depend on the nature of your case and whether you’re eligible for their service.

• If you have the money, you could hire a lawyer to assist you with your tenancy dispute.

Will this make my landlord angry?

Even though you have the right to a home in good repair, requesting for something to be fixed may annoy your landlord – we totally disagree with this, but sadly this can happen. To know your tenancy rights, you can check out our blog here.

If I ask for repairs, can my landlord evict me?

No. Your landlord is not entitled to evict you simply because you have asked for repairs to be performed around your home. If your landlord tries to evict you by giving you a notice to vacate, you can challenge this at VCAT on the basis that it is retaliatory (meaning that they are asking you to vacate simply because you’re requesting that something should be fixed or repaired in your home).

If this does happen, we don’t, however, assist with challenging notices to vacate at VCAT, and we would have to refer to you to another legal service that would be best suited to help you with this.

If I ask for repairs, can my landlord raise my rent?

Yes, but your landlord or agent can only raise your rent in accordance with the Residential Tenancies Act. Your landlord or agent must give you 60 days’ notice of the increase, and not increase the rent:

• Before the end date of a fixed-term agreement (unless the terms of the lease allow for an increase, so, we recommend checking your contract to double-check this one).

• More than once in any six-month period, for leases that started before 19 June 2019.

• More than once in any 12-month period, for leases starting on or after 19 June 2019.

What if I’ve breached my lease?

We understand that things sometimes just don’t go to plan, that’s why we can still help you reach a resolution with your case even though you have breached your lease.

Do I have to keep paying rent while I am waiting for the repairs to be performed?

Yes! If you stop paying rent and you become at least 14 days in arrears, your landlord can begin the eviction process by issuing you with a notice to vacate – which can require you to leave the property within 14 days! So, in short, always pay your rent.

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