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Victoria-based online legal practice and not-for-profit social enterprise, Anika Legal, has launched a new free service to support Victorian renters in light of the government’s eviction ban being lifted at the end of this month (March 2021).
Due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, on 29 March 2020 the Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) introduced a temporary law in the state offering rent relief for tenants of residential properties. The law states that tenants and landlords can negotiate a temporary rent reduction, landlords cannot increase the rent for their property and evictions can only be facilitated by order of VCAT. On 28 March 2021, this ruling is being lifted.
In response to this, Anika Legal saw an opportunity to launch a new service specifically to help those affected by the new ruling. The new service enables tenants to contact Anika Legal if they have been served a Notice to Vacate for unpaid rent and receive free legal advice on their rights and assistance negotiating with their landlord, within two business days of reaching out.
Noel Lim, Anika Legal CEO & Co-founder, says hundreds of thousands of Australians do not have access to legal assistance and this new ruling is only going to increase that figure.
“At Anika Legal we want to ensure all Australians, no matter what their financial status, can access the legal help they need. Each year, over 600,000 Australians do not receive sufficient legal aid, while VCAT hears around 20,000 cases of tenants being evicted for rent arrears. With the eviction ban set to be lifted at the end of March, we’re expecting these numbers to increase significantly. Therefore, we’re hoping our new service can offer assistance in this extremely stressful time.”