We have seen this new legislation affecting many cases at VCAT and as a Residential Rental Provider it’s worth understanding how this new legislation is applied. The tribunal must consider section 330A, what is reasonable and proportionate, in relation to all applications for a possession order.
If you are giving a renter a notice to vacate because you wish to sell the property, move into the property or because the renter has threatened or intimidated you, you will be seeking an order of possession from the tribunal. The tribunal must ask if it is reasonable and proportionate for them to do so.
As part of this process they will consider the nature and frequency of the renters behaviour, whether the behaviour is trivial, who caused the breach, whether the renter will soon be able to remedy the breach and most importantly whether any other course of action is reasonably available, instead of making a possession order. The tribunal can also consider any other matters that they consider relevant.
This is problematic because when determining possession applications for rent arrears or damages, the tribunal must ask if there is any other course of action available. Often the tribunal will make an alternative order such as a rental repayment plan, before making an order of possession. If you are in a position where you need to apply to VCAT your property manager may ask you for evidence to support your case. This evidence will be vital when showing the impact that it would have on you if the tribunal were to find an alternative course of action. A statutory declaration, financial data such as bank statements or reports from your accountant may be needed to strengthen your case. Your property manager will guide you, but it’s good to have a basic understanding of the complexities that the 2021 legislative amendments have had for investors.