If you have any concerns about your accommodation in Victoria during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, please contact your accommodation provider in the first instance.
Your accommodation and tenancy rights
New laws in Victoria help protect you as a tenant from eviction and allow you to negotiate a rent reduction with your landlord if you’re suffering financial hardship due to coronavirus (COVID-19). The laws apply for six months from 29 March 2020. This means you can’t be evicted if you are served a notice to vacate on or after this date because you can’t pay your rent due to coronavirus (COVID-19). These laws apply if you’re a tenant or sub-tenant in a residential property, or a resident living in a rooming house, social housing, under a site agreement at a caravan park, or in specialist disability accommodation.
For more information visit the Consumer Affairs Victoria Website.
Consumer Affairs Victoria provides information for students who are unable to travel to Victoria and need to cancel their rental accommodation before moving in, or change the date of moving in.
Tenants Victoria also have detailed information for renters impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) on their website including what to do if you are worried about paying rent.
Rent relief grants
Rental relief grants of up to $3,000 are available to international students whose income has been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic while in Australia. Read about the rent relief grants and check your eligibility here.
If you need assistance with your online application, please contact DHHS via email at RentRelief@dhhs.vic.gov.au or telephone 1800 950 444 between 9am and 12pm Monday to Friday. For further information about the Rent Relief Grant and to apply, please visit the Housing Victoria website.
Utility relief grant scheme
Relief grants for paying overdue energy or water bills are available to low-income Victorians experiencing unexpected hardship. The grant provides help to pay a mains electricity, gas or water bill that is overdue due to a temporary financial crisis. Students that can demonstrate that they are on a low income are also eligible to apply.
International Student Accommodation Legal Service
Study Melbourne's International Student Accommodation Legal Service offers a free, confidential and independent help for international students with accommodation issues, including those students who remain or have returned overseas.
To make a phone appointment email email@example.com. Translation services are available.
International Student Legal Information
The International Student Legal Information is a free legal information resource is for international students living in Victoria and helps you know what to do and where to get help for problems connected to where you work, live and study. You can read stories based on legal problems international students have had, and learn about the people and services that can help you.
How to self-isolate at home
If you need to self-isolate, you must stay in your home or accommodation and not attend public places, including work, public areas of university and higher education campuses. Only people you usually live with should stay in the home or accommodation. Do not see visitors. Here are some important tips to ensure you stay safe and healthy:
- Observe the recommended physical distancing requirements (1.5m) from the people around you in the home and always practice good hygiene:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or using the toilet. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitiser that contains at least 60 per cent alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow.
- Do not share drinking bottles, crockery and cutlery.
- Ask others (who are not required to be isolated) to get food and necessities for you.
If you are unable to properly self-isolate at home, you should safely seek out alternative accommodation. Your education provider or accommodation provider may also be able to provide you with guidance on alternative living arrangements.
For the latest information and advice on coronavirus (COVID-19), visit www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au