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Free 24 hour phone line. Someone will take your call from Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre.
If you cause damage to your home, you may need to pay for the repair costs.

What is responsive maintenance?

If you need maintenance or repairs due to normal wear and tear or damage caused by your household or visitors, please contact the Housing Call Centre on 13 11 72.

The time it takes to do a repair  or installation depends on how urgent or complex the work is. 

Your maintenance responsibilities

As a renter, you must look after your home and do small routine repairs like:

  • Replacing light globes
  • Testing smoke alarms
  • Pest control
  • Looking after your garden
  • General cleaning.

If there is a reason why you cannot do these things (for health reasons or due to a disability), contact your local housing office.

We are not able to arrange repairs for your personal items like your television, fridge or washing machine.

Paying for maintenance

We will pay repair costs caused by accident or from normal wear and tear.

You may need to pay repair costs for damage caused by you or your household members and visitors. 

Before a decision is made about your responsibility to pay repair costs, we would like to talk to you to understand your circumstances. Contact your local housing office.

The department will consider reducing or waiving repair costs when factors such as family violence, a disability, a physical or mental health condition, or an unknown person (such as someone breaking into your home) contributed to the repairs needed.

Considering property damage

When considering maintenance repair claims, we may need further evidence to support how your circumstances contributed to any damage or deterioration in the condition of your property. This evidence can be provided by:

  • Support workers
  • Treating health practitioners
  • Witnesses 
  • Police.

Where family violence is involved, we will accept advice from your family violence worker or other relevant support worker as evidence to support your claim.

What if I disagree with the final decision about what you expect me to pay for property damage?

Your case will be reviewed by a senior manager at the local housing office.

If you remain unhappy with the decision after a local review, you can apply for a formal departmental appeal.

To find out more about the appeals process you can contact the Housing Appeals Office on 1800 807 702 or talk to staff at the local housing office.

If we can’t reach an agreement with you, we may apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for an order for the assessed maintenance costs. If this happens, you will also be able to have your side of the matter heard by VCAT. 

Advocacy and information

You can have an advocate or support person with you when you talk to us. 

For information and assistance, you can contact Consumer Affairs Victoria on 1300 558 181, Tenants Victoria on 9416 2577 or Victoria Legal Aid on 1300 792 387.

Making your own improvements

You will need to get our written permission if you want to make and pay for improvements to your home. This may include things like installing an air conditioner or a satellite dish. 

Go to making alterations to your home to find out more.

What happens when I move out?

Whether you need to move for renovations or on a more permanent basis, renters are expected to leave their home clean and tidy. If not, you may be responsible for costs such as cleaning or rubbish removal. 

Contact your local housing office and make sure you give them at least 28 days’ notice if you are moving out.

How is my information protected?

Managing your information is important to us

For information about how this occurs, see the Housing call centre privacy impact assessment (Word).