If you’re in an urgent situation, or you have received a notice to vacate, email [email protected]

Rent reductions

I can’t afford my rent, what can I do?

Firstly, remember you’re not alone.

Rent prices have been increasing for decades with no regulation, and now with unemployment at an all time high due to COVID19, millions of renters are struggling to meet their rent.

The good news is, in VIC until March 2021, you can negotiate to get a rent reduction if your circumstances have changed due to COVID19.

More info on how to do this can be found here.

Is it too late to ask my agent or landlord for a rent reduction?

No it’s not too late!

The current COVID19 Omnibus Legislation has been extended to 28th March 2021.

You have the right to request a reduction, and your agent is strongly advised to negotiate this with you.

*Remember to only request what you can afford – we recommend no more than 30% of your current gross income, and for any arrears (rental debt) to be waived.*

We recommend joining RAHU to have collective support through this process

You can find more info on how to negotiate a reduction here

When I asked for a rent reduction, my agent sent me financial hardship forms. Do I have to fill these out?

You’re not obligated to fill these out. Often these forms request excessive personal information, and often contain misleading information.

We recommend initiating mediation through Consumer Affairs Victoria

My agent has offered me a rent deferral, what does this mean?

A rent deferral is not a rent reduction, we don’t recommend accepting a rent deferral.

A deferral means you would have to pay back the remaining rent at a later date. This would leave a potentially huge debt on top of your standard rent that you may not be able to pay.

Negotiate for a rent reduction instead.

I have asked for a rent reduction, but it has taken months without a result. What can I do?

We recommend initiating mediation through Dispute Resolution if you can’t reach an agreement with your agent or landlord.

If you are struggling to meet your rent, delaying action may put you at further risk by not being able to meet your standard rent.

My real estate agent/landlord is ignoring my request for a rent reduction – what can I do?

Under COVID-19 Omnibus legislation landlords and real estate agents have been advised to negotiate with you in good faith. You can remind them of this in an email.

  1. Firstly, join RAHU. To address the power imbalance landlords and agents have over us, we need to keep supporting each other as renters throughout this process. We are stronger together
  2. Make sure that your request for a rent reduction is in writing. More information on the process here
  3. If they don’t respond within the week, you should initiate mediation through Consumer Affairs here
    You can notify them with a follow up email, stating: “Please be advised that if you are unwilling to agree to this negotiation, we will have no option but to seek conciliation through Consumer Affairs Victoria.”
  4. Check in with us for support through this process, at [email protected]

Homelessness & crisis support

I’m homeless. What do I do?

If you are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of becoming homeless and need help to find housing or support, contact a Victorian Housing Access Point. The Access Point you need to contact is based on your address or the main place you have been staying. Through the Access Point, you will speak to an Initial Assessment and Planning worker who will complete an assessment of your housing and support needs and assist you to address these needs. This may involve providing emergency accommodation and/or referring you to specialist homelessness services and other community services.

How to negotiate a rent reduction

A step-by-step guide compiled by RAHU on how to negotiate a rent reduction during the COVID-19 pandemic. Click on the right arrow to begin.
For help contact us: [email protected]

RAHU past media

RAHU member interviewed on Triple R

Renter and RAHU Unionist Paddy was interviewed on Triple R’s ‘Breakfasters’ program on the 11th of August, 2020. He makes a great case for radical unionism during the global health crisis.

‘Rent Squeeze’ on the 7:30 Report

RAHU members Eirene, Alisha & Michelle were interviewed on ABC 7.30, broadcast Thursday 18th of June.

‘Rental Stress’ interview on Hack, Triple J

RAHU member Seb was interviewed by Triple J Hack in June about the real struggle we’re facing in this economic climate.

Overland article

‘Why We Need A Militant Renters Union’ by Paddy Gordon.

Lock Out The Landlords!

A zine history of Australian eviction resistance 1929-1936. Written and researched by Iain McIntyre.

Black Power in Redfern

Article by Gary Foley (2001) about the coalition of young Indigenous activists who emerged in Redfern, Fitzroy and South Brisbane in the period immediately after Charles Perkins’ ‘Freedom Ride’ in 1965.

Sydney’s anti-eviction movement: Community or Conspiracy?

Article by Nadia Wheatly and Drew Cottle which covers the eviction rebellion campaign conducted by the Unemployed Workers Union in 1931.

For more info & help contact us: [email protected]