VIC Can I Claim Compensation for Insufficient Notice to Vacate?

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12 October 2016
I am in a house share with a particularly difficult housemate. She has been living at the property for several years, myself, 18 months.

My name was never put on the tenancy agreement, however, a paid 1 month's rent as bond upon moving in, which I have proof of via bank statement only, no receipt).

I do not have any written agreement on notice to give for moving out. Rent is paid 14th of each month.

On 8th October, I was notified she would be moving out on the 2nd of Nov. I had planned to give one month's notice to move out 14 Nov. Upon telling her this, I was advised I must vacate by 2 nov. (25 days notice).

There was no prior indication of her intention to leave. I do not have sufficient money to pay bond and first month's rent for a new property as well as the final months rent for the current property.

What are my rights?

Am I able to claim insufficient notice to vacate? Or compensation?

Can my bond paid to head tenant be used as final month's (19 days/3 weeks) rent? Can I claim back bond for the 4th week given that I have made no damages to the property (have limited my use to bedroom and bathroom for last 12 months due to passive aggressive behaviour of head tenant)?


Hi Lauren,

Your rights to a large extent, will depend on whether you are considered merely a licensee or a sub-tenant. If you have exclusive possession of a part of the property - for example if your room is lockable or you rent a discrete part of the property you may be regarded as a tenant under a sublease.

In this situation, the head-tenant is considered to have made another tenancy agreement with you and the relationship between the head-tenant and the sub-tenant is the same as that between a landlord and tenant, and all the same rights and responsibilities apply. The sub-tenant would be able to make a compensation claim in certain circumstances.

However if you simply share a house with the landlord, you are presumed to be a licensee only. Licensees can sometimes have their disputes heard under the Fair Trading Act 1999 in the Civil Claims List at the Tribunal, but they do not have the same rights that tenants have under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997.