Dear Landlord is a free online self-help tool for renters in Victoria. Dear Landlord helps renters understand their rights and options if they are behind in rent, communicate with their landlord about their circumstances, and offer a payment plan to help them get on top of their arrears and stay in their homes.

Since launching Dear Landlord in 2020, almost 84K renters have used the tool, and generated customised legal documents to help people in Victoria self-advocate in their rental matters.

Dear Landlord delivers a solution at scale by equipping those who have capability to self-help with effective tools, while ensuring people who are made most vulnerable by housing insecurity can access Justice Connect’s intensive legal and non-legal support as needed. 

Putting renters front and centre of our design process

As part of our human-centered design process, we consulted with consumers to first, understand the problem, and then help design, test and develop a solution.

We created four core types of user groups, taking into consideration people’s different experiences navigating support services, confidence to act on rights, and management of other issues connected to housing insecurity. These help us focus on the mindsets and behind-scenes-drivers of behaviour, informing our design decisions and communication strategies.

High-touch consultations and integrated feedback loops continue to underpin our iterative design processes, informing ongoing updates to Dear Landlord.

We make sure renters who need us, find us

To ensure tools like Dear Landlord can help as many people as possible, we use our digital marketing expertise to conduct targeted online outreach.

Understanding how different users interact with our tools helps inform our service and outreach strategy. We conduct rigorous user-testing and audience mapping to uncover who the people typically looking for support are, and how we can better serve them to understanding their rental rights.

As a result, we now have four ‘archetypes’ that help us guide better messaging outreach, and service approaches based on their needs. We’ve already seen fantastic results from tailoring our offering for each archetype, such as increased click-through rates when we use archetype-specific messaging in our content, and we plan to take the learnings from this project into even more of our self-help tools.

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