Owners corporations

Before you apply - Owners corporation disputes

Formerly known as ‘body corporates’. Disputes about the management and use of common property and areas within subdivided land, such as apartments or units.

Before you apply

Find out if you're in the right place

What we can help with

What we can't help with

  • Calculating the amount owing of owners corporation fees
  • Disputes about the management of service companies or company titles corporations
  • Recovery of owners corporation fees if the fee notices weren’t given following the law
  • Short-stay accommodation disputes if the properties involved are not part of an owners corporation
  • Short-stay accommodation disputes if the lease or licence is more than 7 days and 6 nights

Can’t see what you’re looking for?

Get help and advice before you apply

We can help you understand how to apply. We can’t give you legal advice or tell you what to write in your application. These organisations may be able to help you.

Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV)

Information and advice on renting and accommodation, estate agents, building, shopping and trading.

Victoria Legal Aid

Free legal information and legal help for Victorians.

Federation of Community Legal Centres

Help for people facing economic, cultural or social disadvantage who have been impacted by legal issues.

Tell us more about your dispute
We’ll explain fees, timeframes and get you into the right application
What are you applying about?
Select one
Example cases
Case 1: Lot owner hasn’t paid their fees
Your lot owner hasn’t paid their monthly fees and you’ve sent a final fee notice. You’ve waited for 28 days after the final fee notice has been given but the fees haven’t been paid. You can apply to VCAT to make the lot owner pay their fees in arrears.
Case 2: Owners corporation hasn’t maintained common areas
The common area gardens have become overgrown. As a lot owner, you complain to the owners corporation that they need to maintain the gardens. The owners corporation doesn’t arrange a gardener. You can apply to VCAT to make an order that the owners corporation must maintain the gardens. 
Case 3: Lot owner parks on common property
Another lot owner has been parking their car in front of their garage which blocks the common driveway. You complain to the owners corporation and they send the lot owner a breach notice. The notice tells the owner to move their car, but they haven’t. You can apply to VCAT to make an order for the lot owner to move their car, and stop them parking there in future.

Help and support

  • VCAT cannot give legal advice. If you do choose to get legal advice, you will need to pay any costs. 

    If you want to talk about what you should do, you can access free or low-cost legal advice or find a private lawyer.
      
    If you want a lawyer or other professional representative to speak on your behalf at VCAT, let the other party know in writing before the hearing and ask permission when the hearing starts. You will need to explain why. 

    For some case types you have an automatic right to representation.

    If the claim is for goods and services under $15,000, we generally don’t allow a lawyer or other professional representative to speak for you at VCAT. 

    If you do choose to get legal advice, you’ll need to pay any costs. 

    Read more about legal and professional representation
     

  • You can bring someone with you to your hearing for support. This support person could be anyone you choose, including a friend or family member. They can’t usually speak on your behalf, but they can help explain what you need (for example, ask for a break). 

    You can’t bring someone to translate for you.

    If you need an interpreter you must ask us for a VCAT interpreter

    Support for people affected by family violence

    If you are a protected person or responding to a case and under a family violence intervention order, you can choose to bring a support person to VCAT. The support person can be anyone you choose, including a lawyer, social worker, family member or friend.

    Find out more about support for people affected by family violence at VCAT

    If you want someone to speak on your behalf, you must ask for it in writing.

    Template of written authority for someone to represent you

    Use this template to give someone authority to represent you. We call this person an ‘agent’.

    I, <NAME> (or Your Company Pty Ltd, if a company), a party in the VCAT case reference number xxxxx/20xx wish to be represented at VCAT.

    I give permission for <representative's name and occupation> (add 'employed by the company' if you're a company) to represent me.

    The agent has sufficient knowledge of the issues in dispute and has my permission to bind me to any settlement.

    Date xx/xx/xx

    Signed:______________ Name:______________ Position:______________

  • If you can’t come to VCAT in person or on the scheduled date for a serious reason (for example, you have a disability, are away or unwell) you have a few options. You can: 

    Template of written authority for someone to represent you

    Use this template to give someone authority to represent you. We call this person an ‘agent’.

    I, <NAME> (or Your Company Pty Ltd, if a company),, a party in the VCAT case reference number xxxxx/20xx wish to be represented at VCAT.

    I give permission for <representative's name and occupation> (add 'employed by the company' if you're a company) to represent me.
    The agent has sufficient knowledge of the issues in dispute and has my permission to bind me to any settlement.

    Date xx/xx/xx

    Signed:______________ Name:______________ Position:______________

  • VCAT fees are lower if you hold a current Health Care Card issued by the Federal Government. This is the only card we accept for concession fees.

    Health Care Card

    Provide a colour copy, front and back, of your Health Care Card when you apply.

    You aren’t automatically entitled to concession fees if you have a Pensioner Concession Card, Seniors Health Card, student concession card or other type of concession card. You can apply to have fees waived or reduced if paying them will cause you financial hardship. This is called an application for fee relief.

    Apply for fee relief using a concession card.

    Pension Concession CardCommonwealth Sentiors Health Card

    Find out more about fees
     

    See also: What can I do if I can’t pay the fees?