Disputes about fees for the supply of services by a service company

If you are a service company seeking payment for services rendered or if you are a unit owner disputing the supply of services by a service company you can apply to the Owners Corporations List. Make your application under the Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act 2012.

A service company supplies services such as repairs, gardening and routine maintenance of residual land to unit owners.

The service agreement specifies the services and requires unit holders to pay for them.

A dispute about the supply of services becomes a ‘consumer and trader’ dispute within the meaning of the Act.

Need help with your application?

VCAT cannot give you legal advice. Seek legal help if you are unsure about your legal options. The following services may be able to help you:

Do I need a lawyer or professional representative?

You do not need to have legal or other professional representation to appear at VCAT. If you wish to be represented by a lawyer or a professional advocate, usually you must ask for VCAT's permission. If you are represented by a lawyer, we will only communicate with them.

Find free or low-cost legal services that may be able to assist you.

Access and privacy

VCAT hearings and files are usually public.

VCAT has limited authority to restrict who can access cases and files but, in certain circumstances, you can apply for confidentiality. For more about applying for confidentiality.

Legislation that applies to this type of case

Cases VCAT can hear

VCAT can hear cases where a service company is seeking payment for services provided to unit holders or cases where unit holders dispute the supply of services by a service company.

You may be able to make an application to VCAT about the provision of services by a service company under the Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act 2012.

Cases VCAT cannot hear

VCAT cannot hear disputes about fees charged for the management of finances or the payment of fees for services provided to unit holders by a service company.

You may be able to make an application to VCAT in the Civil Claims List about the provision of services by a service company under the Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act 2012.

  • When we receive your application we allocate a reference number. We send a notice of hearing by post to all parties, including the respondent. We also send the respondent a copy of your application. We may also ask you to attend a directions hearing so that VCAT may decide what needs to happen next. Read more what happens when VCAT opens a case.

  • At VCAT we use compulsory conferences and mediation to allow the parties to work together towards a settlement. If we tell you to attend a compulsory conference or mediation, it may help if you prepare an opening statement. Use the opening statement to clearly state your case. It can be a helpful starting point for discussion between the parties. See more about how to resolve a case by agreement.

  • The VCAT member decides the case based on evidence and submissions. As soon as we provide a hearing date, start preparing for the hearing. You should bring all documents to support your case, with an additional copy to be provided to the member and the other parties. Read more about how to prepare for your final hearing.

  • Arrive at VCAT with plenty of time so that you are not late for your hearing. Go to the counter and tell them that you have arrived for your hearing. If your hearing is at 55 King Street in Melbourne the counter is on the fifth floor. When your case is called, move into the hearing room and wait for the member to announce that your case is about to be heard. Read more about what to expect on hearing day.

  • The VCAT member may give their decision at the end of the hearing. If they need more time they usually give a decision within six weeks of the last hearing date or the date when any further written submissions are filed with us. The member may give reasons for the decision verbally or in writing. If you want the reasons in writing, you must make the request within 14 days of the hearing date. Read more about what to expect after the final hearing.