Neighbourhood disputes affecting service companies, company title corporations or unit owners

VCAT decides neighbourhood disputes about service companies or company title corporations. We hear these disputes under the Company Titles (Home Units) Act 2013.

A neighbourhood dispute may be about the use of residual land, parking on residual land, repair and maintenance of residual land, the external appearance of units, the conduct of shareholders and/or occupiers of units and their guests, noise and other nuisance.

Service companies

A service company is a company that owns the land known as residual land. Residual land is land for the common use of all the units in a development. Each individual unit owner holds shares in the service company and has entitlements and obligations under that share arrangement.

Company title corporation

A company title corporation is also known as a share ownership scheme. It is an arrangement where owners do not own individual units but instead own shares in a company that owns the whole development. In this type of scheme, the ownership of shares gives the shareholder the right to exclusive occupation of their particular unit.

Before you apply

If the dispute is a neighbourhood dispute as defined by the Company Titles (Home Units) Act 2013, try to follow any dispute resolution process contained in the company’s constitution before you apply to VCAT.

When applying, specify that you are making the application under the Company Titles (Home Units) Act 2013.

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 a case under the Company Titles (Home Units) Act 2013 if you are a service company, a company title corporation, a shareholder or former shareholder, an occupier or former occupier of a unit, or a mortgagee of a unit, and you want to resolve a neighbourhood dispute.

Cases VCAT cannot hear

VCAT cannot hear fencing disputes between company title corporations, shareholders or former shareholders, occupiers or former occupiers of units and their neighbours.

  • If the dispute is a neighbourhood dispute as defined by the Company Titles (Home Units) Act 2013, try to follow any dispute resolution process contained in the company’s constitution before you apply to VCAT.

  • Complete the application form and specifiy that you are making the application under the Company Titles (Home Units) Act 2013. If you are using the online form the fee is calculated automatically and you will be asked to pay with a credit card before submitting the form.  Read more about applying to start a case.

  • 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. The notice of hearing sets out the date, time and place of the hearing. We may also ask you to attend a directions hearing so that VCAT may decide what needs to happen next, including options to resolve your case without a hearing. Read more about 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 submissions, witness statements and evidence. 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. Upon arriving, check the electronic noticeboard. It will tell you what room has been allocated to hear your case. You should then 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 normally 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.

Professional representation 

You do not need to have legal or other professional representation to appear at VCAT. In most cases, VCAT must first approve having someone else represent you, unless all other parties agree. If you are represented by a lawyer, we will only communicate with them.

For more information, see professional representation at VCAT.

Remember your reference number 

VCAT gives you a reference number for your case. Use this number whenever you contact us or the other people involved in the case.

Access and privacy

VCAT hearings and files are usually public. We have limited authority to restrict access to information except in certain circumstances. Learn more about applying for confidentiality.

If you need assistance at VCAT (including interpreters, hearing loop, video or telephone links, or family violence support) please contact us as early as possible so we can assist you. Learn more about customer support at VCAT.

Legislation that applies to this type of case

Company Titles (Home Units) Act 2013