Owners corporations management

Apply to VCAT to resolve disputes about how owners corporation meetings are conducted, or disputes between the owners corporation and its manager about managers’ fees or performance or clauses in the management contract. These applications are made under the Owners Corporations Act 2006.

You can make these types of applications if you are an owners corporation, a lot owner or former lot owner, an occupier or former occupier of a lot, or a manager or former manager of an owners corporation.

Before you apply

  1. Try to speak with the other party to see if you can resolve the dispute. Make sure you and the other party agree whether to talk off the record and be prepared to negotiate and compromise.
  2. Follow the dispute resolution process contained in the rules of the owners corporation.
  3. Lodge a complaint with the owners corporation. They may decide to follow a process of internal dispute resolution.
  4. Contact Consumer Affairs Victoria as they can provide information about your rights as a consumer or business and provide conciliation and mediation.
  5. If you do not reach an agreement then you can apply to VCAT.

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 about:

  • how meetings are conducted
  • disputes between the owners corporation and its manager about managers’ fees or performance or clauses in the management contract.

An owners corporation needs a special resolution to make an application to VCAT that is not about recovery of owners corporation fees or breaches of the Act, regulations or owners corporation rules.

Cases VCAT cannot hear

VCAT cannot hear disputes about the management of service companies or company titles corporations.

  • 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. See more about what to expect 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 resolving 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 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.