Application by a caravan park resident or caravan park owner

If you are a caravan park resident or caravan park owner or operator you can apply to VCAT to decide a dispute.

The law defines a caravan park owner as a person who owns or partly owns a business which operates a caravan park.

A person is a caravan park resident if they occupy the site as their only or main residence. They must have the owner’s prior written consent or have occupied any site in the park for at least 60 consecutive days.

A caravan park is an area of land where movable dwellings are situated for occupation and payment made. A movable dwelling is a dwelling designed to be movable and which can be sited or removed from a place.

Notices you must attach to your application

When you make your application you must attach the correct notices or we will not be able to process your form.

Caravan park residents

Under some sections of the Act, if you are applying to the Residential Tenancies List as a caravan park resident you must attach the relevant prescribed document. Check the list below.

  • section 187, order declaring park rules unreasonable - attach copy of caravan park rules
  • section 209, compensation or compliance order - attach copy of breach of duty notice given under section 208
  • section 321B, challenge the validity of notice to vacate - attach copy of notice to vacate
  • section 191(1), non-urgent repairs - attach copy of the report from Consumer Affairs Victoria

If you are applying under section 416(1) bond you can attach your bond receipt but you are not required to do so.

Caravan park owners

Under some sections of the Act, if you are applying to the Residential Tenancies List as a caravan park owner or operator you must attach the relevant prescribed document.

Do I need a lawyer or professional representative?

You do not need to have legal or other professional representation to appear at VCAT.

For renting cases, most landlords are represented by an estate agent. If you are a tenant and your landlord is represented by their real estate agent, you are automatically entitled to professional representation.

When your dispute is about regaining possession of a rental property, you do not need permission from VCAT to be legally represented.

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

Residential Tenancies Act 1997

Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998

Cases VCAT can hear

VCAT can hear disputes between tenants and landlords.

Cases VCAT cannot hear

VCAT cannot hear disputes between tenants and tenants, or disputes between neighbours.

  • When VCAT processes your application form we assign you a reference number and send you a letter. The letter tells you what to do next. Generally cases heard under the Residential Tenancies List are short and often go straight to final hearing without a directions hearing. Read more about what happens when VCAT opens a case.

  • We encourage you to negotiate with the other party to reach a resolution. At VCAT we often use mediation or compulsory conferences as a way to resolve disputes before going to a hearing. However, as most cases in the Residential Tenancies List are short, and involve amounts less than $1000, we rarely schedule compulsory conferences. Read more about resolving a case by agreement.

  • The VCAT member decides the case based on the evidence given at the hearing. If you are an applicant you need to prove what you are claiming. In the same way, if you are a respondent you need to back up your defence with evidence. The best evidence is what you and your witnesses give verbally, supported by original documents. Read more about how to prepare for a final hearing.

  • Arrive at VCAT with plenty of time so that you are not late for your hearing. When your case is called, move into the hearing room and make sure you are ready to present your case. Usually the applicant and the applicant's witnesses give evidence first. Then the respondent and the respondent's witnesses give their evidence. Read more about what to expect on hearing day.

  • In the Residential Tenancies List the VCAT member generally gives a decision to the parties verbally. If you want reasons to be provided in writing you should make your request at the beginning of the hearing. If you wait until the end of hearing it may be too late to ask for the decision to be provided in writing. Read more about what to expect after the final hearing.