Disputes about breaches of the Act, regulations and rules

You may be able to apply to VCAT about alleged breaches of the Owners Corporations Act, regulations or rules.

Cases VCAT can hear

Examples of disputes that owners corporations, lot owners, former lot owners or occupiers can apply about include car parking, excessive noise or rubbish left on common property.

We can also hear disputes from owners corporations, lot owners, former lot owners or occupiers about short-stay accommodationDefinitionA lease or licence of up to 7 days and 6 nights allowing someone to stay in a lot, apartment or unit managed by an owners corporation. where a guest:

  • made excessive noise
  • created a hazard
  • interfered with others' use of common property
  • caused damage to a lot or common property.

The owners corporation may help or coordinate multiple applications about the same issue.

In our Civil Claims ListDefinitionA List is an area in VCAT that deals with cases of a similar nature. For example, the Residential Tenancies List decides cases between tenants and landlords, and the Civil Claims List handles disputes about buying or selling goods and services. , we hear disputes about services under a short-stay accommodation contract. For example, a guest claims the property was not as advertised, or a property owner disputes a short-stay service provider's fees. For disputes about short-stay accommodation services, go to Goods and Services.

Cases VCAT cannot hear

We cannot hear disputes about short-stay accommodation if:

  • the properties involved are not part of an owners corporation
  • the lease or licence is more than 7 days and 6 nights
  • the alleged breach occurred before 1 February 2019.

Before you apply

Consumer Affairs Victoria may be able to help with disputes that cannot be resolved through the owners corporations dispute resolution process.

Time limits

If you are applying to get compensation from a dispute about a short-stay accommodation arrangement, you should apply within 60 days of the alleged violation.

Who is the respondent?

If the dispute is about short-stay accommodation, the respondentDefinitionThe party against whom orders or relief is sought by an applicant. may be the lot ownerDefinitionA member of an owners corporation who owns a unit, apartment, flat or lot. , occupier, lessee, sub-lessee and/or short-stay occupant (guest).

In most other disputes, you should enter the owners corporation as the respondent in your application, not the management company nor the individual manager. Enter the full name of the owners corporation with its registered number, for example, 'Owners corporation PS 123456B'. Do not forget to enter the owners corporation's address, which may be the address of the owners corporation manager.

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 about your application.

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

Need help with your application?

We can explain the application process and what the form is asking you for. Contact us to get support.

We cannot give you legal advice. This means we cannot tell you what to write in your application or recommend how to get the outcome you want.

Seek legal help if you are unsure about your options or need advice about your claim. The following services may be able to help 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.

Legislation that applies to this type of case

Owners Corporations Act 2006 (Word - 157kB)