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 Definition A member of an owners corporation who owns a unit, apartment, flat or lot. 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 Definition A person or organisation directly involved in a VCAT case, including a person or organisation that has brought the case before VCAT or who is defending claims made against them. 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 for information about your rights as a consumer or business.
  5. Get assistance from Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria who may be able to resolve the dispute through conciliation Definition A form of alternative dispute resolution. The parties negotiate with the help of an independent person. The aim is to sort out the dispute by agreement. and mediation Definition Mediations are confidential meetings where parties discuss ways to resolve their dispute, with the help of an impartial mediator. .
  6. If you do not reach an agreement then you can apply to VCAT.

Who is the respondent?

In most applications, you should enter the owners corporation as the respondent Definition The party against whom orders or relief is sought by an applicant. in your application, not the management company nor the individual manager.

You should 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. Be aware that the regulatory body in most cases uses legal representation.

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. 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 Definition Companies that own and manage residual land (land for the common use of all units in a development) under a stratum title. or company titles corporations.