About VCAT decisions and orders

Where to find VCAT decisions, when we make decisions, and what you can do once you have a VCAT order.

Where can I find VCAT decisions?

We send parties a copy of the decision relating to their case. If a decision was made and reasons for it provided in writing, they can be found on the AustLii website.

How can I get my bond back?

If you’ve been to VCAT and you have an order that says you’ll get all or part of your bond back, you need to:

Claim your bond on the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority website

When do I get the final decision?

When we make a final decision on your case, we may give the order to you in writing on the same day or send it to you after the hearing. 

We must give the reason for our final decision to everyone involved in the case, either at the hearing or later in writing. 

If you’re given the reason verbally in the hearing, you can ask for it in writing. You need to ask us within 14 days of the hearing. 

For renting disputes where the claim is under $10,000, you need to ask for written reasons before or at the time a decision is made.

If you miss your hearing we can make a decision in your absence.

If you have a good enough reason for not coming, and you didn’t have someone come for you, you may be able to apply for a review and rehearing (called ‘reopening an order’).  

You need to make this application within 14 days of finding out about the order. There’s no guarantee that VCAT will agree. 
Apply to reopen an order made against you

Who enforces the order?

VCAT makes orders to resolve a case but can’t generally enforce orders. If the other person or organisation (‘party’) doesn’t follow what the order says, you need to apply to a court to enforce it.  

There are some exceptions where other people may be involved in enforcing the order.
If your case is about a decision made by another organisation (like a government department or agency), they are responsible for making sure VCAT’s decision is complied with.

Read more about enforcing VCAT orders

Can VCAT award damages?

Yes, VCAT has the power to award damages in certain types of cases.

VCAT can award damages for financial loss, injury, or property damage for some cases, such as:

The amount of compensation awarded by VCAT will depend on the specific facts and circumstances of the case and the evidence presented by the parties.

VCAT can only award costs within the law that the case is heard in and regulations that created VCAT.

In planning disputes, we may also award costs or reimburse fees in some circumstances. Learn how to apply for planning costs or reimbursement.

How can I apply for a review?

If you’re not satisfied with the decision made in your case and you were at the hearing you can’t apply for a review and rehearing.

You can only apply for a review and rehearing if you were not at the hearing for your case. 

When you apply for a review you go to a hearing where we decide if:

  • you’re entitled to a review and rehearing on the spot
  • you’re entitled to a review and the rehearing is scheduled for a hearing on another date
  • you’re not entitled to a review and rehearing.

Complete an Application to reopen an order form

See also: What happens if I miss my hearing?

What decisions were made in cases like mine?

You can read written decisions made in cases like yours online on the Australasian Legal Information Institute website (AustLII).

How can I get a certified copy of the order?

If you want to enforce a monetary order, you need a certified copy of an order. This is certified by us as a true copy for you to take to the court.

You can ask for this by calling or writing to us.

If you want to enforce a non-monetary order, you need to write to us to ask for this.

Read more about enforcing VCAT orders

How long do VCAT decisions take?

The length of time for a VCAT decision can vary depending on the complexity of the case and the volume of cases being heard.

For some cases (such as residential tenancy disputes), the VCAT member usually makes a decision and gives an order at the end of the hearing. An order tells parties how the case has been decided and any action they must take. For example, ordering one party to pay another.

For other cases, it can take several weeks for a VCAT decision to be issued after a hearing. 

This is sooner if you reach an agreement (settle) at a mediation or compulsory conference, before a hearing takes place.

More about VCAT decisions