How to communicate with VCAT and other parties
Send copies to other parties
Whenever you email or write to VCAT you must also send a copy to all other parties involved in the case.
You can tell us you have sent copies to other parties by including them in the CC field on an email, or note them as a CC on a letter.
If you’re attending VCAT by phone or videoconference you must send copies to VCAT and the other parties by email.
If you need to talk to VCAT about a case, contact us. Do not contact a VCAT member directly about any aspect of a case.
You must show respect when you communicate with VCAT and the other parties.
Information to include in emails or letters
- Address your letter or email to the Principal Registrar.
- Quote your VCAT reference number. This helps us keep all your correspondence and documents together. We include your reference number on any correspondence about the case.
- If we have scheduled a hearing, mediation or compulsory conference, include the date in your communication.
If you write to us by email you don’t need to send us a printed copy as well.
How to send photographs, data and other documents
It’s best to post hard copies of witness statements and documents that contain photographs, data, scale plans and information in colour. These documents may be difficult to read in an email.
If you’ve emailed this kind of detailed information, send us and the other parties the originals or good quality colour copies by mail as soon as possible after you send the email.
Send copies to other parties
When you write to VCAT about a case, the other parties in the case must also receive the same correspondence. You must tell us you have done this.
If you disadvantage a party by not giving them a copy of correspondence, it may delay the case and we may make an order or award costs against you.
You can send copies of your application and other correspondence to parties by:
- email – if you’ve emailed them before applying to VCAT, or if they’ve given us their email address
- by post
- in person.
How to send documents when the other party is a business or company
Individuals - Send documents to their postal address or email.
Individual trading as a business (sole traders) - Send documents to their email or address shown in the ASIC Business Name Extract.
Companies - Send documents to their email or the registered postal address as shown on the ASIC Current Company Extract.
The registered address may be different to the company's principal place of business address or any address shown on the company's letterhead.
Incorporated associations - Send documents to their email or the address shown on the Incorporated Association Extract.
Tips for organising documents for residential tenancy cases
If you're part of a residential tenancy case at VCAT, it's important to organise the documents you plan to use. If you don't, the hearing may be delayed.
Hearings only run for a limited time and the VCAT members and all parties need to know what document you're referring to when you give evidence.
- Sort your documents - arrange them so documents about the same issue are together
- Number each document so everyone can refer to the right one
- If you are sending photos, identify the date each was taken and the room in the rented premises it was taken in
- Prepare a cover page listing the documents you are submitting so that everyone can check that they have all the documents for the hearing.
If you send your documents by more than one email, number the emails. For example:
R2020/12345 Hearing 30 June 2020 at 2:00pm - Email 1 of 3
R2020/12345 Hearing 30 June 2020 at 2:00pm - Email 2 of 3
R2020/12345 Hearing 30 June 2020 at 2:00pm - Email 3 of 3
Tell us if your contact details change
If you move or your contact details change while you have an active case at VCAT, you must tell us and all other parties in writing. This includes any changes to your mailing address, phone number or email address.
If your case is about guardianship and administration, powers of attorney, medical treatment or an advance care directive, you can tell us about changes to your contact details by phone. Call 1300 01 8228.
Communicating with a party’s legal or professional representatives
If a party has a legal or professional representative acting on their behalf in a VCAT case, all communication with that party should be through that person.
The representative must tell VCAT and other parties in writing:
- when they start acting on behalf of a party
- if they stop acting on behalf of a party and the last known address and other contact details for the party they were representing
- their contact details including their address for sending documents
- updates to their contact details if they change during the time they are representing the party.
Our fair hearing obligation
The obligation to provide a fair hearing is an important part of VCAT’s role and applies to everything we do.
Settle before a hearing
You can still try to resolve the dispute yourselves without going to VCAT.
A consent order is a legal document issued by VCAT to confirm an agreement between the parties.