Application under the Residential Tenancies List (RTL) 1997
If a landlord is about to evict you an application can be made to VCAT, for a restraining order/injunction against the landlord. As the application is bound to be heard without the landlord present (ex parte), VCAT can only make an order for an interim restraining order/injunction, and will order the principal registrar of the Tribunal to set a fresh hearing date so that the matter can be heard when both parties are present.
But what I found was that, this is used as a ploy to say both parties were there and we arrived at an “objective” decision. Actually, the decision in my case was pre-determined in the landlords favour, before the hearing began. The member just went through the motions, making it APPEAR as if a fair trial was conducted.
A witness was questioned by the member, of course the questions and answers were also pre-determined and rehearsed. I never got the opportunity to question the witness or lodge all the evidence.
The member reached a decision saying that the the Tribunal “HAS NO JURISDICTION UNDER THE RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES ACT 1997 AND THE APPLICATION IS STRUCK OUT.”
If you make an application to VCAT under the Residential Tenancies List please ask for written reasons before, during, or before the conclusion of the hearing. It is your right. If you don’t ask for reasons before the conclusion of the hearing you lose your right to ask for written reasons. There is no further opportunity. Written Reasons are really important if you were to appeal a VCAT decision, or simply to work out how the member arrived at her/his decision. If you are self-represented (handled/argued your case without a lawyer/barrister), you may not have been able to keep a running commentary of the hearing, through taking notes. So, written reasons will give more details.