Claims for VCAT fees and costs

Expenses related to Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) hearings are divided into ‘fees’ and ‘costs’. We explain the difference and how to put in a claim for them. In most cases everyone pays their own fees and costs.

Fees

Fees are amounts you pay to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). An example is the application fee for a hearing. Find the latest fees on VCAT’s website.

Costs

Costs are any other amounts you have paid, or lost, relating to you going to a hearing. Examples include travel expenses or costs for preparing evidence to use at the hearing.

Getting your fees and costs paid

In most cases everyone pays their own fees and costs for a VCAT hearing. It is unlikely that you will get the other side to pay for these, even if you win.

In rare cases VCAT may order that one side pays the fees and costs of the other side, but it will only do this if one side has made the hearing unfair for the other. For example, taking someone to VCAT without a good reason or causing a hearing to be delayed (adjourned) without having a proper reason.

Costs VCAT has ordered

In cases where VCAT has ordered one side to pay the other sides’ costs, these have included the costs of:

  • Travel expenses, such as public transport fares, petrol and parking fees
  • Preparing evidence, such as photo processing charges and photocopying
  • Lost income for the time spent attending a hearing
  • Lawyer’s fees

How to claim

If you think the rental provider (landlord) should pay your fees and/or costs, you must ask VCAT to make an order for this. You can include this in your VCAT application form or ask for it at the hearing.

You should include the section of the law that allows VCAT to make orders about fees and costs.

If you want the rental provider to reimburse you for any costs, include section 109 of the VCAT Act 1998.

If you want the rental provider to reimburse you for any fees, include section 115B of the VCAT Act 1998.

What you need

To support your claim, you should, where relevant:

  • Have evidence to show the amounts you have spent, or lost, in going to the hearing: for example, a letter from your employer stating the amount of wages you have lost and receipts for myki fares, parking or photocopying
  • Point to any reasons why you think it is fair for the rental provider to pay your costs, for example, because there is no good reason for the hearing, or because they caused the hearing to be delayed
  • Point out how the rental provider has caused any unreasonable delay, for example: not giving you a copy of their claim before the hearing so the hearing had to be delayed
  • Point out how the rental provider has disadvantaged you at the hearing, for example: not giving you a copy of their evidence until the day before the hearing so you did not have enough time to prepare your response
  • Point out how the rental provider has tried to deceive you or VCAT

If the rental provider claims

If the rental provider asks VCAT to order you to pay their fees and costs and you do not think this is fair, you can explain, where relevant:

  • Why you think it is unfair for you to pay the rental provider’s fees and costs
  • Why you think the amount asked for is an unreasonable amount
  • How the rental provider has caused unreasonable delay to the hearing
  • How the rental provider has disadvantaged you
  • How the rental provider has tried to deceive you or VCAT

Resources

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