In response to COVID-19, most hearings are being held by phone or videoconference. VCAT will contact you to know whether your hearing will be by phone, videoconference, or in person and explain what you need to do to prepare.
If you have been advised that your hearing will be in person, make sure that you arrive at VCAT on time. If you are late, the hearing will go ahead without you so plan to get there at least 15 minutes before the hearing time.
If your hearing will be by phone, it is a good idea keep your phone charged. Do not make other calls while waiting for your hearing. As hearings may not start on time, also leave plenty of time free before and after your scheduled time. VCAT hearings are recorded.
During the hearing
The way in which your case is heard will depend on the particular VCAT Member, who is the person who will decide on your case. However, usually the person who made the application will be asked to present their case first.
During the hearing never lose your temper. Keep your arguments clear and to the point and try not to be intimidated by the rental provider, agent or Member. Make sure you are given the opportunity to mention everything you believe is relevant to your case before the Member makes their decision.
If during the hearing you want to have a private negotiation with the agent or rental provider, you can ask the Member to hang up and call back at an agreed time