Are You a Landlord or Tenant in a Retail Tenancy Lease?
The VCAT Retail Tenancies List allows VCAT (Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal) to resolve applications made by a landlord or tenant under a retail premises lease due to a retail tenancy dispute.
If you are a tenant in a retail tenancy who’s in dispute with your landlord, you can contact the Victorian Small Business Commissioner with the support of Velos & Velos Lawyers to attempt to resolve the dispute through mediation before it requires legal action. If you are applying for an urgent injunction, however, you’re unable to utilise the Office of the Victorian Small Business Commissioner.
How Will Disputes Be Dealt With?
First, the dispute will go to mediation. If the mediation is insufficient to reach resolution, the dispute will go to a VCAT hearing, which a tribunal member will conduct.
Claims over $100,000 will usually go to a preliminary hearing, where the claim, statement of evidence, and other factors will be considered before a VCAT hearing date is fixed for the final resolution of the dispute. The Registrar may still send such a dispute to mediation before or after the preliminary hearing.
Claims from $15,000 to $100,000 go first to mediation, followed by a preliminary hearing if not yet resolved.
There are a range of orders that VCAT can make, including:
- Requiring parties to do or not do various things
- The payment of money
- The surrender of leased premises
- Granting injunctions
- That leases or other contracts be varied or rescinded.
VCAT may choose an informal procedure, so long as it still ensures that each party has a proper opportunity to be heard and to challenge any evidence brought against them.
Each party will be able to call witnesses, cross-examine witnesses from the other party and make submissions.
The VCAT member hearing the dispute will make final orders, and all parties will be made aware of them if they aren’t made on the day of the hearing.