Notification of List Change
The Tribunal has a weekly Unit Titles and Retirement Villages Directions and Motions List. It has been taking place at 10am on Fridays. This list will now take place at 10am on Wednesdays. This change will start on 8 February 2017.
An application can be made to the ACAT under the Unit Titles (Management) 2011 (UTM Act) to resolve a range of issues or disputes relating to owners corporations. These include:
- a dispute relating to an owners corporation between an owner of a unit and an owner of another unit in the same units plan
- a dispute relating to an owners corporation between the owners corporation and an owner or occupier of a unit in the units plan
- a dispute relating to an owners corporation between the owners corporation and the manager for the owners corporation
- a dispute relating to an owners corporation between the owners corporation and a service contractor for the owners corporation
- a dispute relating to an owners corporation between the owners corporation and a member of the executive committee of the owners corporation
- a dispute between an owner or occupier of a unit and an Owners Corporation, about keeping an animal in a unit
- a dispute between an owners corporation and a former manager for the owners
- corporation about the return by the former manager of the owners corporation property
- a dispute relating to an owners corporation between the executive committee and a member of the executive committee
- an application by an owners corporation for authorisation to enter into a contract during the developer control period.
Also, under Part 10 of the UTM Act an application for the appointment of an administrator to the owners corporation may be made to the ACAT by a creditor of the owners corporation, a unit owner or anyone else with a recorded interest in a unit or the common property, the director-general on behalf of the Territory, or the owners corporation itself.
The ACAT also has power under Part 10 of the Unit Titles Act 2001 (UT Act) to approve a building damage scheme incorporating a unit redevelopment.
What ACAT Can Do
The ACAT can make the orders that it considers reasonably necessary or convenient to resolve a dispute including:
- an order that a party to the dispute do something or to stop doing something;
- an order requiring the removal of an animal from a unit;
- an order requiring a party to exercise a function under the UTM Act;
- orders declaring that a general meeting or executive committee meeting, or a resolution from a meeting is void because it was irregular;
- orders declaring that a rule of the owners corporation is invalid because it is irregular;
- an order amending or repealing a resolution of a general meeting or of the executive committee;
- an order giving effect to an unsuccessful motion at a general meeting; and
- orders requiring records to be examined or accounts to be audited.
Making an Application
An application under the UTM Act can be made by completing and filing the approved application form with the ACAT registry. A copy of the form can be downloaded from here or the registry can send a form to you.
The form for an application under the UT Act can be downloaded from here or the registry can send a copy to you.
If the applicant is represented by somebody other than a lawyer, then authorisation in accordance with the ACAT’s procedural directions is required. If the application is filed by the representative this authorisation should be provided at the time the application is filed.
Applications may be lodged in person with the required fee between the hours of 9am and 4.30pm at the ACAT, Level 4, ACT Health Building, 1 Moore Street, Canberra City or by mail to GPO Box 370, Canberra ACT 2601.
Generally, a unit titles application will follow these steps:
- the person who or corporation that lodges the application is called the applicant and the other party to the dispute is called the respondent.
- The ACAT will set a date and time for a directions hearing that is 2 to 3 weeks from the date that the application is lodged. The ACAT will write to the applicant and respondent telling them the date, time and place of the directions hearing.
- Usually the ACAT will give the respondent a copy of the application, but in some unit titles matters the Act requires that the applicant do this.
- A member of the ACAT will conduct the directions hearing. At the directions hearing the member will identify any facts and issues in dispute and may issue directions about documents or statements that must be filed to ensure the dispute is ready for hearing. The parties will be asked to nominate dates that they and any representatives or witnesses are available for a hearing.
- In some cases the parties may be referred to a conference before a registrar of the ACAT before the matter is given a hearing date. At a conference the registrar will work with the parties to attempt to resolve the dispute by agreement.
- At the hearing the parties each have the opportunity to present their case to the member hearing the matter.
A registrar or member of ACAT staff can provide you with further information about the Tribunal's practices and procedures. Please note that Tribunal staff cannot give legal advice.
The ACT Office of Regulatory Services regulates the UT Act and UTM Act. It publishes the Unit Titles Dispute Resolution Guide to assist unit owners, occupiers and owners corporations, and other useful information on the ORS website. The contact number is the main ORS number 6207 0400. They don’t give legal advice, but they DO give substantive information and procedural advice
The Department of Justice and Community Safety has also prepared a number of facts sheets to assist unit titles owners in understanding their rights and obligations under the UTM Act. These can be accessed from the Department’s website.