Steps to Resolve Building Disputes through VCAT
The Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) will only help with a building dispute if you have tried to resolve the issue through the Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria (DBDRV). However, there is one exception to this. The exception is when you need an urgent injunction to stop something being done.
In most circumstances you will need to go through DBDRV first. If you can't resolve the matter through this avenue, it may seem daunting to proceed to to VCAT but it is a necessary step if you want to to resolve the matter.
What you Need to Apply to VCAT
If you have been to Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria, you must have one of the following to apply to VCAT:
- a certificate of conciliation
- a rejection letter
- a dispute resolution order
- a notice of breach of dispute resolution order.
New Home Building Inspections can assist you in deciding whether you are eligible to apply to VCAT.
The VCAT Process
Once you application to VCAT has been accepted you will receive a notice from them. There are various ways VCAT can handle a domestic building dispute. This includes:
- Directions hearing
- Compulsory conference
- Final hearing
It is common for VCAT to require parties to attend a Directions hearing. This Hearing, at the start of the VCAT process, is used to identify the issues in the dispute and set up a timetable for matters to proceed.
When matters get to the Final hearing stage, your will need to present your case. This includes calling witnesses - including expert witnesses.
The Role of the Expert Witness at VCAT
At New Home Building Inspections we have experience in providing expert evidence, including being an expert witness at VCAT hearings.
The role of an expert witness for VCAT hearings is an important one. As an expert witness we always provide an independent and objective report in relation to the building dispute in question. Part of our role is to assist VCAT to understand the technical issues that have caused the building defects in your home.
Once you have advised us on the defective or incomplete work, we will provide our expert opinion on various matters for your VCAT Hearing including:
- The likely cause of the damage or list of worked required to complete the job
- Any other consequential damage that has not yet been identified
- Rectification works required or alternatively the work required to finish the job
- Estimated cost of rectification works or completion works