Housing and Tenancy

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See also: Fairness

Section 98(3) of the VCAT states that 'Subject to this Act, the regulations and the rules, the Tribunal may regulate its own procedure.' Adjournments fall within 'regulation of procedure' and residential tenancies adjournments are dealt with by a practice note (PNRST 1), available here.

An application for an adjournment can be made in writing to the Registrar.  Application forms can be downloaded from the VCAT website and should be sent no later than 2 business days prior to the scheduled hearing date.  An application for an adjournment should state -

  • The parties' names;
  • The address of the rented premises, room, site and caravan (as the case requires);
  • The date the application was lodged;
  • The VCAT file number;
  • The scheduled hearing date;
  • The venue for the hearing; and
  • The reasons the adjournment is sought.

A copy of any supporting documentation (such as a medical certificate, medical appointment card etc) should accompany the letter requesting the adjournment.

Prior to submitting an application for an adjournment, lawyers should seek consent of other parties.  If consent of other parties is confirmed in writing, evidence of that consent should be attached to the application for an adjournment.

Applications for adjournments made less than 2 business days before the hearing will only be considered if exceptional circumstances apply (such as sudden serious ill health).

Where adjournments cannot be made 'on the papers', an applications for an adjournment will need to be made at the commencement of the hearing. Again, the Charter may be of assistance in making submissions on this issue.

Does the VCAT Act apply to adjournments?

Yes. The VCAT Act is relevant to adjournments because of section 98(3) of the Act which states that '[s]ubject to this Act, the regulations and the rules, the Tribunal may regulate its own procedure.' Accordingly, the rules about fairness in section 97 and 98 apply to adjournment requests and should prevail to the extent of any inconsistency.

See also the section on Fairness