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How to prepare for an NCAT hearing

26 April 2016

The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) is the main forum for resolving residential tenancy disputes between landlords and tenants in NSW.

For many property managers, preparing for an NCAT hearing can be intimidating, which is why it is important to prepare properly.

Tim Anderson represents REINSW on the NCAT Liaison Group and Consultative Forum and is known as the ‘go to’ person for information on property management and NCAT matters.

He said: “It is very important to know all of the issues you want to present before a tribunal hearing to decide if you have a winnable case.

“You should always download the NCAT Hearing Notes as good practice because, as you fill it out, it will prompt you for the information you need to know to stop you making a mistake in your submission.”

Tim added how important it was to ensure your documents and evidence are correct, revealing how the tribunal has the power to adjourn the case if it sees an agent as incompetent.

In cases which involve the non-payment of rent, it is important to establish the evidence that gives you the basis for the hearing. This includes proving you have issued a notice which would ideally be hand-delivered, with a text message sent to the tenant to confirm. You cannot serve a notice by email.

For any other breaches, Tim added it is vital to ensure it is included in the tenancy agreement and to keep accurate records of each breach. 

As part of the REINSW's five day Property Management skills Essentials course, REINSW organises visits to NCAT hearings to help find out how they work. 

Tim added: “One of the reasons we take groups to NCAT tribunal hearings is because it is not something a real estate agent does every day- so having that experience is invaluable.

“I always advise agents to go and see how NCAT operates because being familiar makes it easier to appear before the tribunal.”

To find out more tips on how to prepare for an NCAT hearing, watch the webinar with Tim Anderson below.