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NCAT can hear interstate cases again

22 February 2018

Parties to a tenancies dispute (residential, strata and commercial) can now have the matter heard and resolved at the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal, despite one or more of the parties to the dispute residing in another state. This is the result of a recent decision published by NSW Caselaw.

However, there is a directions hearing on this issue on 1 March 2018 and a High Court decision still to come which may change the outcome. 

The saga originally began in February 2017 when the Court of Appeal declared NCAT, which handles disputes between tenants and landlords, had no jurisdiction if one or more of the parties lives in another state. 

As a result, interstate parties had to commence proceedings in the Local or District Court after NCAT declined to hear the matter due to ‘federal diversity jurisdiction’.

REINSW strongly lobbied the government to find a resolution and suggested replicating legislation in other states where the problems created by the NSW legislation does not exist. 

REINSW CEO Tim McKibbin said: “This has been a long-drawn-out saga which has been very unsatisfactory for agents, landlords and tenants.

“We understand that real estate agents can now attend NCAT hearings with interstate landlords and it is likely that the NCAT member will hear the case. 

“However, this is subject to change depending on the directions hearing and High Court decision. We will keep our members up-to-date of any changes.”