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    •  Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal
        - Power to award costs

Power to award costs 

This was an application for costs in proceedings before the Tribunal.

The Tribunal had made orders that the tenant give vacant possession to the landlord. In reaching its decision, the Tribunal had had to interpret a clause of the Residential Tenancy Agreement which was capable of being read either in favour of the landlord or in favour of the tenant. The Tribunal considered that there was a substantial legal question to be decided, and therefore gave leave for the parties to be legally represented.

The tenant claimed that the Tribunal did not have any jurisdiction to order costs. The Tribunal rejected this claim.

Under the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal Regulation, cl 20(3)(a), the Tribunal had power to order costs in a case of this type if it were satisfied that there were exceptional circumstances that warranted an order for costs. The Tribunal considered a number of cases in which a court had construed the word “exceptional”.

The Tribunal considered that, in this case, neither party had shown that the circumstances justified an order for costs.

Birks & Gilbertson [2010] NSWCTTT 481