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Tribunal fees for proceedings in the Residential Tenancies List

Last updated: 29 Mar 2021

Fees at the Tribunal

A number of fees may be payable in connection with making an application to the Tribunal or otherwise using Tribunal services. A list of those fees are available on the Tribunal’s website.

There is an automatic fee exemption granted to people represented by:

See the Tribunal website.

A letter from the organisation representing the applicant should be provided with the application to secure a fee waiver.

Fee reimbursement

The Tribunal has the power to order that a party to a proceeding reimburse another party the whole or any part of any fee paid by that other party in the proceeding: s 115B(1)(a) Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2014 (Vic) (VCAT Act).

The Tribunal can also make orders (s 115B(1) VCAT Act):

  • as to which party must pay the whole or any part of a fee in future in the proceeding;
  • that a party to the proceeding pay, on behalf of another party, the whole or any part of a fee that may be required to be paid in the future by that other party in the proceeding;
  • that a party to a proceeding reimburse another party the whole or any part of any fee that may be paid in the future by that other party in the proceeding, or
  • that a party to a proceeding reimburse another party the whole or any part of any fee that may be paid in the future by that other party in the proceeding, within a specified time after the fee is paid.

In making an order under s 115B, the Tribunal must have regard to:

  1. the nature of, and issues involved in, the proceeding;
  2. the conduct of the parties (whether occurring before or during the proceeding), including whether a party has caused unreasonable delay in the proceeding or has failed to comply with an order or direction of the Tribunal without reasonable excuse; and
  3. the result of the proceeding, if it has been reached.

Fee reimbursement is unlikely to be required for homeless law clients given that they were represented by a community legal centre and therefore were entitled to fee waiver from the Tribunal.

However if fees were incurred, if you are appearing before the Tribunal, and the issue of awarding costs for application fees arises, you should make submissions as to why an order in your client’s favour should be made. For example, submissions should be made in regard to your client’s conduct in proceedings, the nature of the issues and the client’s particular circumstances and hardship that would make such an order unreasonable. Note this

Note that under some other types of Tribunal proceedings (not in the residential tenancies list) there is an automatic entitlement to reimbursement of fees to the successful party: s 115C VCAT Act.

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