NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT)

​Rights and obligations flowing from an NCAT order

When NCAT makes an order or decision that affects you, you have the following rights and obligations.

NCAT Orders have to be complied with

NCAT orders are final and binding.  If you do not comply and do not have a lawful or reasonable excuse for not complying:

  • You may have committed a criminal offence or be liable to the imposition of a civil penalty.
  • You may be liable to be punished for contempt of the Tribunal, including by a fine or imprisonment.  

For more information on complying with NCAT orders see sections 72, 73, 75 and 77 of the Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013 (NSW).

If you are dissatisfied with an NCAT order, you may be able to challenge it.  You may also be able to ask to have the operation of the order suspended or “stayed”, while a challenge is considered.  

Written reasons

If the Tribunal did not give written reasons for making an order, you can ask for a written statement of reasons.  The request must be made within 28 days of receiving notice of the decision. The Tribunal is to give a written statement of reasons within 28 days of the request.  A request should be in writing, addressed to the Registrar.  

For more information on requesting written reasons see section 62 of the Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013 (NSW)

Appeal against an order or orders

If you want to challenge an order made by the Tribunal and have it set aside or changed, you can appeal, or ask for permission or “leave” to appeal, against the order.  

Many NCAT decisions can be appealed to the Tribunal’s Internal Appeal Panel.  Others can be appealed to the Supreme Court, the Land and Environment Court or the District Court.  Sometimes a party has the option of appealing either to the Supreme Court or the Internal Appeal Panel.  

If you want to appeal, or ask for leave to appeal, you have to do so within the applicable time limit. The time limit is often 14 or 28 days after receiving notice of the decision or reasons for decision.  If you do not appeal within the time limit, you can ask for an extension of time. You will need to provide a good reason for being late.  

For more information on NCAT Internal Appeals see NCAT Internal Appeals Guideline 1 [PDF 218kB].

For more information on appeals generally see sections 32, 80 – 83 and Schedule 3 clauses 15-18, Schedule 4 clause 12, Schedule 5 clause 29 and Schedule 6 clauses 12-14 of the Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013 (NSW).  There may be additional rights of appeal in other legislation, depending on the type of proceedings.

Learn more about appealing an NCAT decision.

Other ways to have NCAT orders set aside or changed

Apart from appealing, there are other ways to have an NCAT order set aside or changed, if the Tribunal thinks that is appropriate.  For example:

  • If all the parties agree or if an order was made in your absence and as a result your case was not adequately put to the Tribunal, you can ask for the order to be set aside under clause 9 of the Civil and Administrative Tribunal Regulation 2014 (NSW).  
  • If the Guardianship Division of NCAT appoints a guardian or a financial manager, you can ask for a review of the order making that appointment.  This may be appropriate where circumstances have changed and the original order is no longer working or appropriate.  
  • Some laws, for example s 188(b) of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (NSW), allow parties to ask to have orders under that law set aside or varied.  
  • If the other party does not comply with an order in the Consumer and Commercial Division within the time specified by the Tribunal, you can ask to have the proceedings renewed so that a different order can be made.  
  • If the order is that proceedings are dismissed because you did not appear at the hearing, you can ask for the proceedings to be re-instated. You will need to give a reasonable explanation to the Tribunal for your failure to appear.  
  • In appropriate cases, you can apply to the Supreme Court for judicial review of the Tribunal’s decision. The Supreme Court may refuse that application, even if there has been some error, if you have not tried appealing first.  

If you want to ask for an NCAT order to be set aside or changed using one of these methods, you will have to do so within any applicable time limit.  Time limits can be as short as 7 days after the decision was made.  If you do not apply within the time limit, you can ask for an extension of time. You will need to provide a good reason for being late.  

For more information on reviews in Guardianship Division matters see sections 25-25C, 25N-25U of the Guardianship Act 1987 (NSW). 

For more information on renewal of proceedings in Consumer and Commercial Division matters see clause 8 of Schedule 4 to the Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013 (NSW).

For more information on reinstatement of proceedings dismissed for non-appearance see section 55(2) of the Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013 (NSW).

For more information on judicial review see section 34 of the Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013 (NSW) and section 69 of the Supreme Court Act 1970 (NSW).  

Enforcement Options

Money Orders   

If NCAT orders the other party to pay you money, you can ask the Registry for a certified copy of the order which you can register in a court.  The order then takes effect as a judgment for the amount of the order.  Orders for amounts up to $100,000 can be registered in the Local Court and orders over $100,000 can be registered in the District Court.  

The request for a certified money order can be made by calling or writing to the NCAT Registry.

For more information on enforcing money orders see section 78 of the Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013 (NSW). 

Learn more about enforcing a money order.

Warrants for possession

If the Tribunal makes an order terminating residential proceedings and the tenant/resident does not give vacant possession in accordance with the Tribunal’s order, the landlord/operator may ask the Tribunal’s Registry to issue a warrant for possession. The request for a warrant for possession must be made within 30 days of the date for possession given by the Tribunal. This time period can be extended in some circumstances. The warrant authorises the Sheriff to remove the tenant/resident, other occupants and their goods from the premises.

In agricultural tenancy and retail lease matters, the Registry will issue a certified copy of the order of possession for enforcement through the Supreme Court.

For more information on warrants for possession see section 121 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (NSW), section 140 of the Retirement Villages Act 1999 (NSW), and section 134 of the Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act 2013 (NSW).

Learn more about warrants for possession.

Non-money orders in anti-discrimination cases

If an order is made under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW), that is not an order for the payment of money, a party can ask for a certified copy of the order. The order can then be registered in the Supreme Court  and takes effect as a judgment of that Court. 

The request for a certified copy of the order can be made by calling or writing to the NCAT Registry. 

For more information on enforcement of non-money orders in anti-discrimination cases see section 114 of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW).  

Criminal and Civil Penalty and Contempt Proceedings

NCAT orders may be enforceable by the proper person (not the Tribunal) bringing criminal, civil penalty or contempt proceedings against a party who has failed to comply with an order without lawful or reasonable excuse.  Before commencing these proceedings you should obtain legal advice about the proceedings and who can commence them.  Criminal prosecutions for non-compliance with certain NCAT orders need to be brought in the Local Court.  

Other options 

You should check the Act under which your order is made for further enforcement options.  

For example, section 97E of the Community Land Management Act 1989 (NSW) and cl 13(3) of Sch 5 to the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW) provide additional enforcement options for orders made under those laws.