Common questio​ns - Hearings 

Consumer and Commercial Division

The following are a selection common questions and answers about about NCAT's hearing process.  This information is provided as a general guide only and should not be treated as legal advice or relied upon as such.

How soon will I get a ​​​hearing? ​

If you lodge a complete application and pay the correct fee, you can expect to receive a Notice of Hearing generally within 14 days.  If you apply online, the Notice of Hearing may be provided at the time you make the application.

For most applications, the first hearing will be held within 10 to 28 days from the date of lodgement.

Can I get an urgent ​hearing? 

Yes, but urgent hearings will only be granted under exceptional circumstances.  This generally means if there is a threat to personal safety or to property, or where there is significant hardship.

To apply for an urgent hearing you must provide evidence to NCAT proving that an urgent hearing is needed.  If NCAT agrees to the urgent hearing, the matter will be listed within 7 days.

Where will the hearing ​​be held? 

NCAT conducts hearings throughout New South Wales.  Hearings are usually held at a venue closest to the place of contract or dispute.  For example:

  • Tenancy matters are heard at a venue closest to the rental premises
  • Home building matters are heard at the venue closest to the building that is the subject of the dispute. 

If  you entered a contract over the internet NCAT will decide where the matter will be heard.

View the hearing lists​ to find out where NCAT hearings are held.

Can I ask for a change of he​aring venue? 

You can apply for a change of hearing venue, but such a change is generally only granted if the other person agrees.  If the other person refuses, you can still apply for a change of venue and NCAT will consider your request.  Learn more about adjournments.

Do I have to atten​​d the hearing in person? 

It's in your best interests to attend the hearing.  If you attend the hearing, your side of the story will be heard and you can ask questions of the other person.  If you don't attend, the hearing will still go ahead and orders will be made in your absence. 

If you cannot attend the hearing in person, there are a number of ways to have your case heard:

You can be represe​​nted

At the hearing your representative must give the Tribunal Member your signed and dated written authority to represent you.

Appear by tele​​phone

This option is only available where telephone facilities are available and will not always be granted.  To request a telephone hearing, write to NCAT stating your specific reasons for wanting to appear by telephone, for example you are overseas. 

It is preferable to use a landline for telephone hearings as they are usually more reliable.  However, if there is no landline available a mobile phone is acceptable.

Any party giving evidence by telephone must ensure that the telephone reception is sufficient to allow the hearing to proceed.

Put your case in writi​​​ng

This should be in the form of a statutory declaration.  You need to have NCAT's consent to have the matter dealt with on the papers.  

Can the hearing date b​​e postponed? 

You can apply to have a hearing date changed.  This is called an adjournment request.  Learn more about Adjournments.

Can my famil​y and friends come with me? 

Family and friends can come with you to the NCAT hearing for support, but they cannot speak or interpret on your behalf.  If you require an interpreter, NCAT will provide one free of charge.  Learn more about requesting an interpreter​.

Your support person cannot sit in on a conciliation session without the permission of the other party. If you want your support person to sit next to you during the hearing you will need to ask the Tribunal Member for permission.

Are NCAT hearings op​en to the public? 

Hearings held by NCAT's Consumer and Commercial Division are open to the public and anyone can view proceedings.

Parties who have an upcoming NCAT hearing are encouraged to watch other NCAT hearings to get a better understanding of what will happen on the day.​