Community schemes adjudication

An Adjudicator can make decisions on community schemes disputes that not been resolved by mediation.

Strata Applications for Adjudicatio​​n

The following ​​​information also applies to all Strata Schemes Applications for Adjudicator's orders under the ​Strata Schemes Management Act 1996 that were lodged with NCAT before 30 November 2016.

Adjudication process   ​
Adjudicator orders            

Adjudication process 

NCAT's adjudication process involves the following steps:

Step 1: Attempt mediation

Mediation is compulsory for certain community schemes disputes before lodging an application to NCAT.

Step 2: Lodge NCAT application

An application is lodged with NCAT after mediation is attempted.  The applicant does not need to be the same person who applied for mediation.

Step 3: Submissions

All interested parties are invited to lodge a written submission to NCAT.  The submissions period timeframe is generally 28 days.

Step 4: Determination on the papers

Adjudication decisions are made ‘on the papers’.  This means the application is decided only on the application documents and submissions.  There is no hearing.

Step 5: Orders and written reasons

The Adjudicator's orders and the reasons for the decision are made in writing and sent to all people involved in the dispute, the owners corporation or community association and those who sent a submission.           


As part of the adjudication process, NCAT will send a letter with a copy of the application to all interested parties inviting them to lodge a written submission stating whether they agree or disagree with the application.

At the end of the submissions period, the application and all the submissions are forwarded to an Adjudicator who determines the application on the written material provided.  The timeframe for lodging a written submission is generally 28 days.

Writing a submission

There is no specific format required for written submissions. They may be typed or hand written and may include attachments.  A written submission can be a short letter or several pages including reports and photos. 

  • Include all documents relevant to your case such as a copy of the strata plan, by-laws and minutes of meetings
  • State whether you support or oppose the application and why
  • Your submission may contain any facts, opinions, arguments and recommendations relevant to the application
  • Provide your name and address with your submission, and quote the application number
  • Submission content is not confidential – your submission may be viewed by any other interested party
  • Ensure that your submission reaches NCAT by the specified closing date.

Request to extend submission period

Any party may lodge a request for an extension of time for the submission period.  When considering a request for an extension of time, NCAT will consider the history of the matter between the parties, the length of time sought, the urgency of the matter and any prejudice that may be caused if the extension is granted or not granted.

Viewing submissions

Submissions received are made available for the parties to view during the submission period and up to 3 days before the application and submissions are referred to the Adjudicator for determination.

Any party may ask if submissions have been received.  NCAT Registry staff can tell you who has lodged a submission.  Parties may make an appointment to view the submissions or request a copy of a submission.

An appointment must be made to view submissions.  Copies of submissions are provided at cost.  View the current fees and charges.

Submissions received after the closing period

Any written submission received after the closing date may or may not be accepted.  NCAT will notify the Adjudicator of the late submission, however the Adjudicator will determine whether to accept the submission or not.

Adjudicator orders 

Adjudicators make orders on a wide range of community schemes matters:

  • Repairs to ceilings, walls and bathrooms
  • Water penetration through windows and shower floors
  • Breach of by-laws such as keeping pets without approval, excessive noise, insufficient floor coverings and parking on common property
  • Unauthorised alterations to common property
  • Making, changing or invalidating a by-law
  • Appointment of a managing agent (strata schemes)
  • Validity of meetings and resolutions
  • Variation of insurance
  • Contributions and levies (strata schemes).

Who is an Adjudicator?

An Adjudicator is a person appointed under the Strata Schemes Management Act 1996 or Community Land Management Act 1989.  Most Adjudicators are also appointed as Tribunal Members.​​

Can I appeal an Adjudicator's decision?

Yes.  Adjudicator decisions can be appealed to NCAT, however there are time limits.

An appeal against an order dismissing an application must be lodged within 21 days after the order takes effect.  The time limit may only be extended in limited circumstances.

An appeal against any other order must be lodged within 21 days after the order takes effect.  The time limit may be extended up to 90 days. 

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