Being a respondent

Consumer and Commercial Division​

A ‘respondent’ is the name given to a person or business that has had an application regarding a dispute lodged against them at NCAT's Consumer and Commercial Division.

If you are named as a respondent in the application you will need to take action.            

Why have I been named as the respondent?
What are my options?
How can I prepare for NCAT?
Can I lodge a claim against the applicant?
Respondent's checklist

Why have I been named as the respondent? 

You are named as a respondent because the applicant has a dispute with you. The applicant has applied to NCAT to resolve the dispute which may result in enforceable orders being made against you if the applicant can prove their claim. 

Enforceable orders may include an order to pay money, an order terminating a tenancy agreement, or an  order to carry out an action such as repair work. 

As the respondent, you will receive a copy of the application  form with the notice of hearing. The application form provides details such as the orders applied for and the reasons why the orders are being asked for.

Why did NCAT accept the application?

NCAT accepts and processes all applications received, however the facts of the claim can only be considered by the Tribunal at a hearing.  There you will need to attend the hearing with your evidence (exceptions apply for home building, retail lease, and strata and community schemes matters).

What are my options?  

Settle the dispute

Consider contacting the applicant and try to settle the dispute before the hearing day. If you settle, ask the applicant to withdraw their application so you no longer need to attend the hearing. You will also be asked to attempt settlement through conciliation when you attend NCAT.

Go to the hearing

If you do not agree with the application, it is in your best interest to organise your documents that are relevant to the claim and then attend the hearing. At the hearing you will be given the opportunity to present your documents and give your version of events.

Do nothing

If you do nothing and do not attend the hearing, the application will likely be heard in your absence and enforceable orders may be made against you.

How can I prepare for NCAT?  

Carefully read the information provided on the application form and notice of hearing. Questions to ask yourself are:

  • What is the applicant claiming and why?
  • Do I agree with any part of the application?
  • What evidence can I produce to the Tribunal to prove my version of events?
  • Are there any compromises that can be made? 
  • Are there any offers I can make to settle the dispute?

Learn more about preparing for hearing.

Can I lodge a claim against the applicant? 

You may be able to lodge a 'cross-claim' depending on the type of application.  For example, you cannot lodge a cross-claim in a consumer claim or motor vehicles matter.  Check the relevant legislation for further information.

If you are going to lodge a cross-claim, you should do this quickly so that the applications can be heard together at the same time.  You should also seek independent legal advice as a cross-claim may delay the resolution of the dispute.

Respondent's checklist 

 Decide whether you agree with the application (partially or in full) or whether you totally disagree with it.
 Consider contacting the applicant before the hearing to attempt to settle the dispute. 
If you settle the dispute, ask the applicant to withdraw their application from NCAT before the hearing day.
 Prepare to go to the hearing and put forward your version of events.
 Seek advice or information on your rights and responsibilities.
Being a respondent