Hearings FAQs

Frequently asked questions about hearings conducted at NCAT.

Where will the hearing be held?

NCAT conducts hearings throughout New South Wales. View our hearing lists​ to find out where NCAT hearings are held.

Consumer and Commercial Division hearings

Consumer and Commercial Division 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. 

Can I ask for a change of hearing 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 attend the hearing?

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 represented

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

Appear by telephone

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 writing

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 be postponed?

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

Can my family and friends come with me?

Family and friends can come with you to the NCAT hearing for support, but they cannot represent you.  If you need an interpreter, NCAT will provide one free of charge.  Learn more about requesting an interpreter​.

Are hearings open to the public?

Hearings held by NCAT are generally open to the public and anyone can view proceedings.

Can someone represent me at the hearing?

NCAT conducts hearings with as little formality as possible, and most parties can present their own case at the hearing.

Parties can be represented by a lawyer or other person but  you must get the NCAT's approval in most cases. Learn more about representation.

When will I know the outcome of the hearing?

NCAT will generally inform those attending the hearing of its decision at the end of the hearing. The order is made, the order will generally take effect immediately. The orders will be sent to the parties as soon as practicable after the hearing.

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