Your owners corporation must have an internal complaints process to help its members and people living in the property deal with complaints without resorting to legal action.
We suggest following this process before you ask the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria (DSCV) to undertake dispute resolution, or before you apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for a hearing on the matter, as you may get a quicker resolution through your owners corporation.
The process should set out:
- who to contact if there is a problem or complaint
- rules detailing the complaints process
- directions about where to get information
- how to record the problem or the breach of rules
- how to notify your owners corporation committee or manager of a problem or complaint
- how to raise an issue at an owners corporation or committee meeting
- formal complaint procedures
- how to nominate a third party to help resolve a dispute.
Making a complaint
A lot owner, tenant or manager can make a complaint in writing to the owners corporation using the approved Owners corporation complaint form (Word, 59KB).
Complaints to the owners corporation may relate to an alleged breach of the:
- Owners Corporations Act 2006
- Owners Corporations Regulations 2018
- owners corporation’s rules.
If the owners corporation decides to take no action, it must provide the complainant with written reasons.
If the owners corporation decides to take action, it must:
If the problem is not resolved
If the problem is not resolved within 28 days – that is, the person who the complaint is against does not rectify the breach - the owners corporation can choose to extend the deadline by issuing the person with a final notice in writing using the approved Final notice to rectify breach - owners corporations (Word, 59KB).
The final notice should state that:
- the person has 28 days from the date of the notice to comply
- if the breach is not rectified within 28 days, the owners corporation may take the matter to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).
If the complaint is by the owners corporation against a lot owner, tenant or manager, the next step is to apply for a hearing at VCAT. For more information, visit the Application to the Owners Corporation List page on the VCAT website.
If the complaint is by a lot owner, tenant or manager, the next step is to contact the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria (DSCV). For more information, view Step 2 below.
The owners corporation will ask for a written record of facts when it receives a formal complaint. You can use the Issue log sheet - owners corporations (Word, 60KB) to provide this.
A written record is also required if the complaint goes to DSCV or VCAT.
Any complaints and any action taken must be reported to the owners corporation’s annual general meeting. Use the following forms:
The owners corporation must keep records of the complaint for seven years.