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 or video

To make a request for you or a witness to attend a hearing by telephone or video:

Send your request to NCAT as soon as you become aware that you want to attend by telephone or video before the scheduled hearing date.

If approved, NCAT will send you step by step information and a link on how to join the hearing. If it is not approved, or if you do not hear from NCAT, you should make arrangements to appear in person.

For more information, read NCAT’s fact sheet Attending hearings by telephone or video (PDF, 182.6 KB).    

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 I get an extension of time to lodge my evidence with NCAT?

Before requesting an extension of time to lodge evidence, you must contact all other parties and let them know you want to change the timetable for lodging evidence.  You need to let them know:

  • the date you can lodge the evidence by
  • how and when you will be able to give the evidence to them e.g. if they agree to you emailing it to them

Ask the other party if they agree with the change to the timetable and to email you with their response.

Next steps

  1. You need to write to NCAT asking for the change and include the comments of the other party/parties
  2. Your request and the parties’ response will then be referred to a Tribunal Member to decide whether the timetable will be varied
  3. You will be notified of the decision in writing.  You should attempt to provide your submissions and evidence as soon as possible.

Submissions and evidence and other secondary material should be lodged with NCAT by post. If there is insufficient time to post them, they can be delivered to an NCAT Registry.

The other side hasn’t filed their evidence. What do I do?

You should contact the other person involved in the case and ask them to provide you with their evidence.

If you are a party of the proceedings, you must follow the procedural directions set by NCAT. If you do not comply with a direction, any evidence you provide after a certain date may not be used.

If you are unable to comply with the direction, you should talk about it at the next hearing.

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.

Last updated:

19 Nov 2023

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