My case of breach of by-law has gone to VCAT and in the compulsory conference, it was agreed that the case is struck out with reinstatement if I do not rectify the breach by a certain date… I’ve complied within the date stipulated. Now I got a special levy from the owners corporation for legal costs. Can the owners corporation do that in spite of the agreement signed and lodged with VCAT? – Annie, VIC

Q: My case of breach of by-law went to VCAT and in the compulsory conference, it was agreed that the case is struck out with reinstatement if I do not rectify the breach by a certain date.

The other order is no order as to cost. A terms of agreement stating that in the event of non-compliance, there will be a reinstatement of the proceedings and costs of the applicant in the proceeding with respect to the respondent to be determined by the Tribunal, was drawn up by the owners corporation lawyer and signed by all parties concerned.

I’ve complied within the date stipulated. Now I got a special levy from the owners corporation for legal costs. Can the owners corporation do that in spite of the agreement signed and lodged with VCAT?

 

A: It may be best to contact VCAT about this matter. In most cases, as claimed by VCAT, “… everyone pays their own fees and costs for a VCAT hearing. It’s unlikely that you’ll get the other side to pay for these, even if you win.”

You may also wish to bring this matter up with your owners corporation, mentioning that you have complied within the stipulated date. It may also be worth bringing up the terms of the agreement and ensure that all parties are abiding by what is outlined within the document.