The CTTT provides an informal low cost service where consumers can resolve disputes between consumers and traders and tenants and landlords in New South Wales.
If you are having a dispute with a person, company or business you can lodge an application through the CTTT.
To do this you will need to lodge an application form and pay the associated fee to commence proceedings in the CTTT. Provide as much information as possible on the application form and what you want to achieve from this and the reasons why. If your claim is against a business or a company you may need to do a company or ABN (Australian Business Number) search to find their legal details
The CTTT is divided up into the following divisions:-
- Tenancy Division –Deals with a General Tenancy Agreement (rental agreement)
- Social Housing Division – Deals with social housing providers.
- General Division – Deals with consumer claims against a business about the supply of goods or services up to the value of $30,000
- Home Building Division – Matter dealing with work done by a building contractor
- Motor Vehicles Division – Deal with consumer claim in relation to motor vehicles used for private use the max amount of claim is $30,000 unless it is regarding a new car used for private use.
- Strata and Titles Scheme Division – Matters in relation to a block of units and common property.
- Residential Parks Division – Matters in relation to General Tenancy/Site Agreements in residential parks.
- Retirement Village Division – Matters dealing with retirement villages.
- Commercial Division – Disputes about finance broking, appeals against Travel
- Compensation Fund decisions, commission fees charged by agents and some credit matters.
You will need to determine which division you matter falls under to complete the correct application form.
You can either lodge an application online or print and send a form by post or in person at a registry office in NSW.
You can lodge your application online at – https://esd.cttt.nsw.gov.au/Application/Main.aspx
You can find the appropriate forms at – https://www.cttt.nsw.gov.au/
What happens next?
The CTTT will then send you and the other parties a Notice of Conciliation and Hearing this should be revived within 14 days.
The Notice will contain the date time and place of the Hearing, both you and the other parties will need to attend the hearing.
Usually matters will be set for group hearings and parties and will be encouraged to attend conciliation.
What is Conciliation?
Conciliation involves bringing the parties involved in a matter together in an informal meeting and trying to mediate a solution that is agreeable by all parties. If a solution is reached by both parties it will be made into a legal order.
If no solution is reached, or if a party does not attend the conciliation the matter will go to a hearing.
Tips to get the best outcome out of conciliation
- Write down a summary of what you want to achieve.
- Work out how you will negotiate. It may be that you will have to compromise in some way to get the best result.
- Briefly explain your side of the story and ensure you have proof to back up events that occurred. Focus on a solution, not who is right or wrong.
- Listen to the other people talking, you may want to take notes. Don’t interrupt, try and consider their point of view.
- Focus on the issues at hand not your emotions as these tend to get in the way of coming to a result.
- Only agree with what you think is acceptable.
- If an agreement is made make sure you write it down and when you have a final copy that both parties agree on write it on the form supplied which will be what is made into the legally binding order which you will need to understand. If you have any questions it is best you raise them before the form is lodged.
- If an agreement is not reached a hearing will be held either that day or at a later date.
What happens at a hearing?
Most of the CTTT hearings are held in group hearings, this is where a number of matters are held before a tribunal.
Types of Hearings
- Special Fixture Hearings – are a formal hearing that are used when attempts at conciliation have failed and more time is needed to hear the case, it may take a few hours or spread over a few days.
- Direction Hearings – are for matters more complex where there needs to be certainty in jurisdiction and the issues involved. A timeframe may need to be set and evidence exchanged.
- Determinations on Paper – Matters can be determined on paper with the consent from both parties. Parties are invited to submit all relevant information and submissions before a decision is made. If you matter falls under the Strata and Titles Scheme Division your matter will be determined on paper.
In most matters your decision will be issued same day most decisions are followed by brief oral reasons, the decision is the typed into orders and sent to all parties.
Tribunal Decisions are final and binding and may only be reheard by appeal to the district court of NSW.
If you are not happy with your decision and orders you are entitled to come in and have an initial consultation with one of our Commercial Litigation Solicitors and we can help you from there.
Your claim may be too large for the CTTT to deal with, we suggest it is best to come in and have an appointment with one of our Commercial Litigation Solicitors at Attwood Marshall Lawyers.