Attendance at tribunal can be stressful for even the hardiest property manager. It is important to be well prepared, with as much information as possible on what you are heading into as you seek the best possible outcome for your client.
A great quote from Alexander Graham Bell that rings true when looking at this process is, “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success”. How prepared are you when it comes to tribunal matters? Are you ready to tackle any challenge? Let’s look at some key steps to preparedness.
Applying and responding
• Always have landlord’s approval and determine their ideal outcome. Agree under what conditions you may withdraw any application
• Check that the court has jurisdiction for the orders you are seeking and ensure you apply against correct individual/s or business names. Carefully specify which orders you request and give factual reasons
• Always keep a copy of your application and prepare your documentation straight away
• Make sure the notice was in writing and states the full address of the rented premises and the full names of all parties
• Ensure that the grounds & details of breaches are explained and it is signed and dated by the Landlord or agent
• Refer to MAA & RTA for required information, check service dates and check the rent arrears
Preparing for the hearing
• Prepare a chronology of events and write down all issues relating to the case
• Gather your evidence with updated copies of ledgers/status and any information and know what you want to say
• Practice your case, remember practice makes perfect! If you need help don’t forget to refer to the fact sheets and online videos
• Prepare your hearing notes for the member before the hearing and take a calculator, phone, pen and pad
• Ensure your landlord is on standby
Above all, remain calm, be thorough with your information and if you are ever at all unsure about the person you are up against, take someone with you for backup. Good luck!