SACAT is a state tribunal that helps South Australians resolve issues within specific areas of law, either through agreement at a conference, conciliation or mediation, or through a decision of the Tribunal at hearing. SACAT also conducts reviews of Government decisions.
On 5 June 2018, the Tribunal determined, in a case called Raschke v Firinauskas, that the Tribunal is not entitled to decide a case under the Residential Tenancies Act between a landlord who was resident in Victoria and tenants who are resident in South Australia. The decision is available online here.
This follows a decision of the High Court in Burns v Corbett.
The effect of the decision is that the Tribunal cannot decide any disputes between landlords and tenants under the Residential Tenancies Act where one party is an interstate resident. It does not set out whether the Tribunal can hear other sorts of applications and disputes between residents of different states under different laws.
SACAT understands that the Government is actively considering ways it can assist parties who find themselves unable to have SACAT hear their matter. Until a longer-term solution is identified, the Tribunal may refund application fees where it appears that one of the parties may be an interstate resident and the Tribunal conducts a preliminary hearing and determines that it cannot hear the matter.
Justice Hughes, President of SACAT, has issued a statement about the decision, which can be read here.
Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs] can be found here.