What should I do if I am in rent arrears? - ACT Civil and administrative tribunal - What orders can the Tribunal make?

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  • Be at the Tribunal at the right time / the right day;
  • Be prepared - have a list of points you want to get across to the Tribunal Member: how/why you got behind in the rent, what steps you have taken, and what you propose for the future;
  • Have ready and in good order any documents you want to show the Member;
  • Keep cool and be courteous, no matter what the landlord, agent or Tribunal Member says.

What orders can the Tribunal make?

The Tribunal has 3 options:

  • To dismiss the landlord’s application - for example, on the basis that there were no arrears or that the arrears have been made up;
  • To end your tenancy unconditionally on a specified day - it could be that very day; or you could be given up to 21 days to move out;
  • To make a conditional termination order, which means that the tenancy will continue on certain conditions (usually that you make up the arrears by a certain date and pay on time in the future).

If orders are made that end your tenancy and you do not vacate by the due date, the landlord can request a warrant (unless the Tribunal has already declared that the termination order itself will have the effect of a warrant), giving the police the power to evict you.

Except in exceptional circumstances (see Section 40 RTA) the police must give you at least 2 days notice of the eviction day.

If you leave the Tribunal with conditional orders, you have been given a chance to keep your tenancy.

However, if you fail to abide by the orders, the landlord can apply for a warrant for eviction.

The matter will then be listed for hearing within 1 week. If you think you have not breached the orders, or you have a significant excuse for the breach, you can present your defence at the hearing. Otherwise, the Tribunal will issue the warrant for eviction.

See also: Tribunal (ACAT) General Information and Evidence Checklist for the Tribunal on our website.

ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal 6207 1740

dispute resolution and enforcement of tenancy legislation


Information supplied courtesy of the Tenants Union of ACT

Further information and advice for ACT tenants can be sourced from