Applying for a Hearing
To apply to the Tribunal for a tenancy hearing, complete and lodge an Application for minor civil dispute – residential tenancy dispute. Attach any supporting documents. If it is a non-urgent application, attach a copy of your NURD.
Tribunal application forms are available from your local courthouse or online at www.qcat.qld.gov.au Applications must be lodged in person or by mail at the local Magistrates Court closest to the rental premises (not including the Brisbane Magistrates Court) or the QCAT registry in Brisbane.
When you lodge your application, you will need to provide the Tribunal with at least three copies of your application and attachments (one for you as the applicant, one for each respondent, and one for the Tribunal).
If there is more than one respondent, an extra copy of the application form and attachments is required for each additional respondent. On the application form there is space to provide details about the dispute and any evidence you have attached.
Your application can set out the outcome you are seeking and the decision you would like the Tribunal to make. If there is not enough space on the application form, you can attach additional signed pages.
If you are seeking compensation, include photocopies of any receipts or invoices. Tribunal decisions The maximum monetary limit for Tribunal applications is $25,000. Claims for amounts that are over the maximum limit must usually be heard in the Magistrates Court. The Tribunal has the power to make a range of decisions in relation to tenancy disputes. Examples of decisions the Tribunal can make include:
- payment of money, compensation, or reduced rent.
- changing the rules of entry.
- terminating an agreement or setting aside a Notice to Leave.
- performance of specifi ed work or action to remedy a breach of the agreement
- refunding of rental bond money.
Generally, the type of decisions the Tribunal can make will depend on the nature of the tenancy dispute. If you apply to the Tribunal, you will need to apply under the sections of the Act that relate to the type of decisions you are seeking.
When you lodge a Tribunal application, you will need to pay a fi ling fee. The amount depends on how much money you are claiming. In December 2009 Tribunal filing fees ranged from $20– $250:
- $20 – non-monetary order, or claims not more than $500
- $50 – claims over $500, but not more than $1,000
- $90 – claims over $1,000, but not more than $10,000
- $250 – claims over $10,000
Parties appearing in the Tribunal for a tenancy matter are liable for their own costs. However, the Tribunal can award the cost of the filing fee as part of the claim.
Your application can include a request that the respondent compensate you for the cost of the filing fee. If you are responding to a claim by the lessor or agent, they can include the cost of the filing fee in their claim against you. Waiver of fees When applying to the Tribunal, an applicant may apply to the principal registrar for a waiver of the payment of fees, if they can demonstrate that the fees would cause undue financial hardship.
To do this you will need to lodge an Application for waiver of fees by reason of fi nancial hardship. The principal registrar may waive the payment of a fee if they are satisfied that payment of the fee would cause or would be likely to cause, the person undue financial hardship.
Information supplied courtesy of the Tenants Union of Queensland Inc
Further information and advice for Queensland tenants can be sourced from www.tenantsqld.org.au