Applying to the Tribunal

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The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) has the power to hear tenancy disputes. If you are unable to resolve a tenancy dispute, you can apply to the Tribunal for a tenancy hearing and seek a final decision.

In the Tribunal, each party must represent themselves, and legal representation is not allowed, except in certain circumstances.

Before you attend a Tribunal hearing, it is a good idea to seek tenancy advice about how the tenancy law applies in your situation. Urgent and non-urgent applications The Act defines two types of Tribunal applications: urgent applications and non-urgent applications.

The Tribunal application form includes a list of all urgent and non-urgent applications. If you apply to the Tribunal, you will need to tick the appropriate box to indicate the type of application you are making.

If your matter is defined in the Act as an urgent application, you can apply directly to the Tribunal for a tenancy hearing, without first going through the RTA Dispute Resolution Service.

All other matters are defined as non-urgent applications and you must apply to the RTA Dispute Resolution Service for conciliation before you can apply to the Tribunal for a hearing.

If you apply to the RTA Dispute Resolution Service but your matter cannot be resolved, the RTA will send you a Notice of Unresolved Dispute (NURD). This notice will include a conciliation number. When you complete a Tribunal non-urgent application form, you will need to write the RTA conciliation number on the application form, and attach a copy of your NURD.

Time limits

When applying to the Tribunal, it is important to act quickly as time limits may apply. If you fail to act within the required time limit, you may lose your right to have the matter heard in the Tribunal. For example, if the dispute relates to a breach of a tenancy agreement, you must take action to apply to the Tribunal within six months of becoming aware of the breach.

To dispute an abandonment notice or Tribunal abandonment order, you must apply to the Tribunal within 28 days of receiving the notice or the order being made.


Information supplied courtesy of the Tenants Union of Queensland Inc

Further information and advice for Queensland tenants can be sourced from