Applying for Assistance

If you are seeking assistance with the tribunal here are a couple of helpful articles for common questions relating to your tenancy

 

If you are seeking compensation for your losses arising from the landlord’s breach of the agreement, you will need to show the losses arose due to a breach, eg.

  • Evidence that you contacted the landlord or agent identifying the need for repairs, and that they failed to act. You will also need to show what those losses were and the likely dollar value of those losses.

Your evidence may include:

  • Receipts for goods purchased;
  • Other proof of ownership of goods, and cost to replace;
  • Evidence that the loss arose directly from the landlord’s breach – for example, a police report specifying that the point of entry for the burglars was the door with the faulty lock and identifying the goods reported missing;
  • Evidence of any other economic loss – for example, where the landlord has failed to repair the faulty stove, evidence of the takeaway food purchased;
  • Evidence of any other loss – for example, a loss of peace, comfort or privacy in your use of the premises. (Before awarding compensation for noneconomic loss, the Tribunal may need to be satisfied that there was a significant reduction in your quiet enjoyment of the tenancy and/or serious health issues arising from the breach.)
     

Note: Where compensation is being sought (whether by tenant or landlord), the claimant has a duty to take reasonable steps to avoid incurring the loss for which compensation is sought.

So if you have to eat out because the stove has broken down and the landlord has failed to treat it as an urgent repair, you could claim part of the cost of your takeaway meals, but not the cost of dining out at the Hyatt.

If you are in need of an order terminating the agreement early you must convince the Tribunal that your reason is serious enough to justify early termination.

If the reason for your application is:
 

Hardship:

  • Financial
  • Income details
  • Bank statements
  • Outstanding bills or other debts owed

Medical

  • If relevant, doctor’s letter stating medical conditions and how these are affected by this tenancy, or similar letter from social worker, counsellor or other professional who has knowledge of your situation

Work

  • Letter terminating employment
  • Letter advising of interstate transfer

If the reason for your application is a breach by the landlord:

  • Evidence of the breach – for example, a report from an electrician stating that the wiring is dangerous; or a witness statement that the landlord let himself
    into your house while you were out; or a statement from a locksmith that the front door lock does not work;
  • Evidence of why the breach is serious enough that you need to end the tenancy – for example, letter from a relevant professional stating how the invasion of your privacy or the threat to your security has affected you; or a police report of a break-in; or a doctor’s letter stating that the lack of heating has had a seriously adverse effect on your health;
  • Photographs that identify the premises,
    the problem and, if relevant, the date.

If the landlord is failing to perform an obligation under the agreement, you can apply for orders for performance.

For example: orders requiring the landlord to do repairs, or to stop coming onto the premises without your permission, or to lodge the bond.


You will need:
Evidence that the landlord has failed to observe a term of the agreement –for example:

  • A copy of a letter you sent to the landlord advising of the need for repairs;
  • A tradesperson’s report that the particular fixture or amenity requires repair or replacement; and
  • A clear timeline of the sequence of events.

Where there is a bond dispute and the Office of Rental Bonds has advised that they cannot release the bond or the disputed part of the bond, either the landlord or the tenant must apply to the Tribunal for an order to release the bond.

Because the bond is your money, the onus is on the landlord to prove her/his claim to it. This is the case regardless of whether it is you or the landlord making the application to the Tribunal.

However, you should still provide whatever evidence you have to support your claim.

For example:

  • Receipt for bond paid;
  • Acknowledgement of bond lodgement;
  • Condition report and/or photographs showing any existing damage at the start of the tenancy;
  • Receipts to show that rent was paid up to the date of vacation;
  • Photographs and/or witness statements as to the condition of the property at the date of vacation;
  • Receipts of any services you employed, like carpet cleaners.