Resolving Tenancy Disputes

When you rent a place to live in Queensland, you have rights and responsibilities under the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (‘the Act’). The Act describes the process that you and your lessor, agent or provider can use to resolve any disputes.

1. Negotiate
If you have a tenancy problem, notify your lessor, agent or provider. You may be able to resolve the problem by talking with your lessor, agent, or provider, or by writing them a letter to explain the problem and the solution you are seeking. Keep copies of any correspondence. If you reach an agreement, put it in writing.

2. Notice to Remedy Breach
If your lessor, agent or provider has breached the terms of the agreement, or failed to meet their obligations under the Act, you can give them a Notice to Remedy Breach. This form asks them to fix the problem, or “remedy the breach”, by the due date on the notice.

Notice periods apply. If your lessor, agent or provider gives you a Notice to Remedy Breach, it is important to remedy the breach by the due date on the notice. If you cannot remedy the breach in time, or if you dispute the breach notice, it is important to contact the lessor, agent or provider to let them know. It is a good idea to put your response in writing and keep a copy.

3. Apply to the RTA Dispute
Resolution Service If you and the lessor, agent or provider have a dispute, you can use a Dispute Resolution Request to apply to the RTA for conciliation to
resolve the dispute.

The RTA Dispute Resolution Service may be able to help you, and the lessor, agent or provider, to negotiate and reach an agreement. For some matters you must apply to the RTA to resolve the dispute, before you can apply to the Tribunal for a tenancy hearing. If the RTA cannot assist you to resolve the dispute they will issue a Notice of Unresolved Dispute.

4. Seek tenancy advice
When resolving a tenancy dispute it is important to have information about the Act and your rights and responsibilities. You can contact a tenant advice service for advice and assistance.

5. Apply to the Tribunal
The Tribunal has the power to hear tenancy matters and can make a range of orders to resolve tenancy disputes. Tribunal applications are either urgent or non-urgent applications. Urgent applications are defi ned in the Act. All other matters are non-urgent applications.

For urgent applications, you can apply directly to the Tribunal without first applying to the RTA Dispute Resolution Service. For non-urgent applications, you must first apply to the RTA Dispute Resolution Service.

If the RTA cannot assist you to resolve the dispute, they will send you a Notice of Unresolved Dispute (NURD). When you lodge a non-urgent application with the Tribunal it must include a copy of the NURD.

6. Ending your tenancy
If you cannot resolve a dispute, you may want to take steps to end the tenancy and move out. To end your agreement, you will need to give written notice and follow the process set out in the Act. Notice periods will apply. If you have a fixed term residential tenancy agreement, you may need to apply to the Tribunal for an order to end your agreement. For more information see the You Want to Leave Tenancy Facts.

7. Report offences to the RTA
Failure to comply with some parts of the Act is an offence. Offence provisions include failure to lodge bond money with the RTA, unlawful entry and unlawful seizure and disposal of tenant goods. You can report offences to the RTA Investigations Unit who can investigate offences. A person who commits an offence can be fined.