Skip links and keyboard navigation

Residential tenancy disputes

Residential tenancy disputes

What is a residential tenancy dispute?

QCAT decides a range of residential tenancy disputes between:

  • tenants, and landlords (lessors) or agents related to rents, bonds, holding deposits, service charges, standard of premises, entry onto the premises, locks and keys, re-location of moveable dwellings, moveable dwelling park rules, transfer or sub-letting by tenants, termination of tenancy agreements, compensation, exclusion of persons from moveable dwelling parks, tenancy databases and other disputes
  • residents, and providers of, or agents for rooming accommodation agreements, rental bonds, payments, house rule changes, abandoned goods and documents left behind, applications to end agreements and other disputes.

How can I resolve the dispute?

First, determine if your dispute is classed as an urgent or non-urgent tenancy dispute. If your dispute is not listed as an urgent dispute type it will be decided as a non-urgent dispute.

If your dispute is classed as urgent you do not have to attempt step 1 or 2 below - you can apply directly to QCAT to resolve your dispute. You may still choose to use the Residential Tenancies Authority’s (RTA Dispute Resolution Service) to try to resolve your dispute before applying to QCAT.

For all non-urgent disputes you should follow this three step process:

Step 1
Try to resolve your dispute directly with the other party by calling them, holding a face-to-face meeting or writing to them. Visit the RTA's website to access a range of helpful tenancy publications and tenancy support organisations.

Step 2
If your dispute is still unresolved, contact the RTA to resolve your dispute through their Dispute Resolution Service. This service uses conciliation to find an agreement that suits all parties. Conciliation may be conducted:

  • over a telephone where the conciliator (an independent person attempting to resolve your dispute) holds separate telephone conversations with each party, or
  • by a three way teleconference, or
  • by a face-to-face conference.

The RTA successfully resolves over 70% of all disputes through conciliation. The conciliator will make a written record of any agreements that are reached and these then become part of your tenancy or rooming accommodation agreement.

If the matter is not resolved through step 2 a Notice of Unresolved Dispute will be issued by the RTA and you may proceed to step 3.

Step 3
Apply to QCAT to resolve your dispute. If your dispute is a non-urgent dispute you cannot apply until you have completed step 2 and received a Notice of Unresolved Dispute from the RTA.

Any description of QCAT's jurisdiction on this website is general information only and is not intended to precisely define the types of applications that QCAT has the power to decide. QCAT's jurisdiction is determined by the relevant legislation. If you are unsure about your legal rights you should seek legal advice. Any actions taken to resolve your dispute should be determined by your individual circumstances.
Last reviewed
12 August 2013
Last updated
2 October 2013

Rate this page

  1. How useful was the information on this page?