Current Status of QCAT Residential Tenancy Disputes

Residential tenancy disputes are dealt with by QCAT under the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008. In regional Queensland, the Magistrates Court deals with these disputes, acting as QCAT.

QCAT is currently receiving many enquiries about the rights of tenants and landlords in relation to evictions under the Act following recent announcements of a “moratorium” on tenancy eviction proceedings.

In that regard, it has been reported that the National Cabinet agreed to a moratorium on evictions over the next six months for residential tenancies “in financial distress who are unable to meet their commitments due to the impact of the coronavirus” (Prime Minister’s Media Statement, 29 March 2020).

Notwithstanding this announcement, no Queensland laws relating to the rights and liabilities of residential landlords and tenants have been repealed or amended at this point in time.

Accordingly, QCAT continues to apply the law as it stands, and QCAT’s process for tenancy matters has not changed.

If and when new laws come into effect, QCAT will immediately apply them as appropriate.

We will notify you of any changes as soon as possible and keep you updated as further information comes to hand.

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, relocation of moveable dwellings, moveable dwelling park rules, tenants' transfer or sub-letting, 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 steps 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's) dispute resolution service 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 the phone where the conciliator (an independent person attempting to resolve your dispute) holds separate phone conversations with each party, or
  • by a three way teleconference, or
  • by a face-to-face conference.

The RTA successfully resolves the majority of disputes through conciliation, as stated in the authority's annual report. 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, the RTA will issue a Notice of Unresolved Dispute 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.

Fees for residential tenancy disputes

Applications or referrals under: Application fee Leave to appeal / Appeal fee
Not more than $500, or no amount claimed $26.95 (not payable by State-related person*) $345.80
More than $500 but not more than $1,000 $69.20 (not payable by State-related person*) $345.80
More than $1,000 but not more than $10,000 $123.20 (not payable by State-related person*) $345.80
More than $10,000 $345.80 (not payable by State-related person*) $691.60

* State-related person means (a) the Sovereign; or (b) the State or a person acting for the State; or (c) an entity whose expenditure is payable, in whole or in part, out of the consolidated fund or a person acting for the entity.

Back to top