Safe and secure housing is essential for individual wellbeing. It is widely acknowledged domestic and family violence is a key cause of homelessness for women. With over 30% of Queenslanders living in rented accommodation service providers need access to information to support women when domestic violence impacts on a tenancy.

This integrated tenancy toolkit aims to provide domestic and family service providers with relevant tenancy law information and tools to enhance their capacity to assist women affected by domestic and family violence.

When considering tenancy options women who are impacted by domestic violence may want to start a new tenancy, stay in their current tenancy, or leave the tenancy. This tenancy toolkit describes these three tenancy pathways; Starting, Staying and Leaving a tenancy.

By assisting women to take steps in accordance with Queensland tenancy law, we hope service providers can assist women to minimise the impact of domestic violence on their tenancy and reduce the risk of tenancy debts and tenancy database listings affecting their future rental options.

Tenancy law in Queensland

In Queensland, the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (Qld) (the “Act”) is the legislation that sets out the rights and responsibilities of tenants and lessors in general tenancies and moveable dwelling tenancies (caravan parks). It also applies to rooming accommodation residents and providers.

Residential Tenancies Authority

The Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) is the Queensland Government statutory authority that administers the Act. The RTA provides tenancy information, bond management, dispute resolution, investigations and prosecutions, and policy and education services.

Queensland Civil Administrative Tribunal

The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT or the Tribunal) can hear and decide tenancy disputes for parties covered under the Act. Women experiencing domestic violence are able to apply directly to QCAT for a decision about a tenancy matter in cases where those involved in a tenancy dispute are unable to resolve the tenancy matter for themselves.

Magistrates Courts

Magistrates Courts in Queensland hear domestic and family violence matters and in certain circumstances, may also hear QCAT tenancy matters at the same time.