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Steps to solve renting problems

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What can I do if I have a renting problem?

You and your lessor may have a renting problem if your lessor does not follow the tenancy laws, if you disagree with something your lessor has done, or if you do something wrong. This renting problem is called a “dispute”.

If possible, talk to your lessor first and see if you can sort out the problem. This is usually the quickest and easiest way to deal with a renting problem. You can also write a letter, or send an email, to suggest ways to solve the problem. If you make an agreement to solve the problem, write down what you both agree to.

It is good to know where you stand under the tenancy laws. You can get advice about your renting rights and responsibilities from a tenancy advice service. This information can help you feel more confident when you talk to your lessor, agent or housing provider, and try to solve a renting problem.

What if someone does not meet their renting responsibilities?

If you or your lessor do not do the right thing according to the tenancy rules, and your Residential Tenancy Agreement, this is called a “breach” of the agreement. It means there is a problem that must be fixed.

Either the tenant (the person renting the place), or the lessor, can use a Notice to Remedy Breach (Form 11) to let someone know there is a problem. This notice must give the person at least 7 days to fix the problem (remedy the breach).

What should I do if I get a Notice to Remedy Breach form?

If you receive a Notice to Remedy Breach (Form 11), it means the lessor is letting you know there is a problem and you must take steps to fix the problem by the date on the notice.

  • Don’t ignore this notice!
  • Read the notice and take action by the due date on the notice.
  • If you don’t agree with the notice let your lessor know.
  • Seek tenancy advice if you are not sure what to do.

Always keep copies of all paperwork between you and your lessor.

What if I need help to solve a renting problem?

The Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) is a government organisation that
looks after the renting rules in Queensland. The RTA has a free problem solving
service, called the Dispute Resolution Service.

Staff at the RTA Dispute Resolution Service can talk to you and your lessor over
the phone. They will help you and your lessor share information and see if you
can both agree on a way to solve the problem.

For help with renting problems you can also contact the Tenants Queensland
QSTARS advice service. Call 1300 744 263. This is a free advice service for
renters. This service can help you take steps to solve your renting problem.

How do I apply to the RTA Dispute Service?

If you have a renting problem, or are not satisfied with your lessor’s response
to your Form 11, you can apply to the RTA Dispute Resolution Service.

To apply fill out a Dispute Resolution Request (Form 16) or you can apply
online using a QGOV account, to the RTA. Their contact details are on the
form. Include your phone number so they can ring you.

You can get tenancy forms from the RTA website at www.rta.qld.gov.au or call
the RTA on 1300 366 311.

When the RTA receive a Form 16, they will appoint an RTA conciliator who will
call you and the lessor by phone and help you share information to see if you
can reach an agreement.

If you cannot agree on a way to solve the problem the RTA will issue a Notice
of Unresolved Dispute letter with a “conciliation” number on it. The person
who gets this letter can then apply to QCAT for a tenancy tribunal hearing.
What if I need to go to QCAT for a tenancy hearing?

If you and your lessor cannot solve a tenancy problem, or if you have an urgent
tenancy matter (these are set out in the tenancy laws), you can apply to the
Queensland Civil Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) for a tenancy hearing.

The QCAT tenancy tribunal aims to be fair and accessible. A QCAT member will
hear the matter, listen to both sides and look at the evidence. They will then
make a final decision, called an “order”.

If your lessor applies to QCAT for a tenancy hearing you will get a notice telling
you the date and time of the hearing. It is important to attend the QCAT
tenancy hearing so you can show your evidence and tell your side of the story.