Information for tenants

Tenants Queensland provides a free statewide advice service for all  tenants. This statewide service operates 9am-5pm Monday to Friday with extended hours until 7pm on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. If the line is engaged, the advice worker is speaking with another tenant. Try calling at another time.  For callers outside of Queensland or who cannot dial a 1300 number you can phone on:  07 3832 9403.

Queensland’s tenancy laws are changing

Click this link for a summary of the proprosed changes, including Domestic & family violence protections, Renting with pets and Ending tenancies.

Tenants Queensland resources for tenants and residents

Tenants Queensland (TQ) provides a range of information for tenants and residents. Printed publications are also available by contacting  the TQ office.

Tenancy Facts – a series of 10 fact sheets that cover key topics including: starting a tenancy; rent; bonds; repairs; entry and privacy; you want to leave; your lessor ends the tenancy; resolving disputes; tenancy databases and renting in Queensland. Tenancy Facts cover both general tenancies and rooming accommodation tenancies and provide detailed information about common tenancy issues.

Rooming Accommodation Fact Sheets – a series of 7 fact sheets for rooming residents that cover rules for renting rooming accommodation in Queensland including: Do you rent a room?; Moving in; While you are a resident; Entry to your room; Rent; Moving out;  and Getting your belongings back.

Sharehouse Fact Sheets – a series of 3 fact sheets for co-tenants or other occupiers of a sharehouse to help your determine your rights and responsibilities, what actions you can take if your tenancy is affected by domestic violence, and what you can do if you or your flatmate wants to move out.

Manufactured Homes Fact Sheets – a series of 6 fact sheets that cover key topics including the definition of a manufactured home, park rules and park closures.

Social Housing Fact Sheets – information for tenants who rent in public or community managed housing (social housing) including information on  “Appeals Reviews and Complaints”.

Info for tenants affected by floods and cyclones fact sheet – information on tenancy issues related to floods, cyclones and natural disasters.

Info for tenants affected by mould fact sheet – information on mould and how it affects your tenancy.

Election Signage outside Rental Premises – information about placing election signs outside rental premises.

Resolving tenancy disputes videos – this series of 5 videos explains the process tenants can follow to resolve tenancy disputes in Queensland.

Part 1 – Tips to solve your tenancy dispute gives an overview of the process, including talking to your lessor or agent, getting advice from a tenant advice service and applying to the RTA. It explains the role of the Queensland Civil Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) in hearing tenancy disputes in cases where parties cannot agree or the tenancy matter is defined in the Act as urgent.

Part 2 – RTA Dispute Resolution Service explains the role of the RTA in providing free telephone conciliation for tenancy matters, including non-urgent tenancy disputes.

Part 3 – QCAT and tenancy disputes describes the role of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) in hearing urgent and non-urgent tenancy disputes.

Part 4 – Applying to QCAT for a tenancy hearing explains how to apply for a QCAT hearing and explains the difference between urgent and non-urgent applications.

Part 5 – Going to QCAT for a tenancy hearing shows how QCAT hears tenancy disputes and gives you an idea of what to expect when you attend a hearing as an applicant or a respondent.

These videos were filmed at QCAT in Brisbane. While the QCAT hearing room in your local Magistrates court building may look different, the process should be similar.

For more information see Going to the tribunal to solve a tenancy dispute

First Nations people’s videos – renting information for First Nations tenants and communities.

These three videos provide information about Queensland renting laws including issues related to rent, repairs, entry, privacy, solving disputes and ending tenancies.

Information for tenants and residents in Queensland

In Queensland, the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 is the legislation that covers all residential tenancies in Queensland, including general tenancies (flats, units, houses etc), rooming accommodation and moveable dwelling (caravan park) tenancies.

For information on common tenancy issues see the Tenants Queensland Tenancy Fact sheets, which include information for tenants in general tenancies, caravan tenancies, and residents in rooming accommodation.

For information and videos on how to solve a tenancy dispute or going to QCAT see Going to the tribunal to solve a tenancy dispute.

In Queensland, one in three households lives in rental accommodation. The Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) is the Queensland government authority that oversees the Act.

When calling an advice service free interpreter assistance can be provided if needed. Let the service know if you need an interpreter. Alternately you can call the TIS interpreter service directly on 131 450 and ask them to connect you to an advice service.

Information in other languages is also available on the RTA website.

Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA)

The RTA provides tenancy information and services for all parties, including lessors, agents, providers, tenants, and residents. The Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) holds bonds during the tenancy. The RTA currently holds rental bonds for over 500,000 tenants and rooming residents in Queensland.

The RTA provides a telephone information service, tenancy forms and publications, and a free dispute resolution service. The RTA can also investigate complaints about failure to comply with the Act, such as failure to lodge rental bonds or provide written agreements.

Resolving disputes

In Queensland, if there is a dispute during a tenancy parties must usually apply to the RTA Dispute Resolution Service and attempt to resolve their dispute. The RTA Dispute Resolution Service encourages parties to share information and reach an agreement to resolve a dispute. If parties cannot solve a dispute by agreement the RTA will issue a Notice of Unresolved Dispute.

If parties cannot resolve a tenancy dispute they can apply to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) for a tenancy hearing. QCAT forms and information are available on the QCAT website.

You can apply directly to QCAT for urgent tenancy matters – these are defined in the Act. Urgent applications include terminations and emergency repairs. For non-urgent matters, such as disputes over bond refunds, compensation claims, or claims about repair issues or breach of the agreement, you must first apply to the RTA Dispute Resolution Service and attempt to resolve the dispute, before you can apply to QCAT for a non-urgent tenancy hearing.

For more information on resolving tenancy disputes and to view TQ videos see Going to the Tribunal for a tenancy dispute.

Queensland Department of Housing

The Queensland Department of Housing provides a range of  programs to assist people looking for rental housing, renting  in government or community managed housing (social housing), or  renting in the private market. The RTA website also includes median rent data for Queensland suburbs and regions.

Private rental assistance programs include bond loans, rental grants, Rent Connect and the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS).

The Rent Connect program helps people in Queensland find and secure a tenancy in the private rental market. Rent Connect also has a series of fact sheets with tips on looking for rental accommodation.

Social housing programs include public housing and community managed housing. The Department of Housing and Public Works has online information about eligibility guidelines and how to apply for social housing.

You can visit your local Housing Services Office for more information

If you are homeless and need assistance contact the Homeless Persons Information Queensland (HPIQ) freecall 1800 4747 53. You can also contact your local Housing Services office.

 Australians for Affordable Housing

More and more Australians are finding it hard to get a home they can afford, whether they’re renting or buying.  Many households report significant housing stress with over 740,000 renters and more than 380,000 mortgaged homeowners paying more than they can afford. Despite significant investment in recent years there is now less public and community housing properties than there was in 2003.

Australians for Affordable Housing has challenged Australian governments to address housing affordability – the single biggest cost of living issue facing Australians.