It’s fair to say that nobody enters a tenancy agreement looking to have a dispute with the other party involved.  Property owners want to find the right tenants for their homes with a good rental history, stable employment, consistent income, and a proven record of looking after rental property’s being key considerations.  Tenants on the other hand look for well maintained property’s and a place to call home with a landlord or property manager with whom they can establish a good working relationship.  All good, so far, right?    

Well, sometimes things can go wrong, and whilst most tenancy disputes are resolved through careful negotiation and goodwill, occasionally, the parties may need to seek assistance through services such as the Residential Tenancy Authorities (RTA) Dispute Resolution Service or the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).

The RTA offers a free dispute resolution service using trained and impartial conciliators to try and help the parties reach an outcome that is acceptable to everyone.  The RTA conciliation sessions are not about determining who is right or wrong and they can’t make binding orders on the parties.  The conciliation sessions are a voluntary process (i.e. you can’t be forced to attend) with the aim of reaching an agreed position. 

Check out https://rta.qld.gov.au/Disputes for more detailed information on the service.

If the dispute can’t be resolved through the RTA conciliation process, the next option is taking the dispute to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).

Firstly, it’s important to state that urgent matters (as defined by the Act) can be taken directly to QCAT with all other disputes having to go through the RTA Dispute Resolution Service first.

If a dispute can’t be resolved through conciliation the RTA will issue a ‘Notice of Unresolved Dispute’ allowing the applicant to apply for a QCAT hearing.

At the QCAT hearing the parties are able to present evidence to support their position and the Tribunal can make binding orders on all parties.  If you’re after more detailed information about QCAT the RTA website has good general information at https://rta.qld.gov.au/Disputes/Dispute-resolution/Applying-to-QCAT

There are a range of good explanation videos also available at https://rta.qld.gov.au/Disputes/Dispute-resolution/Video-series-dispute-resolution-and-QCAT

Alternatively we recommend checking out the QCAT site at https://www.qcat.qld.gov.au/

As we said earlier, nobody starts a tenancy with the intention of having a dispute, but if one eventuates there are a number of clear and effective options for both landlord and tenant to pursue.

This blog is intended to give you general information about tenancy dispute resolution and is not intended to be a comprehensive analysis of the available options.  Where a property is managed by a licenced real estate agency, McAdam & Turnbull recommends discussing the dispute with your designated property manager at the earliest opportunity so you can make informed decisions. 

McAdam & Turnbull Realty are your local real estate professionals and property management specialists in Toowoomba and nearby surrounds.  You can follow our Principal and agent Lachlan Evans at www.linkedin.com/in/lachlan-evans-621bb583 or view our current rental and sale listings at http://www.mcadamturnbull.com.au and LIKE us on Facebook @


This publication covers real estate, property market, finance and legal related issues in a general way. It is intended for general information purposes only and should not be regarded as professional finance or legal advice. McAdam & Turnbull Realty recommends that professional legal and/or finance advice should be obtained before taking any action on the basis of the general information presented in this publication.

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