Australia's numerous state and territory Tenancy Tribunal are structured to resolve disputes between landlords and tenants as quickly and effectively as possible.

 

In many cases, dispute applications can be lodged online and an automatic hearing notice is generated. In addition to dispute hearings, some bodies offer a conciliation process, where both parties come together in a private, informal meeting in an attempt to reach an agreement.

 

It's essential that both parties come to their Tenancy Tribunal thoroughly prepared for proceedings:

  • Creating a bullet-point list of the issues you want to raise - stick to facts, not emotions

  • The more you're able to group events by date, the easier it will be for the Tribunal Member to keep track of the most important facts

  • Refer back to the issues you've already highlights and start gathering evidence to support your stance. Create a system so that it's easy to find the evidence you need quickly once you're in the tenancy tribunal

  • Rehearse your case. Treat the tribunal like any other important presentation. Be concise, highlight the evidence, and stay focused on the key issues

  • Do your homework on how a typical Tenancy Tribunal works. If you're familiar with the process from the outset, you're less likely to forget the key issues

Both landlords and tenants can lodge disputes with the various bodies. Common conflicts include: order for payment of rent arrears; rental rate increase reviews; reduction or reimbursement for rent paid and payable; termination of a tenancy agreement; termination and possession order; and compensation and reinstatement for wrongful eviction.

 

The organisations responsible for local Tenancy Tribunal are:

  • ACT Residential Tenancies Tribunal

  • New South Wales Consumer, Trader & Tenancy Tribunal

  • Northern Territory Consumer and Business Affairs and Northern Territory Department of Justice

  • Queensland Residential Tenancies Authority

  • South Australia Residential Tenancies Tribunal

  • Tasmania Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading and the Residential Tenancies Commissioner

  • Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal

  • Western Australia Department of Consumer and Employment Protection and a Magistrates Court

 

ACT Residential Tenancies Tribunal
The Residential Tenancies Tribunal, ACT, was established by virtue of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997. Both residential landlords and tenants have their cases heard by the tribunal, which aims to resolve matters within 21 days.

 

New South Wales Consumer, Trader & Tenancy Tribunal
The CTTT conducts hearings throughout NSW, attempting to resolve disputes between landlords, tenants, traders and consumers. The CTTT groups matters in the following divisions: tenancy; social housing; home building; strata and community schemes; retirement villages; residential parks; motor vehicles; general; and commercial.

 

Northern Territory Consumer and Business Affairs and Northern Territory Department of Justice
The Department of Consumer and Business Affairs sits within the Department of Justice. Its remit is to: "promote and regulate responsible business conduct through administration of a regulatory system that protects consumer interests." Consumer Affairs administers the following relevant Acts: Accommodation Providers Act; Business Tenancies (Fair Dealings) Act; Residential Tenancies Act; and Retirement Villages Act.

 

Queensland Residential Tenancies Authority
The Residential Tenancies Authority reports to the Minister for Community Services and Housing and Minister for Women and is responsible for the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008. Queensland's Residential Act applies to people renting flats, houses, caravans, units, townhouses, mobile homes and houseboats in private, public and community-managed rental accommodation. The RTA successfully resolves over 65% of all disputes through conciliation.

 

South Australia Residential Tenancies Tribunal
The Office of Consumer and Business Affairs oversees the South Australia Residential Tenancies Tribunal. Tenants, landlords and agents of residential and retail properties, residents and owners of residential parks, and owners and residents of rooming houses in South Australia all fall under the jurisdiction of the Tribunal.

 

Tasmania Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading and the Residential Tenancies Commissioner
Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading is a division of the Department of Justice. In addition to overseeing the Residential Tenancies Commissioner the division is also responsible for the Rental Deposit Authority.

 

Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal was originally 15 boards and tribunals that amalgamated in 1998. In addition to dealing with residential tenancies and retail tenancies, the tribunal also hears disputes regarding: purchase and supply of goods; credit; discrimination; domestic building works; guardianship and administration; disability services, health and privacy, mental health; legal profession services; and owners corporations (body corporate).

 

Western Australia Department of Consumer and Employment Protection and a Magistrates Court
Western Australia's Department of Consumer and Employment Protection oversees the following divisions: Building Commission; Consumer Protection; Energy Safety; Labour Relations; Science and Innovation; WorkSafe; Corporate Services and the Office of the Director General. Rather than operating a dedicated tribunal, Western Australia hears tenant disputes in Magistrates Court.

General Disclaimer

The information contained in TenancyCheck.com.au website is general information only and does not constitute legal, financial or compliance advice. As the laws relating to tenancy agreements may have changed we recommend you check with the relevant State or Territory government department. We also recommend that you obtain your own independent legal advice about matters relating to landlord obligations, tenant rights and any legal disputes you may have with a tenant(s).