If the word ‘tribunal’ makes you break into a sweat, chances are you haven’t used property management services before. Unfortunately, matters between landlords and tenants can occasionally arise. No matter how big or small, they can get out of hand when not dealt with correctly. There are many ins and outs pertaining to rights, responsibilities and duty of care in the property rentals area. Therefore it’s critical to have an in-depth knowledge of the rules and stay well on top of issues, before they escalate.
To start at the beginning:
What is “The Tribunal”?
“The Tribunal” in the property rentals context is the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).
Basically, the Tribunal acts to assist with tenancy disputes. This would occur after a Notice of unresolved dispute from the RTA (The Residential Tenancies Authority) has been issued. All tenants and lessors can apply to the Tribunal. They would apply to the Tribunal to hear disputes ranging from urgent to non-urgent issues. An example of an urgent situation might be where a lessor is applying for a Warrant of Possession, because a tenant has not left the property by the notice date.
If you’re the person applying to the Tribunal to hear a dispute, you’re called the applicant. The person responding to the claim is called the respondent. There are time limits in place in order to make a claim These range from seven days to six months and you can apply on a QCAT Form 2 – Application for minor civil dispute – residential tenancy dispute. This should then be lodged at the QCAT registry in Brisbane, by person or post.
But Wait, There’s More…
Ready to find a good property management services Brisbane agent yet? We’re not surprised, especially when we dive deeper still. Even before the Tribunal is involved, tenancy disagreements are referred to the RTA. The Residential Tenancies Authority offer a dispute resolution service, by providing information on the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008. They also assist in resolving disputes and arrange face to face or telephone meetings between both parties.
Only urgent situations are exempt from first contacting the RTA, and these include:
- Termination orders
- The expiry of a leave notice without tenant compliance
- An order to restrain a person from causing damage or injury
- Situations which may be classified as excessive hardship
- Tenancy data base listings which don’t comply with the listing criteria
This RTA is a fantastic service that often achieves successful results. However, wouldn’t it be great to avoid the complicated process, all together?
Property Management Services as the First Line of Defense
As a first line of defense, Position One Property is there for you, with professional property management services in Brisbane. A wealth of experience enables us to put the appropriate steps in place, before such situations occur. This not only gives you peace of mind, but ensures the ongoing success of your tenancy agreements, so you can concentrate on profiting from your investment.
What are the Causes of Tenancy Disagreements?
Before we look at the solutions needed to avoid heading to the Tribunal, it’s important to understand the most common reasons for disputes between tenants and landlords. Often, the number one issue is a breakdown of communication. This is usually where small issues are left to grow into monumental disagreements.
When either party makes assumptions, has differing expectations or avoids certain issues, communication becomes difficult. When processes have not been put in place, or are not adhered to for various reasons, this can occur. Therefore, no matter the problem, conflict resolution becomes hard to foster.
Some other top reasons for disputes include damage or changes to property – whether accidental or not, non-payment of rent, failure to uphold building standards or rules, payment for utilities and notice periods for entrance to the property or ending a tenancy agreement.
Take heart though, as all of these issues are easily avoided, with careful planning and attention before, during and after a lease agreement.
Position One Property Management Service Solutions
The key step in ensuring a successful tenancy agreement is in the effective selection of tenants. To avoid issues such as damage to property and rent in arrears, it’s vital to conduct stringent security and reference investigations for all applicants. This way, owners can rest easy in the knowledge the tenants are proven to be reliable, responsible and capable of maintaining the property.
Secondly, building a good rapport with tenants opens the channels of communication. Therefore, if any issues do arise, the good relationship between the tenant and property manager ensures problems are dealt with swiftly, in order to fulfil the needs of everyone involved. The ‘third party’ aspect dissolves any personal engagement with issues, so processes in place are conducted in a professional, efficient manner.
Tried and tested resolution techniques are used to arrive at solutions if disputes arise. We have a sound knowledge of the rights, responsibilities and agreement clauses of contracts. Utilizing property management services takes you firmly out of the firing line, where we’ll be waiting with all the necessary skills to protect your investment.