House repairs
  • 30 Aug 2022
  • 3 min read
  • By James Price

The new QCAT process for repair orders from 1 October 2022

Repairs, QCAT, New Tenancy Laws, Best practice

A tenant can apply to QCAT for a repair order if the property or inclusions need repair. The new process includes routine and emergency repairs.

For routine repairs, the tenant must have informed the property manager of the need for repair and the repair must be acted upon within a reasonable time from that point. However, for emergency repairs, the tenant must have been unable to notify their property manager or the nominated repairer of the need for repair or the repair must have not been made within a reasonable time after the tenant gave the Lessor or the nominated repairer notice of the need for repair.

From 1 October 2022, a property manager must provide details of the nominated repairers in the Form 18a General Tenancy Agreement.

Want to know more about the upcoming changes? Download REIQ's New Tenancy Laws Toolkit.

What will QCAT consider when making repair orders?

A tenant's application will be reviewed by QCAT and may be granted a repair order depending on the below conditions:

  • the conduct of the Lessor or the property manager

  • the risk of injury the damage is likely to cause a person at the property

  • the loss of amenity caused by the damage

  • or any other matter QCAT considers relevant

What will a repair order include?

Alongside approval of a repair order, QCAT may make any order, or give any directions about the repairs that QCAT considers appropriate in the circumstances. QCAT can also make an order that the property stays unoccupied until stated repairs are completed if the property is vacant.

QCAT may also make an order about:

  • what is, or is not, to be repaired

  • that the Lessor must carry out the repairs by a stated date

  • that the tenant may arrange for a suitably qualified person to carry out the repairs for an amount decided by the tribunal

  • who must pay for the repairs

  • that the tenant may pay a reduced rent until the repairs are carried out to the standard decided by the tribunal

  • that the Lessor must pay an amount to the tenant as compensation for loss of amenity

  • that a suitably qualified person must assess the need for the repairs or inspect the property or inclusions

  • that the residential tenancy agreement ends if the repairs are not completed by a stated date

What happens if the order is not complied with?

Until complied with, the repair order continues to apply to the property. It does not end with the residential tenancy agreement pursuant to which the tenant application arose. A property manager must comply with a repair order unless they have a reasonable excuse. Failure to do so will result in an offence under the RTRA Act and the responsible party may be fined.

From 1 October 2022, there will be an obligation to disclose outstanding repair order in a general tenancy agreement.

What if property manager needs an extension?

The property manager may apply to QCAT for an extension if required to adequately comply with a repair order and its timeframe. QCAT will consider the following when making their decision of approval:

  • hardship

  • a shortage of a material necessary to make the repairs

  • the remote location of the property causing the Lessor difficulty in being supplied with a material necessary to make the repairs or engaging a suitably qualified person to make the repairs

Best practice guidelines

For a comprehensive understanding of QCAT's process for repair orders and the new tenancy law changes happening in Queensland alongside, REIQ's best practice tips and guidelines, please click here.


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