Investigations

2018 Commonwealth Games: What you need to know

The 2018 Commonwealth Games (4–15 April) will bring a large number of visitors and tenants to the Gold Coast and other surrounding Queensland cities.

Tenancy matters, such as rent increases, subleasing a room or property, or requests for you to vacate the property during the Games period, might be more prevalent in the lead up to the Games. The RTA can advise on these matters and provide referrals to organisations offering specialised support and advocacy services.

Tenants and property owners/managers are strongly encouraged to understand their rights and responsibilities, and comply with rental legislations to avoid offences and penalties.

More information about the impact of the Games on tenancy matters and dispute resolution on the Gold Coast throughout the Games period can be found below.

Impact on QCAT and Magistrates Courts

Changes to the operations of Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) and Magistrates Courts on the Gold Coast during the Games period (4 –15 April) are outlined in the table below.

Front counter registry services, however, will remain fully operational in all Magistrates Courts.

Court Changes
Southport No matters, in any jurisdiction, will be listed between
4–15 April 2018.
Beenleigh

No matters, in any jurisdiction, will be listed between
4–15 April 2018. Hearing dates have been renegotiated to minimise impact.

QCAT hearings will recommence from 14 May 2018.

Coolangatta

No matters, in any jurisdiction, will be listed between
4–15 April 2018. Hearing dates have been renegotiated to minimise impact.

QCAT hearings will recommence from 18 April 2018.

Beaudesert

No matters, in any jurisdiction, will be listed between
4–15 April 2018. Hearing dates have been renegotiated to minimise impact.

QCAT hearings will recommence from 19 April 2018.

Brisbane QCAT Headquarters at 259 Queen Street, Brisbane will be operating, business as usual throughout the duration of the Commonwealth Games.

About Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT)

If a tenancy dispute cannot be resolved, the RTA issues a Notice of unresolved dispute and the person who lodged the dispute resolution request can apply for a QCAT hearing. Depending on the type of dispute, time limits apply for lodgement with QCAT. See Applying to QCAT for more information.

Outside Brisbane CBD, the Magistrates Court accept all QCAT applications and deal with minor civil dispute matters.

Lodging an application to QCAT during the Games period

Applications for tenancy matters can be lodged in the registry of the tribunal closest to the residential rental premises, or in the registry of QCAT in Brisbane (259 Queen Street, Brisbane) during the period indicated above. Registry services will remain fully operational in all Magistrates Courts however matters will not be heard.

Please check the QCAT website for more information.

Should tenants be concerned about issues arising from the Games?

  • Everyone should know the tenancy rules if considering subletting or hosting guests during the Games.
  • The Office of Fair Trading has compiled check lists for renting accommodation during the Games period. Note that Australia’s consumer laws will apply to you as a business if you are subletting or renting out a room on a private property.
  • Read more about renting and help with tenancy disputes, or to lodge an investigation into an offence of the tenancy legislation/RTRA Act or call the RTA on 1300 366 311.

What rights do tenants have to protect them from e.g. rent increases or evictions?

  • Rent increases can occur during a lease period if it’s written into the lease, but usually occur at the end of a fixed term.
  • Tenants cannot be asked to leave a tenancy during the lease period unless they’ve breached their agreement or they have been ordered to leave by QCAT.
  • Tenants can contact the RTA on 1300 366 311 if they feel the landlord or real estate agent is not playing by the rules.
  • Understand more about your rights and responsibilities as a tenant.

What other resources do you provide to help tenants?

  • A free dispute resolution service, which is like mediation, to help tenants, landlords and real estate agents, and provides information on rights and responsibilities through our contact centre
  • Tenants can download guides, fact sheets and all the forms needed during a tenancy.
  • The Office of Fair Trading has compiled check lists for renting accommodation during the Games period. Note that Australia’s consumer laws will apply to you as a business if you are subletting or renting out a room on a private property.

The RTA provides tenancy information to all parties involved in a tenancy. Our Contact Centre is available Monday to Friday 8.30am – 5.00pm on 1300 366 311.

Should tenants seek advocacy or additional support, contact your local QSTARS representative or Tenants Qld, call 1300 744 263 or your local Department of Housing and Public Works RentConnect Officer.