It’s back! A tenant advice service coming soon
A new tenant advice service will be up and running by the end of 2015 following a call for tenders by the Queensland Government.
A tenancy advice phone service through Tenants Queensland and Enhance Care went live in June as an interim measure until a broader service is available.
The move to reinstate an advocacy service for tenants comes after funding was cut in 2013.
Tenants Queensland spokesperson Penny Carr said the new program would deliver ‘quality, targeted and client centred’ tenancy advice.
"The interim phone service is working well but the long term plan is to put in place a new program of tenant advice that is currently under procurement," Ms Carr said.
"What we anticipate is that there will be a centralised telephone service and regional access points for people who really need face-to-face assistance."
Ms Carr said it was essential that tenants could access an advocacy service to help them deal with their tenancy issues.
"We estimate that only 1 out of 40 calls were able to get through to speak with someone last year until we were able to expand our services in the last few weeks," she said.
"What we’ve seen is when people did get through it was at a much later stage in their issue than it had been in the past and that made it more difficult to get the outcomes that the client wants.
"What we are hoping for now is that we are able to engage people at an early stage and help them with their matter from the beginning to its conclusion."
RTA CEO Darren Barlow said successful tenancies were made when people know about and their rights and obligations.
"While the vast majority of tenancies in Queensland are successful there are times when tenants and landlords or their agents don’t agree," Mr Barlow said.
"That’s why it’s important that each party has access to advocacy and advice to help people better deal with their tenancy issues."
The interim phone service run by Tenants Queensland and Enhance Care operates from 9am to 4pm weekdays and until 7pm on Tuesday and Wednesdays. The phone service can be reached from anywhere in Queensland for the cost of a local call on 1300 744 263.