How to resolve tenancy issues

It is best be proactive and respectful when resolving tenancy issues.

Always refer to the tenancy agreement for the detail of the tenancy and be aware of your rights and responsibilities under Queensland tenancy laws.

Consider the other person’s perspective: Remember the rental property is the tenant’s home, the property owner’s investment and the property manager’s day-to-day business. Keep the other people’s perspective in mind when trying to reach agreement. What outcome would they want? Be prepared to negotiate.

Before you talk with the other person: Think about what the problem is and what you would like to happen. It can help to jot down a few notes about the problem and your desired outcome.

Before the discussion: Clarify concerns and be clear about the desired outcome (e.g. an apology, an explanation or a specific action).

Communicate: Contact the other person directly and discuss your concerns. In some cases you may reach agreement after a single discussion. You might have an initial discussion on the phone then decide to arrange a meeting to talk about the issue in more detail. Keep a record of any agreement reached.

Describe the problem clearly: Be clear about your concerns, describe the problem and the impact the problem is having.

Stay calm: Respect the professional relationship you have with the other person, and always aim to be courteous in your discussions. 

Be realistic: Offer constructive ideas to resolve the issue. Put yourself in the shoes of someone who isn’t involved in the situation – how might they view it?

Consider the best and worst case scenarios: Think about what outcome you could live with. You are more likely to resolve your dispute if you are realistic about the possible outcomes. If you don’t reach the result you are looking for, what would you do next?

Negotiations involve give and take: You and the other person will view the situation from different perspectives, it is important to be flexible.

Follow up actions: If you agree to a plan, make sure you are clear about timeframes. Put in writing what action will be taken, who will do it, and when it will be completed. Keep a record of all contact – phone calls, emails, letters and text messages.

Assistance: If you need assistance with self-resolution contact the RTA. We can provide information and practical suggestions to help you resolve the issue, which may save you having to go through the dispute resolution process.

Case study

The leaking tap: One problem, two approaches

Tenant Bob's approach Tenant Sam's approach
Bob notices the tap leaking and phones the property manager. Sam notices the tap is leaking and phones the property manager.
He calmly asks what can be done to fix the problem. He insists the property manager fixes the tap immediately.
Bob gives the property manager options for when the tradesperson can access the property and a suitable time is arranged for the tradesperson to fix the tap. Sam says the tradesperson can only enter between 4pm and 5pm that afternoon. The property manager explains it may be difficult to find a tradesperson available at such short notice. After several heated discussions, they agree to a new time for the tradesperson to enter the property.
Within a few days the problem has been fixed. Bob and the property manager are both satisfied with the outcome. Sam’s specific entry needs made the process complicated. It required a lot of time and effort for everyone involved.