Excessive hardship

If the property owner or tenant believes they would suffer excessive hardship if the tenancy agreement was not terminated, they can make an urgent application to QCAT to end the tenancy.

Tenancy law does not define excessive hardship.

A QCAT adjudicator will make a ruling about excessive hardship based on individual circumstances. However, details and outcomes of previous QCAT applications relating to excessive hardship are available for more information. 

The person applying to QCAT must be able to show how they would face excessive hardship if the tenancy was not terminated.

Examples may include:

  • a tenant has lost their job and is unable to pay the rent
  • a tenant is forced to relocate for work
  • tenant or property owner is suffering severe physical or mental illness and cannot continue with the tenancy.

A tenant, property manager or owner can apply to QCAT to end the agreement on the grounds of excessive hardship.

Parties are encouraged to view QCAT’s Practice Direction No.4 of 2023, Applications for Residential Tenancy Disputes which outlines what each party must do prior to and at a residential tenancy dispute hearing in order for QCAT to deal with the matter in a way that is informed, fair and efficient.

QCAT will determine if the agreement needs to end and whether any other order is appropriate, such as compensation. 

Example: the tenant is ordered to pay the property owner for some lost rent or re-letting costs

Example: the property owner is ordered to compensate the tenant for moving costs.