Warrant of possession

A lessor/agent may apply to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) for a warrant of possession to be issued, to regain possession of a premises where a tenant or person occupying the premises refuses to or is unable to leave.

Amendments to the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (the Act) on 1 October 2022, now allow an owner of a residential premises to apply to QCAT for the issue of a warrant of possession in circumstances where there is no residential tenancy agreement in effect for the premises and a person is occupying the premises without the owner’s consent. This extends the application of a warrant of possession to circumstances where the person occupying the premises was never a tenant under a formal tenancy agreement, for example squatters.

A warrant of possession is generally applied for after the formal process of ending the agreement has been followed, such as serving a Notice to leave (Form 12) (or you have received a Notice of intention to leave (Form 13) from the tenant), and the tenant does not move out.

In certain situations, a lessor/agent can also apply to QCAT for an urgent termination of a residential tenancy agreement without issuing a Notice to leave (Form 12). In these circumstances, QCAT must also issue a warrant of possession when granting the termination.

If a warrant of possession is granted, QCAT will issue the warrant and forward the details to the local police station and will also notify the lessor/agent and the tenant/person occupying the premises that the order has been issued.

Generally, the police do not automatically execute a warrant; the lessor/agent must request the police to do so.

A warrant of possession contains but is not limited to:

  • authorisation for a police officer to enter the premises and give possession to the lessor/agent
  • authorisation to use necessary and reasonable force
  • the date entry may be made, and
  • the day the warrant ends.

QCAT will generally issue the warrant of possession to be executed between set dates – generally 14 days. Unless there are special circumstances, the lessor/agent must apply for another warrant if the first one expires.

A lessor/agent has 14 days to make their application to QCAT if the tenant does not vacate on the date as per the issued Notice to leave (Form 12) or tenants Notice of intention to leave (Form 13).

Other timeframes may apply when making applications to QCAT. 

Information regarding the QCAT process, application forms and how to lodge including fees, can be found on the QCAT website, or by reading the QCAT warrant of possession factsheet