Ending a tenancy after a natural disaster
A tenancy does not automatically end when a property becomes unliveable after a natural disaster. A tenancy agreement will only end if one of the following occurs:
- the property manager/owner and tenant mutually agree in writing
- the tenant gives the property manager/owner a Notice of intention to leave (Form 13), or Resident leaving form (Form R13) for rooming accommodation, on the grounds of non-liveability
- the property manager/owner gives the tenant a Notice to leave (Form 12) or Notice to leave (Form R12) for rooming accommodation on the grounds of non-liveability, or
- QCAT makes an order.
The Notice to leave or Notice of intention to leave, on the grounds of non-liveability, must be given within 1 month of the natural disaster.
Sometimes the tenant may feel it is better to stay in the property, even if it is damaged. This should be negotiated with the property manager/owner. Health and safety laws should be considered when making this decision.
If the tenant has been given a Notice to leave by the property manager/owner, and they believe the property is liveable and meets the health and safety requirements, they may lodge a request for dispute resolution via RTA Web Services or by submitting a Dispute resolution request (Form 16). Remember, the health and safety of a person residing in the property is priority.
The rental market can become competitive after a natural disaster but the rent cannot be increased outside the normal rules for rent increases.
The property owner or manager is not allowed to evict the tenant in favour of another tenant who will pay higher rent (penalties apply).
RTA services impacted by natural disasters
During a natural disaster, there may be postal service disruptions across Queensland. These disruptions can cause delays in processing Notices of claim and Notices of unresolved dispute, as well as bond refunds and lodgements. If an extension applies, we will contact you directly. You can also access useful contacts who may be able to assist during or after a natural disaster.
In the event of a life-threatening emergency, please call Triple 0 (000).
Your local council will also provide up to date information relating to adverse weather and natural disasters in your area. Visit their website to access their disaster management page and to sign up for automated alerts.
Other information and assistance