Applying for dispute resolution in Queensland for landlords

The RTA’s free, confidential dispute resolution service helps tenants and landlords resolve disputes without the need for legal action.


Before applying for dispute resolution always try and negotiate with the other person first.

Participation is voluntary and the RTA cannot compel a person to join the process.

In urgent situations the tenant or property manager/owner can apply directly to QCAT without first lodging a Dispute resolution request with the RTA.

The RTA conducts 2 types of conciliations:

  • 3-way teleconference, or
  • phone shuttle, where conciliators hold separate conversations with each person

How to apply

Fill out a Dispute resolution request (Form 16) and send it to the RTA. Send relevant supporting documents that set out the dispute details (e.g. rent ledger, cleaning invoice) directly to the other person.

Dispute resolution process

RTA conciliators

Our impartial conciliators guide the dispute resolution process and do not advocate for either person. Conciliators encourage both sides to reach an agreement and help participants consider possible options based on Queensland tenancy legislation. They cannot make a decision about the dispute.

RTA conciliation gives everyone an opportunity to have a say in the outcome. Conciliations are usually conducted during a conference call.

If the matter goes to QCAT, an adjudicator makes a decision and the people involved in the dispute do not have control over the outcome.

How to prepare

  • nominate one person to take the call, and advise the RTA
  • set aside up to 1 hour for the call
  • think about the issues and write them down
  • consider ways to resolve the issues and the outcome you would accept
  • have all relevant documents ready

Conference call

Take the call in a quiet place. Everyone will have a chance to present their views, listen to the other person and settle the dispute together. All participants should be authorised to make decisions.

If the dispute is resolved

The conciliator will put the agreement in writing and send a copy to each person to ensure there is a shared understanding of what will happen, who will do it, and when and how it will be done. Both people sign the agreement and return a copy to the RTA by the due date. The conciliation agreement forms part of the tenancy agreement which QCAT can enforce if necessary. If one or both people do not return a signed copy of the agreement by the due date the dispute remains unresolved.

If the dispute is not resolved

  • the RTA will issue a Notice of unresolved dispute, and
  • the person who lodged the initial dispute resolution request can choose to apply to QCAT for a decision.


When a problem cannot be resolved through dispute resolution, or the dispute is defined as ‘urgent’ under the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008, the matter may be taken to QCAT (time limits apply).

Disputes with neighbours

The RTA does not conciliate issues between co-tenants (apart from bond disputes), neighbours or disputes between property managers and owners.


  • the Office of Fair Trading for information on disputes between property managers and owners
  • QCAT for information on disputes between neighbours

Dispute resolution process flow chart

Download (PDF 26KB)
Current version: v1 Feb17

For more information on how to defuse an emotional situation with a tenant, read our blog here: https://www.realrenta.com.au/blog/post/597


Jason Gwerder
Tuesday, 17 December 2019

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