Tenancy and housing

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    We don't give advice in relation to landlord/tenancy issues.

    The information below may help you to resolve your matter or find out who else can help.

    We may give advice in relation to the following:

    • Disputes with another tenant/flatmate.
    • Holding goods for another tenant/flatmate.
    • Minor debts arising from a tenancy dispute.

    Can I sell or throw away a friend's or flatmate's belongings if they won't take them away?

    When someone leaves their belongings with you this is called bailment. The law of bailment says that you have an obligation that you must take reasonable care of the goods and not do anything to damage them or take them from the owner.

    If you get rid of someone's belongings you may find that you are responsible to the owner of the belongings for their value, or perhaps even to a charge of theft. There is no quick and easy way to apply to the court to determine ownership or to get an order to get rid of the belongings. This is particularly a problem when the goods are of little or no value.

    If you have somebody's goods who is refusing to come and get them, legally you will be responsible for the goods unless you reach an agreement with the owner. You should get legal advice about your options.

    Do I need legal advice?

    You may need legal advice if you

    • are having a dispute about a tenancy and the Residential Tenancy Authority is unable to assist
    • have questions about a commercial tenancy
    • have a dispute with another tenant or flatmate and are considering going to court to resolve it.

    The following services may be able help:

    Tenants Queensland provides free specialist legal advice and assistance for tenants regarding residential tenancies in Queensland. Tenants Queensland also provide free information kits and factsheets.

    Caxton Legal Centre - Queensland Retirement Village and Park Advice Service (QRVPAS) provides legal information, advice, assistance and referrals to residents and prospective residents who have purchased into a retirement village and or have purchased a manufactured home which is in a manufactured home park in Queensland. They do not provide advice about disputes relating to caravan park tenancies.

    LawRight Self Representation Service (QCAT) provides legal advice and assistance at QCAT about residential tenancies, retirement villages, manufactured homes and resolving disputes. May assist with drafting documents related to QCAT tenancy matters. Eligibility requirements apply. They do not provide representation.

    Gold Coast Community Legal Centre gives legal advice to both landlords and tenants in relation to rent owing, notice to leave, breach of lease, bond disputes and general duties and responsibilities of tenants and landlords.

    Queensland Law Society can refer you to a private solicitor who can advise tenants and landlords on residential or commercial tenancies.

    Who else can help?

    The following organisations may also help you with your tenancy problem. They do not provide legal advice.

    Residential Tenancy Authority provides information to all tenants, lessors, agents, residents and service providers in Queensland, and also provides additional services including a dispute resolution service.

    TICA maintains a list of tenants who have defaulted in their obligation.

    The Department of Housing provide retirement village services, including information about types and lists of retirement villages, dispute resolution and general information for residents and potential residents.

    Disclaimer: This content is for general purposes only and not legal advice. If you have a legal problem, please contact us or speak to a lawyer. View our full disclaimer.

    Last updated 10 August 2023