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QCAT

“QCAT, the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal, is an independent body in Queensland, Australia, that resolves civil and administrative disputes. It offers an accessible alternative to court proceedings, providing a forum for various matters like tenancy disputes and consumer claims. Decisions are based on evidence and legislation, aiming to promote fairness and efficient dispute resolution in the state.”

Aaron Stewart

Principal Solicitor & Legal Practice Director

At AKS Law

We Understand QCAT​

Dealing with QCAT can be a stressful experience as it will frequently involve a matter concerning your loved ones or a minor civil dispute.

Usually, you will represent yourself at the Tribunal however with leave of the Tribunal you can apply to have a solicitor represent you in your matter. The scenarios when you may need representation is when you are dealing with a state government agency, another party has legal representation, the matter requires questions of law or fact, there is a person with impaired capacity involved or disciplinary action.

In the event you are denied representation at a hearing, you are still permitted to seek independent legal advice about your matter.

QCAT Lawyers In Brisbane

What kind of matters are contained in QCAT?

We can help you in a wide range of matters at QCAT, including:

Getting the right advice

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Learn More About QCAT & Lease Disputes

Frequently Asked Questions

It’s important to learn as much as you can about QCAT before entering into official proceedings.

Click on the boxes to learn more.

When the dispute between a retail shop owner and the landlord can’t be resolved, it is common practice for the parties to engage in non-compulsory conference mediation shortly after filing a notice at the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

The Tribunal nominates a mediator, an independent accredited person with experience in resolving this type of dispute. Mediation remains a more cost effective and faster process aimed at achieving mutually satisfactory resolution.

Having a lawyer at the Tribunal is not a given and Solicitors at mediation are usually regulated tio providing advice on complex areas of law or the proposed agreement.  In the situation where there is a power or leverage disparity between a landlord and tenant for example where the landlord is a large company and the tenant is an individual, small business or company, the Tribunal may grant leave for a solicitor to appear for the tenant.

Retail leasing disputes frequently arise from disagreements between a tenant (lessee) and landlord (lessor) about a retail shop lease. While the dispute is ongoing, there can be detrimental effects to the trading and business operations of the parties.

Unfortunately, even in the situation where the landlord and tenant wish to resolve the dispute efficiently and without litigation, this is not always the case or best option. The Retail Shop Leases Act 1994 (Qld) was formed with the purpose of providing a low cost, streamlined dispute resolution process for the parties. The common types of disputes often include:

  • A lessee making unauthorised alterations to the premises;
  • the lessor failing to carry out repairs or maintenance work on the premises;
  • the lessor misrepresenting advertising, competition, fit-out, or visibility during lease negotiations;
  • disruption to the lessee’s business (e.g., works in adjoining premises owned by the same lessor or relocating a tenant from one premises to another);
  • subleasing or reassignment of the lease
  • lease outgoings
  • the lessor of a retail lease providing misleading information in the disclosure statement;
  • notices for breaches of the lease including failure to pay rent,
  • the lessee causing damage to the property or failing to pay rent as agreed;
  • the lessee failing to maintain the property or return it to the state required at the end of the lease
  • legal costs and disputes

Commercial leases frequently allocate a clause for rent increase. This is usually represented by a fixed percentage increase by referring to CPI increase of review market. Parties to the lease must review this clause carefully to ensure the correct law is applied and correct. Retail leases on the other hand, are subject to markets reviews which are to be carried out by specialist retail valuers which can be challenged.

No matter the type of lease the first step is to check the relevant clause in your lease for any rental increase terms. If a dispute arises there are arises the correct notice must be issued. This is a complex area of law requiring the skills of an experienced dispute resolution solicitor.

Leases usually give the lessor the right to terminate a lease resulting from a breach of an essential term or covenant by the lessee. Essential terms and covenants differ for each lease for both retail or commercial leases but commonly relate to failure to pay rent and outgoings, damage to the premises or failure to carry out maintenance. A Lessor issues the lessee with a notice to remedy breach of covenant before the lease can be terminated.

Generally, the obligations of a landlord to a commercial or retail property relate to maintenance and repair of the premises which is set out in the lease. Most leases will show the lessee is responsible for the premises frequently relating to walls, fixtures and inclusions and floors. The landlord requires the lessee to maintain and repair the premises for the duration of the lease.

The landlord is typically responsible for maintaining and repairing major structural aspects of the building such including the building systems, roof, common areas, lifts, air conditioning, cool rooms, wall partitioning and heating fixtures. Each clause in the lease should be carefully drafted in a clear manner to avoid disputes between the parties. Commercial leases are frequently silent on terms relating to cool rooms and air conditioning.

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Check Out Our Other Services

Commercial Litigation

Commercial litigation refers to legal disputes that arise in the context of business activities. It involves conflicts between companies or individuals related to contracts, partnerships, intellectual property and employment.

Civil Litigation

Civil litigation refers to the legal process used to resolve conflicts between individuals or entities outside of criminal cases. It involves various civil matters such as personal injury, property disputes and contracts.

Employment & Discrimination

Employment and discrimination law govern the employer-employee relationship, ensuring fairness and equal opportunities at work. It covers hiring, working conditions, wages, promotions, and termination.

Criminal Law

Criminal law, from the perspective of defendants, refers to the body of laws and regulations that govern the rights, obligations, and protections afforded to individuals who have been accused of committing a crime.

Still have questions?

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