QSTARS celebrates 1st birthday
The Queensland Statewide Tenants’ Advice and Referral Service (QSTARS) held a double celebration on 4 October as the organisation’s 1st birthday coincided with International Tenants Day.
The QSTARS program is managed by Tenants Queensland and delivered in collaboration with partner organisations across Queensland.
QSTARS aims to ensure people understand their rights and responsibilities under the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 and are able to exercise their rights and fulfil their tenancy obligations.
TQ CEO Penny Carr said the benefits of the QSTARS service was wide ranging.
"Supporting tenants not only has an impact on the tenant but they have positive impacts on the whole community," she said.
QSTARS Services revolve around a statewide centralised phone advice service known as the HUB, which provides a single entry point for all QSTARS services.
Staff initially assess the needs of each client, the complexity of their tenancy issue and their ability to act on their own behalf before considering the need for further support or referral to regional partners across Queensland.
Referrals from the HUB to a regional provider for a higher level of assistance may relate to the complexity of the matter, the client’s capacity to understand and respond to advice, or specific characteristics of the issue, for example, literacy barriers.
Persons eligible to access QSTARS services include:
Tenants or prospective tenants
Residents of rooming accommodation or a prospective resident
A person enquiring about tenancy or residency matters on behalf of a tenant or resident.
QSTARS aims to:
Increase tenants’ understanding of and ability to exercise their right and understand their responsibilities
Empower and build tenants’ capacity to take action to resolve their own issue in order to maintain their tenancy
Advocate to help tenants communicate with their property manager/owner
Assist tenants to write letters or fill out tenancy forms
Assist tenants to attend or prepare for a QCAT tenancy tribunal hearing
Provide referral to other services if needed.
Support workers wanting more information are encouraged to contact QSTARS on 1300 744 263.