A Brisbane property owner has been fined $2000 for unlawfully recovering possession of premises, a breach of the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (the Act).
The tenants were left homeless after the premises’ locks were changed and their possessions were left outside.
The property owner pleaded guilty in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on 22 February 2018.
Magistrate Penelope Hay said the property owner's behaviour was unacceptable and that it was fortunate no harm had come to the tenants’ personal belongings and they were able to find somewhere to live quite quickly.
“Nevertheless, it is really an unacceptable course of conduct seeking to change arrangements where the tenant has given lawful notice under the agreement,” Magistrate Hay said.
Unlawful entry and unlawful recovery of premises are amongst most common offences under the Act; others including non-lodgement of bonds, failing to issue receipts and mandatory documentation or, interfering with the quiet enjoyment of a tenant.
“Tenants are particularly vulnerable people in the community because issues that arise in relation to tenancy disputes involve where they live,” Magistrate Hay said.
The prosecution comes as the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) steps up its approach to enforcing regulatory compliance of tenants, property managers and owners following a significant increase in multiple or repeated offences.
Anyone who suspects a breach of the Act should report it to the RTA immediately.
For more information around tenancy rights and responsibilities, browse the RTA website or contact the RTA direct on 1300 366 311.
The RTA is a Queensland Government statutory authority that administers the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008. We provide tenancy information, bond management, dispute resolution, investigations and prosecutions, and policy and education services.