The first step in resolving any problem or dispute is to carefully read the term/s of your agreement.
It is always best for a tenant and a landlord/agent to try and solve any problems between themselves. To avoid possible problems later, any agreement reached should be put in writing.
If a renting problem occurs, helpful information or advice is available free of charge from NSW Fair Trading as well as from Tenants Advice and Advocacy Services operating throughout NSW.
Find your nearest Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service by searching on www.tenants.org.au or calling 1800 251 181.
It is recognised that information will not resolve every problem or dispute. Some matters may need to be taken to the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal (Tribunal). Fair Trading staff can answer any questions you may have on the process involved.
The Tribunal is an independent decision making body which hears and decides applications for orders from tenants and landlords. The Tribunal is a quick, inexpensive, and relatively informal way of resolving disputes.
Go to the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal website to access Tribunal application forms. Alternatively, pick up an application form from your nearest Fair Trading Centre.
The current fee for applying to the Tenancy Division of the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal can be found on the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal fees page. A reduced fee is also available for eligible pensioners and full time students. Hearings are usually held within one month and are conducted at a venue as close as possible to the premises.
There are prescribed time limits for making applications to the Tribunal for certain orders. For example, in cases where an order is requested regarding broken terms of the tenancy agreement, this order should normally be sought within 3 months of becoming aware of the event.
The Tribunal can make orders, among others that:
More information about time limits and orders is available on the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal website.
The Member will first ask the parties to try to reach a settlement. If this cannot be achieved the case will then be heard in the Tribunal hearing room. The Member will allow both parties, in turn, to tell their side of the events and present any evidence.
Hearings are usually informal, but formal hearings can be held on request, where witnesses can be called and evidence is given under oath.
It is up to the person who made the application to provide enough evidence to convince the Tribunal Member, on the balance of probabilities, that the orders they are seeking should be given. Any orders made are binding.