No matter where you live in Australia, there are support services to assist you with questions about residential tenancies.

These services can be particularly helpful if you’re having a dispute with your landlord or property manager.

In an ideal rental world, all tenancies would be straightforward, all homes would be safe and comfortable places to live, and all necessary repairs would be completed quickly and without hassle.

Unfortunately, the reality is often far from perfect, and renters may experience disputes with their agencies or landlords that they’re unsure how to resolve.

What are some common rental disputes?

Rental disputes can encompass a wide range of issues, but some are more common than others. These disputes can include:

  • Maintenance and repairs: Disagreements over the responsibility for repairs and maintenance, especially when they affect the habitability of the property.
  • Rent increases: Concerns about the legality and fairness of rent increases.
  • Bond refunds: Disputes regarding the return of the rental bond at the end of the tenancy.
  • Privacy issues: Complaints about unauthorised entry into the property or invasion of privacy.
  • Unfair evictions: Disputes related to eviction notices and whether they comply with the law.

How do I resolve a rental dispute?

Resolving a rental dispute can often be achieved through open communication and negotiation between you and your landlord. Here are steps to follow when facing a dispute:

  1. Communicate with your landlord
    Begin by discussing the issue with your landlord or property manager. It’s possible that they are unaware of the problem or are willing to address it.
  2. Check your tenancy agreement
    Review your tenancy agreement to understand your rights and obligations. Ensure that the dispute aligns with the terms of the agreement.
  3. Document the issue
    Keep records of all relevant communication, including emails, texts, and letters. Document the problem, take photos if necessary, and keep a diary of events.
  4. Contact your state or territory rental authority
    If communication with your landlord does not lead to a resolution, reach out to your state or territory rental authority. They can provide guidance, information, and assistance in resolving disputes.
  5. Mediation
    Mediation is a voluntary process where an impartial third party helps tenants and landlords negotiate a resolution. Many states and territories offer free mediation services.
  6. Tribunal or court
    As a last resort, you can take your dispute to the relevant tribunal or court. This should only be considered when other methods have failed.

Remember that understanding your rights as a tenant is the first step in resolving rental disputes. By seeking help from the right resources, you can ensure a fair and just resolution to your issue.

Top tip >> The Community is Rent’s Facebook group for renters, agents and landlords. If you have tenancy questions you’d like answered, or if you’re just curious about renting in Australia, you’re welcome to join!

New South WalesNSW Fair Trading13 32 complaint service for tenants, residents, landlords and agents with real estate or property-related matters
NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal1300 006 provides specialist tribunal services to help you resolve an issue or dispute fairly and according to the law
Tenants' Union of NSW(02) 8117 Tenants' Union of NSW specialises in NSW residential tenancies law. Main resourcing body for Tenants Advice & Advocacy Services (TAASs)
VictoriaConsumer Affairs Victoria1300 55 81 provides information and advice to tenants, landlords and property managers about renting rights and responsibilities in a property
Housing for the Aged Action Group1300 765 advice, information and practical housing support for over 50s
Tenants Victoria(03) 9416 and confidential legal advice, assistance and advocacy for tenants and residents in Victoria
Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal1300 018 resolves residential disputes between tenants and landlords, renters and the Director of Housing, and more
Dear LandlordOnline web online legal tool for Victorian renters
QueenslandQueensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal1300 753 is an independent tribunal that provides an avenue to resolve disputes between parties
Residential Tenancies Authority1300 366 RTA provide tenancy information and support, bond management, dispute resolutions, investigations and prosecutions
Residential Tenancies Authority Residential Tenancies Authority’s Investigations Request KitOnline web RTA's Investigations Request Kit guides customers through a series of simple questions to recommend targeted support and resources.
RTA Web ServicesOnline web service Web Services make updating your bond details and completing essential tenancy transactions faster and easier
Western AustraliaCircle Green Community Legal (Tenancy WA)(08) 6148 WA (through Circle Green) helps people who rent their home to resolve their tenancy problems
WA Department of Commerce1300 304 for tenants and landlords renting a property, including bonds, rent and maintenance responsibilities
South AustraliaConsumer and Business Services (CBS)131 and concerns around residential tenancies. CBS also offer Asking Claire, a 24/7 virtual assistant for residential tenancies
Asking ClaireOnline web is CBS' virtual residential tenancy advice assistant for renters, landlords and property managers.
RentRight SAContact free, independent service, helping people maintain their tenancies in private rental, community housing or public housing.
South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal1800 723 civil law disputes or applications, such as those that relate to landlord/tenant relationships
TasmaniaConsumer Affairs and Trading1300 653 for tenants (residential and commercial) and property owners/agents
The Tenants' Union of Tasmania(03) 6223 legal advice, representation and education for residential tenants in Tasmania
Northern TerritoryNorthern Territory Consumer Affairs(08) 8999 protection within NT residential tenancies
The Tenants' Advice Service (TAS)1800 812 NT-wide, community-based advice and advocacy service for residential tenants
Australian Capital TerritoryTenacy Advice Service ACT(02) 6247 clients to understant their legal rights and responsibilities under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997
Australia-wideAsk IzzyOnline web online tool that helps you find local help, no matter where you live in Australia. is Australia's largest company dedicated to renters and is owned and operated by ASX-listed Limited (RNT:ASX). For over 15 years, has exclusively focused on making renters' lives easier by making it easier to find a property, secure it, move in and pay rent.