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Robinson v PRD Nationwide Agnes Water QCATA 79
Robinson v PRD Nationwide Agnes Water  QCATA 79
PRD Nationwide Agnes Water
On the papers
Justice Thomas, President
12 June 2015
APPEAL – LEAVE TO APPEAL – MINOR CIVIL DISPUTE – RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES – COMPENSATION – where tenant disputed claim for water – where tenant claimed damage was fair wear and tear – whether grounds for leave to appeal
Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 (Qld) ss 32, 142(3)(a)(i)
Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (Qld) s 66(1)
Dearman v Dearman (1908) 7 CLR 549
Fox v Percy (2003) 214 CLR 118
Pickering v McArthur  QCA 294
Chambers v Jobling (1986) 7 NSWLR 1
APPEARANCES and REPRESENTATION (if any):
This matter was heard and determined on the papers pursuant to s 32 of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 (Qld) (QCAT Act).
REASONS FOR DECISION
- Mr Michael Robinson and Ms Emma Doherty rented a house through PRD Nationwide Agnes Water. At the end of the tenancy, PRD filed an application for rent arrears and compensation. A Magistrate, sitting in the minor civil disputes jurisdiction of the tribunal, ordered that Mr Robinson and Ms Doherty pay PRD rent arrears of $4,909.89 and compensation of $4,804.89.
- Mr Robinson wants to appeal that decision. Because this is an appeal from a decision of the tribunal in its minor civil disputes jurisdiction, leave is necessary. Relevant to whether leave to appeal will be granted is whether there is a reasonable argument that the decision is attended by error, and whether an appeal is necessary to correct a substantial injustice to the applicant caused by that error.
- Mr Robinson’s sole ground of appeal is that he does not agree with the tribunal’s findings of fact. The appeal tribunal will not usually disturb findings of fact on appeal if the evidence is capable of supporting the conclusions. An appellate tribunal may interfere if the conclusion is ‘contrary to compelling inferences’ in the case. I will briefly consider each of issues that Mr Robinson raised.
- The evidence before the tribunal showed four vertical scratches on sliding glass doors. The tribunal found that the scratches were not fair wear and tear and that Mr Robinson should pay for the replacement glass. Mr Robinson disputes that finding, stating that the scratches were fair wear and tear. The tribunal heard evidence about the scratches. Mr Robinson put his view to the learned Magistrate, but that view was not accepted. The evidence can support the tribunal’s findings and there is no compelling reason to come to a different view.
- PRD’s claim included the cost of repairing damage to screen doors. Mr Robinson claims that the doors were “cheap” and had inadequate closers, which broke. The house was one year old when Mr Robinson moved in. The doors were not damaged when he moved in but they were damaged when he moved out. It is no answer to a claim for compensation to state that the doors were cheap. The evidence can support the tribunal’s findings and there is no compelling reason to come to a different view.
- Mr Robinson believed there was a water leak. He raised this belief at the hearing, but he provided no evidence to support his belief. The tribunal did not accept his belief. Mr Robinson now doubts the owner’s evidence or believes that the owner does not know the whole truth. Mr Robinson has provided no evidence to support his belief. The evidence can support the finding made by the tribunal and there is no compelling reason to come to a different view.
- Mr Robinson states that there was no water efficiency report completed when he entered the tenancy. The house was nearly new. Houses built after 1 March 2009 are required to be water efficient. Mr Robinson provided no evidence about this issue and did not raise this issue at the hearing. It is too late to raise it now.
- Mr Robinson states that the entry condition report and the exit condition reports were not properly executed.
- The entry condition report is not on the file but there are a number of photos that purport to be part of that report. Mr Robinson does not say that the contents of the report are inaccurate, simply that it was not properly executed. The report is evidence of the condition of the house on entry. PRD supplemented that evidence at the hearing.
- The exit condition report was Mr Robinson’s responsibility. Sensibly, PRD did not wait for Mr Robinson to provide an exit condition report. It completed the report, and provided a detailed suite of photographs to support its conclusions. The tribunal did not err in accepting the evidence of the exit condition report. The findings made by the tribunal were available on the basis of that evidence.
- There is nothing in the material to persuade me that the learned Magistrate should have taken a different view of the facts. There is no reasonably arguable case that the learned Magistrate was in error. Leave to appeal is refused.
 QCAT Act s 142(3)(a)(i).
 Pickering v McArthur  QCA 294 at .
 Dearman v Dearman (1908) 7 CLR 549 at 561; Fox v Percy (2003) 214 CLR 118 at 125-126.
 Chambers v Jobling (1986) 7 NSWLR 1 at 10.
 Transcript page 1-40, lines 28–31.
 Transcript page 1-28, line 40 to page 1-30, line 46.
 Transcript page 1-9, line 1.
 Transcript page 1-32 line 35 to page 1-35, line 20.
 Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (Qld) s 66(1).
- Published Case Name:
Michael Robinson v PRD Nationwide Agnes Water
- Shortened Case Name:
Robinson v PRD Nationwide Agnes Water
 QCATA 79
12 Jun 2015