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Robins v Coro 1 Pty Ltd QCATA 80
Robins v Coro 1 Pty Ltd & Ors  QCATA 80
Coro 1 Pty Ltd, Coro 2 Pty Ltd, Coro 3 Pty Ltd, Coro 4 Pty Ltd t/as Coronation Partnership
On the papers
Justice Thomas, President
12 June 2015
APPEAL – LEAVE TO APPEAL – MINOR CIVIL DISPUTE – MINOR DEBT – where retail tenancy – where claim for unpaid rent – where tenant alleged lease invalid – where tenant alleged harassment – where tenant alleged set off – where tribunal found in favour of lessor – whether grounds for leave to appeal
Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 (Qld) ss 32, 142(3)(a)(i)
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
- Ms Robins operated a hair dressing salon in a commercial tenancy she leased from the respondents. She stopped paying rent, so the respondents filed an application for minor debt in the tribunal. A Magistrate, sitting as a member of the tribunal, accepted the respondents claim and ordered Ms Robins pay the respondents $7,579.80.
- Ms Robins 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.
- Ms Robins’ primary ground for the application for leave to appeal is that the learned Magistrate did not consider all occurrences relevant to the dispute. Ms Robins’ submissions, in fact, dispute the learned Magistrate’s findings of fact. She believes that the amount ordered by the learned Magistrate is wrong.
- In the original hearing, Ms Robins had seven submissions about why she was not liable for the rent. Most of those submissions related to the validity of the lease. Ms Robins’ grounds for appeal do not take issue with the learned Magistrate’s findings, although she has re-filed her submissions at first instance and highlighted those paragraphs that refer to the validity of the lease. The transcript shows that the learned Magistrate considered each of these issues carefully and found in favour of the respondents. Ms Robins has not particularised why the learned Magistrate was in error in her findings.
- Ms Robins also questioned the respondents’ right to charge her for certification of building alterations. The learned Magistrate considered that issue and found in favour of the respondents.
- Ms Robins also alleged that the respondents’ representative acted inappropriately. In particular, Ms Robins alleged that the respondents enticed her sub-tenant to leave and set up in competition nearby. The learned Magistrate also dealt with this issue. There is no substance to the submission that the learned Magistrate failed to consider all occurrences relevant to the dispute.
- The balance of Ms Robins’ submissions are submissions that the learned Magistrate erred in her 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 have considered the material before the learned Magistrate. The evidence can support her conclusions and I can find nothing 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 .
 Transcript page 1-14, line 39 to page 1-16, line 2.
 Transcript page 1-16, lines 4–27.
 Transcript page 1-16, lines 29–37.
 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.
- Published Case Name:
Noeline Robins v Coro 1 Pty Ltd, Coro 2 Pty Ltd, Coro 3 Pty Ltd, Coro 4 Pty Ltd t/as Coronation Partnership
- Shortened Case Name:
Robins v Coro 1 Pty Ltd
 QCATA 80
12 Jun 2015