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KWT Holdings Pty Ltd v Iaquinto-Bailey QCATA 11
KWT Holdings Pty Ltd t/as Professionals Sun Realty PM v Iaquinto-Bailey & anor  QCATA 11
KWT Holdings Pty Ltd t/as Professionals Sun Realty PM
On the papers
Senior Member Stilgoe OAM
23 January 2017
APPEAL – LEAVE TO APPEAL – LANDLORD AND TENANT – RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES LEGISLATION – OBLIGATIONS, PROHIBITED MATTERS AND PROTECTION FOR LESSEES – INSPECTION AND REPAIR – where claim for cleaning and repainting when tenants exited tenancy – where tribunal found no need for cleaning or repainting except as admitted by the tenants – whether grounds for leave to appeal
Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 (Qld) s 142(3)
Chambers v Jobling (1986) 7 NSWLR 1
Dearman v Dearman (1908) 7 CLR 549
Fox v Percy (2003) 214 CLR 118
Pickering v McArthur  QCA 294
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
- Paul Ianquinto-Bailey and Ako Kusafuka rented a unit through KWT Holdings Pty Ltd t/as Professionals Sun Realty PM. At the end of the tenancy agreement, the parties were in dispute about the bond. KWT claimed for a bond clean ($210) and repainting of the unit ($1310).
- The dispute went to the tribunal. The tenants did not attend the hearing, so the tribunal ordered the tenants pay KWT the amount claimed. The tenants applied successfully to reopen the proceedings. At the reopened hearing, the tribunal ordered KWT pay the tenants $1083.34, recognising a more limited value to the repair and cleaning costs.
- KWT 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. Leave to appeal will usually be granted where there is a reasonable argument that the decision is attended by error, and an appeal is necessary to correct a substantial injustice to the applicant caused by that error.
- KWT says the tribunal’s first decision was correct. It says that the contractors engaged to do the work the subject of the claim have been paid and it does not have any money to refund to the tenants.
- I interpret KWT’s submission as one that the tribunal erred in its findings of fact. Findings of fact by a Tribunal will not usually be disturbed on appeal if the facts inferred by the Tribunal, upon which the finding is based, are capable of supporting its conclusions, and there is evidence capable of supporting any inferences underlining it. An appellate tribunal may interfere, however, if the conclusion at first instance is ‘contrary to compelling inferences’ in the case.
The claim for the bond clean
- The tribunal heard from all the parties about the condition of the unit when the tenants left. The tribunal had photographs from KWT and from the tenants. The tribunal commented that the tenants’ photos showed the unit was clean. The tribunal heard that the tenants’ bond cleaner visited the unit twice. The tribunal found that the tenants left the unit clean. The evidence can support that finding and I can find no compelling reason to come to a different view.
The claim for repainting
- The tenants accepted that one wall of the unit needed repainting. They did not accept that the whole unit needed repainting, as KWT claimed. KWT produced photos of the alleged need for repainting but the tribunal did not accept that there was, in fact, evidence of marks on the wall. The evidence can support the tribunal’s findings and I can find no compelling reason to come to a different view. The fact that KWT has paid its contractors is unfortunate but not a ground for appeal.
- There is no reasonably arguable case that the tribunal was in error. Leave to appeal should be 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 1-7, lines 44 – 45.
 Transcript page 1-17, lines 19 – 21.
 Transcript page 1-19, line 12.
 Transcript page 1-20, lines 9 – 15.
 Transcript page 1-14, lines 35 – 36.
 Transcript page 1-16, lines 23 – 29.
- Published Case Name:
KWT Holdings Pty Ltd t/as Professionals Sun Realty PM v Paul Iaquinto-Bailey and Ako Kusafuka
- Shortened Case Name:
KWT Holdings Pty Ltd v Iaquinto-Bailey
 QCATA 11
Senior Member Stilgoe
23 Jan 2017