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- Unreported Judgment
Rawlinson v One Agency QCATA 85
QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL
Rawlinson v One Agency  QCATA 85
ORIGINATING APPLICATION NO/S:
12 March 2019
12 March 2019
Leave to appeal or appeal refused.
APPEAL – LEAVE TO APPEAL – MINOR CIVIL DISPUTE – RESIDENTIAL TENANCY – where a tenant filed a minor civil dispute for rent overpayment and bond refund – where the tribunal joined the co-tenant to the proceedings – where the Residential Tenancy Authority ordered to refund the balance of the bond equally between the two tenants – where the applicant claims the full bond refund should be paid to him as the co-tenant took no steps at all to protect her share – whether the tribunal made a reasonable order based on the evidence before it – whether any order the appeal tribunal could make would be futile.
Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (Qld) s 431
Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 (Qld) s 13
APPEARANCES & REPRESENTATION:
REASONS FOR DECISION
- The applicant filed a minor civil dispute claim in the tribunal for the $1,440 bond refund and $217.67 rent overpayment. The property manager, One Agency, filed a counter-application against a full bond refund claiming for lock change and key replacement of $220, glass door repairs of $150 and a bond clean of $660. The tribunal ordered refund $217.67 rent overpayment and the bond to be distributed by One Agency receiving $570 ($110 for lock change and key and $460 bond clean) with the remaining $870 to be split between the applicant and his ex-partner.
- The applicant applies for leave to appeal against the tribunal’s order to apportion a $870 bond refund equally between him and his former partner as co-tenants where she was joined by tribunal order to the minor civil dispute but did not participate in the proceedings. At the tribunal hearing One Agency informed the tribunal that when they tried to contact her the co-tenant told them never to contact her again as she wanted nothing to do with the situation since she no longer lived there.
- One Agency was a party in the application for leave to appeal but did not take part in the appeal proceeding as the bond dispute was a matter between co-tenants. However, the co-tenant was not named in the Form 39.
- To obtain leave to appeal an applicant is required to identify and make out an appealable error by the tribunal.
- The applicant claims in effect is that he is entitled to all not just some of the bond refund because he had paid the rent and complied with the tenant’s obligations in other respects for a lot longer than his ex-partner, disputed the agent claim for the bond, attended the conciliation process, initiated the QCAT proceedings, filed under his name originally, and travelled three times from Bundaberg to QCAT in Hervey Bay.
- The applicant claimed that his ex-partner left the premises of her own accord and that he continued to pay all the rent for the next months.
- Section 431 of the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (Qld) (RTRA Act) allows the tribunal to make any order it considers appropriate to resolve a dispute over a bond.
- Section 13 of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 (Qld) (QCAT Act), which sets out the jurisdiction and functions of the tribunal, requires the tribunal to make, in any minor civil dispute, including a tenancy matters, orders that it considers fair and equitable to the parties to the proceeding to resolve the dispute.
- These powers allow the tribunal to make a judgment call based on the evidence of what is a just and equitable way of resolving a dispute.
- An order that is not reasonably capable of being appropriate is one that is so unreasonable that no reasonable tribunal could have made that order without making some sort of reasoning or other error, even if the error cannot be identified.
- Appeals are to correct errors not achieving distributive justice.
- The tribunal did not make any identifiable legal mistake in awarding the ex-partner half of the bond on the basis of the evidence presented. If there was evidence that the applicant was the sole financial contributor the co-tenant might hold her share on trust for him, but here there is no error or recourse to the bond just because the applicant did all the work to recover it for the benefit to both of them.
- Nor is the tribunal decision unreasonable.
- For these reasons leave is not justified.
- In any case the RTA has already paid out the bond in compliance with the tribunal order making any intervention futile because this tribunal cannot change past events.
- Leave to appeal or appeal is refused.
- Published Case Name:
Rawlinson v One Agency
- Shortened Case Name:
Rawlinson v One Agency
 QCATA 85
12 Mar 2019