Exit Distraction Free Reading Mode
- Unreported Judgment
Peters v Hayward Meadows Pty Ltd QCATA 87
QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL
Peters v Hayward Meadows Pty Ltd & Ors  QCATA 87
HAYWARD MEADOWS PTY LTD
ORIGINATING APPLICATION NO/S:
MCDT150/18 and MCDT170/18
3 June 2019
12 March 2019
APPEAL – LEAVE TO APPEAL - MINOR CIVIL DISPUTE – RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES – where the tenant filed a minor civil dispute claim for rent reduction and compensation for lost employment – where tribunal refused the claim under section 94 of the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 because no substantial reduction in the amenity of the premises was demonstrated – where the applicant claims the tribunal made mixed errors – whether leave to appeal or appeal should be granted
Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (Qld) s 94(2)(b)
REASONS FOR DECISION
- The issue is whether leave to appeal should be granted so the applicant can appeal adverse tribunal decisions in related tenancy matters heard together.
- The tribunal dismissed MCDT 150 of 2018 (filed by the applicant) for rent reduction ($10,810) and lost employment ($10,800) based on excessive noise and invasion of privacy allegations.
- In MCDT 170 of 2018 the tribunal ordered the rental bond of $1,360 be released in full to the respondent and the payment of $2,458 for break lease costs including $2,817.06 unpaid rent (58 days to the date of the termination order on 9 April 2018), removal fees ($335) and exit cleaning ($550).
- The mixed errors the applicant contends the tribunal made are:
– refusing to admit evidence from relevant and probative witnesses
– denying access to police reports to substantiate his trespass complaints
– failure to find that unauthorised inspections were conducted by the respondent when the premises were up for sale contrary to terms of the tenancy agreement
- A number of other complaints raised about the hearing process are insufficiently tenable to warrant consideration consistently with the objects of the QCAT Act.
- The named respondents to the applicant’s rent reduction claim were Belbri Properties (property agent) represented by Wendy Savage, Hayward Meadows Pty Ltd (lessor) appearing by Madeline Diana Hayward as agent and Jason Murdoch (new owner) in person.
- The tenancy in issue was for a fixed term starting on 10 March 2017 and ending on 8 March 2018.
- The applicant signed the documentation as sole tenant but another person Toby Menary was also allowed to occupy the premises described as including a self-contained upstairs granny flat the lessor used for storage.
- The tenancy agreement was terminated by tribunal order of 9 April 2018 on the grounds of failure to leave on expiry.
- The applicant’s rent abatement claim was founded on the assertion that lessor’s excessive radio noise disrupted his sleep to the point that he lost his job for poor work performance.
- The claim was dismissed on findings that neither the excessive noise nor related employment loss were verified by credible evidence including from the employer or treating doctor.
- The alleged trespass issues arising out of pre-purchase inspections by Mr Murdoch were also resolved against the applicant. The tribunal did not accept that there was any illegal entry and that there was no proven breach of the quiet enjoyment right.
- As these findings of fact were open on the filed material it is not reasonably arguable that they were legally wrong or irrational.
- Moreover, the tribunal was not reasonably satisfied that the applicant had met the test for a rent reduction because neither the alleged noise or entries resulted in a substantial decrease in the amenity or standard of the premises as required by s 94(2)(b) Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (Qld) (RTRA Act).
- To the extent the applicant impliedly challenges this finding he has not demonstrated any appealable error.
- The denial of the chance to present police reports and witness evidence in support of the excessive noise complaint is devoid of merit because the tribunal found that even if the noise was excessive the loss of amenity was not substantial.
- The finding that the landlord’s entry onto the premises were not in breach of the terms of the tenancy was reasonably open to the tribunal and even if there was a breach the standard or amenity of the premises were not substantially lessened as a result or even if it was a rent decrease in the circumstances was not justified.
- Leave to appeal is refused accordingly.
- The only submission the applicant made about the compensation orders is that he “would also like the (tribunal) to consider reducing the extremely excessive costs charged to me by the agent to complete/remove my belongings. 24 hours/3 days to clean a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom house is hugely excessive and the fee to dump my own belongings is also excessive”.
- The removal and cleaning fees total $885. The tribunal found that the invoiced amounts were both reasonable and there is no evidence suggesting to the contrary.
- Leave is not justified because no reasonably arguable error of fact has been identified or demonstrate.
- Leave to appeal refused. Application dismissed.
- Published Case Name:
Peters v Hayward Meadows Pty Ltd & Ors
- Shortened Case Name:
Peters v Hayward Meadows Pty Ltd
 QCATA 87
03 Jun 2019