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Queensland Law Puts Foot Down…
Queensland tenancy law gives timeframes for a number of matters relating to disputed bond refunds and applications to QCAT. However in flood-affected areas, the RTA has put a hold on time-sensitive matters such as Notices of Claim and Notices of Unresolved Dispute.
From 20 December 2010 until mid January 2011, if a Notice of Claim or Notice of Unresolved Dispute relates to a property in a flood-affected area, the RTA will put a ‘hold’ on the bond being disputed. This will give the affected party a reasonable chance to respond to the claim before the bond is paid out.
For example, if the RTA receives a Refund of Rental Bond (Form 4) that has not been signed by all parties, a 14-day Notice of Claim will be issued with an action due date, but the bond will not automatically be paid out after that date in flood-affected areas.
Similarly, where a Notice of Unresolved Dispute has been issued on a bond related matter and the client has seven days to advise the RTA of their application to (QCAT), it too will be placed on hold until mid-January for flood-affected areas.
However, if the situation changes and all parties agree on the disbursement of the bond, the RTA will release the bond money as requested. With uncertainties around the delivery of mail, it is even more important to have bonds refunded electronically, and not by cheque.
These RTA restrictions only affect bonds that are being disputed in flood-affected areas. Where all parties agree to the bond being released, the RTA will act accordingly.
The RTA will continue to monitor the flood situation on a regular basis and may extend or remove the current emergency measures that are in place.