Reporting disruptive behaviour
To report incidents of disruptive behaviour by a public housing tenant, contact your nearest Housing Service Centre.
You can also submit information through an online form.
We will investigate disruptive behaviour by public housing tenants that may be a breach of their State tenancy agreement or obligations under the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008.
When we confirm that an incident of disruptive behaviour has occurred, we will take appropriate action.
Some complaints must first be reported to the relevant authority. If needed, they may work with us to resolve the matter.
- for immediate safety concerns, triple zero (000)
- for suspected illegal activity
- if a neighbour is physically or verbally abusive to you
- if illegal substances are being used
- for incidents such as excessive noise or wild or rowdy parties
- excessive dog barking,
- dangerous or roaming dogs
- cars blocking the footpath
A mediation service can help resolve general disputes such as those involving noise, children or pets, that may occur as part of everyday living. The Department of Justice and Attorney General’s Dispute Resolution Service can work with you and your neighbours to reach mutually agreed solutions. We will not normally become involved in these types of disputes unless the behaviour begins to escalate or negatively impacts other tenants, people or property. We encourage you to proactively resolve issues, either informally or through mediation services.
How do I report suspected illegal activity at a public housing property?
We cannot investigate criminal offences. Contact the police about suspected illegal activity at a property. Examples of behaviour that must be reported to the police includes: a neighbour being either physically or verbally harassed by another neighbour, threats with weapons, domestic and family violence, suspected illegal drug activity, stalking and theft.
Can I make an anonymous complaint?
Yes. Complaints can be made anonymously. We will identify if the complaint falls within the department’s authority to investigate an action or needs to be directed to another agency (for example, council or the police).
When we investigate and take action in response to complaints, any personal information we collect is handled in accordance with the Information Privacy Act 2009 (Qld). If you request that your complaint be treated confidentially, we take all reasonable steps to protect your identity.
How we deal with complaints
We are committed to resolving complaints promptly, fairly and effectively. When managing a complaint, we balance outcomes for public housing tenants, their neighbours and the broader community in line with our responsibilities under the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008.
We provide homes to some of the most vulnerable people in Queensland. Many of our tenants need additional support from other services to sustain a successful tenancy.
All landlords and agents in Queensland who manage residential tenancies, including the department, must comply with the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008. We use the complaint mechanisms within the Act and don’t have greater powers than any other landlord or agent.
What is the process for investigating disruptive behaviour and evicting a tenant?
When we receive a complaint about disruptive behaviour in public housing, we will contact the tenant, offer them the right of reply, and consider any mitigating circumstances which may have contributed to the behaviour.
If we find a tenant has been disruptive, we will work with all parties to try to resolve the situation as early as possible. Where possible, we will work with tenants to change their behaviour so that they can sustain their tenancy and live in harmony with their neighbours.
Depending on the circumstances and the severity of the disruptive behaviour, we may:
- talk to the tenant about the consequences of their behaviour and remind them about their tenancy obligations
- connect tenants with other government or community support agencies who can support them to stop the behaviour and meet their tenancy responsibilities
- issue the tenant with Warnings and/or Notices to remedy breach.
- refer all parties to mediation to help resolve the issue
- report the matter to the police
- take immediate action to end the tenancy when the behaviour is dangerous and severe
If all avenues of support and assistance have been exhausted and the tenant continues be disruptive, we may consider taking steps to end the tenancy.
In some circumstances, we may apply directly to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) to end the tenancy.
Tenants can, at that time, request a further review of the decisions made about their tenancy.
Applying to QCAT
We don’t have greater powers than any other landlord or agent and are subject to the same timeframes, decisions and processes set by QCAT.
There are waiting times for a hearing at QCAT which vary throughout the state. At the hearing we will present the case to the Tribunal Member who will determine the outcome based on the evidence presented. Tenants have the right to appear at the hearing and present their side of the story.
To help us at the QCAT hearing, we will likely ask you to complete an affidavit and/or attend as a witness to tell the Tribunal Member about the disruptive behaviour you have experienced and its effects on your household. Without such evidence, it may be unlikely for us to obtain a favourable decision from the Tribunal Member. Even with such evidence, the Tribunal Member is under no obligation to provide a favourable decision to us. The Tribunal Member will make a decision after hearing and considering all information on the matter.
At the hearing, the Tribunal Member may provide a decision to end the tenancy, dismiss the matter or adjourn the matter to another date. If the Tribunal Member decides to end the tenancy, the tenant may apply for a review of the decision (as allowed under the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009), which can delay any eviction of the tenant.
Why have some public housing tenants not been evicted for their disruptive behaviour?
We investigate all complaints of disruptive behaviour thoroughly and fairly, giving tenants the opportunity to respond. Tenants can have a support person or advocate help them with this process.
We will only take action after being satisfied that the disruptive behaviour has occurred and that the complaint relates to a tenancy matter that we are responsible for. In some cases, we are not able to confirm that an incident of disruptive behaviour has occurred. We must also ensure we give the tenant the opportunity to address the disruptive behaviour. We may take a range of other actions to help the tenant address their behaviour and sustain their tenancy, including referral to a support worker or agency, closely monitoring the tenancy, or listing the household for a transfer.
What if I’m unhappy with how my complaint was handled?
If you are not satisfied with how your complaint was managed, you can lodge a complaint under our Complaint Management Policy.
If you remain dissatisfied with our response, you can seek an external review by the Queensland Ombudsman.
- Housing Service Centres
- Tenant behaviour
- Dispute Resolution Service—Residential Tenancies Authority
- Emergency services and safety
- Queensland Government complaints and compliments online form
- Queensland Ombudsman