Reporting disruptive behaviour

Making a complaint about disruptive behaviour by a public housing tenant

To report incidents of disruptive behaviour, contact your nearest Housing Service Centre.

If you don’t want to talk with Housing Service Centre staff, or if they can’t resolve your complaint, you can submit 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.

Contact the Queensland Police Service:

  • for immediate safety concerns
  • for suspected illegal activity
  • if a neighbour is physically or verbally abusive to you
  • if illegal substances are being used

Contact your local council for:

  • excessive dog barking,
  • dangerous or roaming dogs
  • cars blocking the footpath

Where there is a dispute between neighbours, the Department of Justice and Attorney General’s Dispute Resolution Service may be able to help. We will not normally get involved in neighbourhood disputes except where required to do so under the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008.

How do I report suspected illegal activity at a public housing property?

We cannot investigate criminal offences. The police must be contacted about suspected illegal activity at the property. Examples of behaviour that must be reported to the police include: a neighbour being either physically or verbally harassed by another neighbour, threats with weapons, domestic violence, suspected illegal drug activity, stalking and theft.

If you do not wish to make a complaint to the police, you can notify your local Housing Service Centre who will contact the police.

Can I make an anonymous complaint?

Yes. Complaints can be made anonymously. 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 quickly, fairly and effectively. When managing a complaint, we balance outcomes for social 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 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 don’t have greater powers than any other landlord. We don’t have the power to end a tenancy and are required to apply to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) to end a tenancy.

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 modify 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
  • refer the tenant to a broad range of other government or community support agencies to help resolve the behaviour
  • issue the tenant with warnings or Notices to Remedy Breach.

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 limited circumstances, we may apply directly to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).

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 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 would 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 can 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 maintain 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.

More information