Applying for a court hearing - rental disputes

All applications to the Magistrates Court must be made online using the Electronic Document Lodgement Service. Supporting documents must also be submitted electronically before the court date via the eCourts Portal (eCourts). An exemption to this rule can sometimes be obtained by contacting the Magistrates Court.

When applying online, the information you provide will be used to determine the appropriate form for the dispute type, either:

  • Form 6 – Application for disposal of bond money
  • Form 12 – Application for court order

During the application process you may be asked to enter the bond reference number and party details. You can find these on your bond lodgement certificate. If you do not have your lodgement certificate email the bonds team.  to request a copy.

The magistrate will only consider the issues listed in the application, so give clear and concise details of the issues and orders being sought, for example: an order for an appliance to be repaired and the period and value of any rent deduction sought. Failure to do so may mean the proceedings may be put off until another time.

If the rental property is being managed by an agent, the lessor can seek to be represented by the agent who manages the rental property. 

Both tenants and lessors are entitled to be represented by a person employed or engaged by a not-for-profit organisation. This could be a disability support worker or other advocate. To have representation you must lodge an Authorisation for an agent to present a party’s case (Form 24) (under residential tenancies forms) via eCourts before the date of the hearing. The representative must have sufficient knowledge of the issue and authority to act on your behalf.

Date and location

The case will generally be heard at the Magistrates Court that is nearest to the rental premises. A list of court locations and contacts is available on the Magistrates Court website.

The setting of the hearing date depends on whether it is a Form 6 or Form 12 matter.

  • Form 6: a date is set if the matter is to be disputed by the other party. If the application is not disputed the court can make the orders in the application in the absence of all parties.
  • Form 12: a date is chosen during the application process from 14 days or if this is not possible as soon as possible after the application is made.

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