A member asked over 8 years ago

Forged signature on legal document

I have recently had a dispute about paying water rates with my private landlord. When I informed her that according to RTA the only time I pay water is when the house is water efficient and that it is stated on the lease that I need to pay it she informed me it was. I never received a lease when I moved in she told me she would draw one up and bring it around but never did. I asked her what lease and she sent me photos of one that she has drawn up and I noticed a signature under my name. The signature looks nothing like mine and starts with a T instead of N I am now worried about what else she may have signed. What can I do about it?

Law Advisor Research Team
Researchers at LawAdvisor

Hi there. It sounds like you are in a difficult position. Generally leasing arrangements are covered by a written agreement called a tenancy agreement. In your situation, it appears that you never signed a tenancy agreement with your private landlord. The document your landlord showed you will not apply to your tenancy if you were not the person who signed it.

Even if you did not sign a tenancy agreement, the Rooming Accommodation and Residential Tenancies Act 2008 (Qld), which sets out all the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords, will still apply to your tenancy. This means you have the same legal protection as a tenant who has signed a written tenancy agreement. It also means you can take action against your landlord if they fail to do their job properly.

If you have have a dispute with your landlord, you should contact the Residential Tenancies Authority (www.rta.qld.gov.au) and try to resolve the dispute through their Dispute Resolution Service. This involves you and your landlord attending a conciliation – a process whereby a third party (a ‘conciliator’) helps the parties resolve the dispute. If conciliation is unsuccessful, you can apply to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal to resolve the dispute (www.qcat.qld.gov.au).

If your landlord forged your signature on a tenancy agreement, this qualifies as fraud. Fraud is behaviour that is deceptive, dishonest, corrupt or unethical. It usually occurs when someone acts dishonestly to obtain property belonging to someone else or to cause detriment to another person. If you are a victim of fraud, you should report the matter to the police. The Queensland Police website has information about how you can report an incident of fraud (www.police.qld.gov.au). For more information, you can contact the Queensland Police Service’s Fraud and Cyber Crime Group on (07) 3364 6622.

Suggested way forward

Tenancy disputes can be complicated, especially if there is no written tenancy agreement. You should speak to a lawyer who can help you understand your legal rights and the best course of action. A lawyer can also advise you on what to do about the forged document and any other concerns you have about being a victim of fraud. By pressing the “Consult a Lawyer” button, LawAdvisor can help you search for experienced lawyers and obtain fee proposals for their services. Costs for legal advice and representation will vary between providers based on experience and the scope of services.

Answered over 8 years ago   Legal disclaimer


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