A long term tenant in a North Queensland hotel has appealed to the State’s highest court against an agent’s notice to leave contending it was issued in retaliation for sexual advances that the tenant had rebuffed.
Richard Maksymiuk’s accusations were one of two grounds relied on to resist eviction from the Il Centro Apartment Hotel situated directly opposite the Supreme Court complex in Cairns.
His second contention was that the June 2014 notice ought to have been issued by Savage Resorts Pty Ltd – rather than agent Warren Savage personally – as the company held the appointment as letting agent.
Maksymiuk drew support for that argument from an unrelated decision by another Magistrate sitting in Cairns that decided a similar notice ought to have been issued by the letting agent company.
Such ruling was of no help to Maksymiuk because he had neglected to bring the same evidence before the court adjudicating his own predicament.
While revenge for refusal of a sexual advance might well be sufficient grounds to invalidate a notice to leave under the Residential and Rooming Accommodation Act s 29, the letting agent explained the tenant was asked to leave to make the unit available for holiday stays rather than long term letting so as to accord with council by-laws.
The Magistrate before whom Maksymiuk originally brought his claim accepted the “ample evidence” supporting such explanation as did QCAT Deputy President Peta Stilgoe whose appeal decision was then re-appealed to the Court of Appeal.
Three appeal judges concurred and Maksymiuk’s objection to the notice to leave without grounds was refused. He was ordered to pay the agent’s legal costs of the appeal.
No ruling was made by any of the three courts whether the conduct alleged of the agent had actually occurred.