Payment disputes

Options for resolving a payment dispute

The options for pursuing unpaid amounts include:

  • Adjudication
  • Monies Owed Complaint
  • QCAT
  • The Courts
  • Subcontractors’ Charge

Your personal circumstances will dictate the most appropriate option for you. You should consider the advantages and disadvantages for each option.

Options Advantages Disadvantages


  • Decision on dispute
  • Enforceable
  • Quick result
  • Generally cheaper and faster than going to court
  • Fees involved
  • Strict time requirements and limitations
  • Paperwork preparation (however, a guideline will be created to ensure that this process is straightforward and clear)
Monies Owed Complaint
  • Free
  • Investigation with possible licensing action against licensee
  • Time requirements and limitations apply
  • No decision on dispute
  • We can't make the other party pay


  • Decision on dispute
  • Fees involved;
  • Time requirements and limitations;
  • Minor civil disputes up to $25,000 only;
  • Commercial building disputes up to $50,000 (or more if all parties consent);
  • Domestic building disputes of any value.
  • Decision on dispute
  • Fees involved
  • Time requirements and limitations
  • Need legal advice
Subcontractors' Charges
  • Freezes money owed by principal
  • Fees involved
  • Time requirements and limitations
  • Temporary until court decision on dispute
  • Need legal advice