All Topics / Help Needed! / tenants rights?

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  • Profile photo of crashycrashy
    Join Date: 2003
    Post Count: 736

    As some of you may know Ive recently sold my properties & am now renting.

    I took a 3 month lease & paid up front, including a relet fee.

    The house is neglected & despite complaints to the property managers nothing has been done. Lights dont work, rats in ceiling, no keys for most locks, broken windows……the list goes on.

    Ive refused to sign the lease until the problems are fixed. Its been 3 weeks & nothing has happened even though Ive reminded them.

    What can I do? normally you could withhold rent, but since I paid it all up front, the only leverage I have is to refuse to sign the lease. I seem to recall a situation where there was no lease with a tenant and it made it almost impossible to evict them?

    If theres no lease, then theres no 'let' and therefore the relet fee is void & should be refunded?

    Im in QLD……

    Profile photo of ummesterummester
    Join Date: 2008
    Post Count: 510

    Put it all in writing and send it to the REA or landlord (whoever is managing it).

    If you get no response in 2 weeks, contact the Queensland tenants advice service and fill out the appropriate forms to get a tribunal listed – I put the link in another thread around here somewhere.

    Why did you pay before signing the lease?

    Question aside, once the lease is signed you can never withhold rent. You sign to that effect but they sign to keep it fit for habbitation and all that. Without the lease you'll have to rely on verbals for the tribunal which can be messier. Just make sure you don't loose the proof of your payment to them. 

    Profile photo of Wendy ChamberlainWendy Chamberlain
    Join Date: 2003
    Post Count: 58

    Hi Crashy,

    I'd take it up with the relevant tenant tribunal.  Were all those issues there before you moved in and when you first inspected the place?


    Wendy Chamberlain | Chamberlain Property Advocates
    Email Me | Phone Me

    Melbourne Buyers Agent & Sellers Advocate | Independent | Flat Fee

    Profile photo of crashycrashy
    Join Date: 2003
    Post Count: 736

    an update…

    nothing has been fixed, we offered a reduction in rent to turn a blind eye but didnt take any action with RTA.

    our lease (if you can call it that since we didnt sign it) has now ended. we paid for an extra few weeks at this stage.

    we got a call from the agent last week, saying the owner needed the lease signed because otherwise she couldnt claim for the previous tenants lost rent (sounds like B.S). I laughed at the agent and said "oh, SHE needs something from ME?, well Im still waiting for anything to be fixed or a partial refund of rent, Im not signing a thing till thats sorted out"

    today we got a letter from agent asking us to sign a 12 month lease with higher rent ($310). median rent is $260 from RTA. they said if we didnt sign within a week they would evict.

    them's fightin words!

    I will now issue a Form 11 with my response. I will demand the following payments:

    refund of the relet fee $330
    refund of 4 days rent $214 due to there being no gas for hot water or cooking thanks to the agent not abiding by the terms of the lease to have the bottles refilled before entry
    refund of $40 per week x 15 weeks due to reduced livability
    refund of $40 x 4 bond

    I have a 3 page list of breaches by the agent. I suspect the agents communication to the owner has been poor. if they prefer a tribunal hearing and to spend $5k on repairs, that is their option. I could also contact the insurance company and have a quiet word.


    Profile photo of give90give90
    Join Date: 2007
    Post Count: 54

    well in the bad old days, you could stay where you are for months and not pay anymore… as you are living there with no lease, they have to take you to the tribunal to get you out. have you ever jumped through the hoops to take a tenant to the tribunal? you have to wait time after the rent is overdue, then issue them with formal notification, then wait for a date etc. then they give them time to move after the hearing etc.  it can take rather a long time……. months in fact. then the sheriff can evict you.

    my mum had a tenant once who didn't pay any rent for a year. (she had dementia but we didn't know, plus she could be a softie). i started the process of eviction which is a joke. months later, the sheriff evicted the chap and we changed the locks. that night, he went around the back of the property, pulled off a sheet of iron and moved back in……

    now, i'm not suggesting that you would lower yourself to act in such an underhanded manner, as you're not likely to be one of the multitude of lower end renters who abuse the many loopholes in the system. i mean why would an owner feel aggrieved about tenant's rights in aus? 

    all this in accurate but tongue in cheek. that and cleaning up domestic waste are the reasons i got out of residential property and focus on commercial.

    Profile photo of crashycrashy
    Join Date: 2003
    Post Count: 736

    I would be quite worried if I paid a property manager a lot of money for this much incompetance….

    Profile photo of sienna1sienna1
    Join Date: 2007
    Post Count: 47

    who is the real estate by the way, as my brother is just about to settle on an investment property in qld. and is renting out.

    Profile photo of crashycrashy
    Join Date: 2003
    Post Count: 736


    Woody Point Professionals is the agency.

    form 11 was served Nov 21. repairs still not done. have not paid rent since this date. after 4 weeks, rental manager came to inspect the property. we went through the list and the RM dismissed every one of them. here is what she actually said:

    "locks on the windows? you dont need that!……..a lock on the garage? you dont need that!……..keys for 3 doors, you dont need that either. pane of glass missing? you are being unreasonable! rats in the ceiling? bummer…we put baits in. tough bickies. we will request the owner fix anything that is a major safety issue, which basicly none of these are"

    I said: "Ive already spoken to the RTA, discussed every item on the list and been advised by their solicitor that EVERY repair must be done within 7 days, so thats what is going to happen! also, the relet fee is illegal and we want it refunded"

    she says "you are NOT getting that back." sent a form 11 demanding it be refunded within 7 days. 3 weeks later after a quick call to the RTA it was refunded.

    nothing happened about the repairs. we refused to pay rent until all repairs were done. also never signed the lease. last week the principal began to threaten my life. I will not be intimidated. On Monday another rental manager advised me that they suddenly have a copy of a signed lease, which is very interesting since I have never signed one and have correspondence from them confirming this. Forging contracts now? a new low, even for them. since I know they wanted this signed lease for an insurance claim, this may now be insurance fraud as well.

    some repairs were done last week, but many remain unrepaired.

    we still have not received an eviction notice or a tribunal hearing date. Bring on the court day, I have plenty to say to the magistrate!

    and people pay for this level of incompetance?

    Profile photo of LinarLinar
    Join Date: 2004
    Post Count: 567

    Hi Crashy

    I have just read this thread and what immediately jumped out at me was the fact you paid the relet fee.  That fee is a charge by the PM to get a new tenant in the property, as part of a contract between the PM and the owner.  That is not a fee that you should be paying; it should be paid by the owner. 

    I see it has been addressed now and appropriately refunded.

    I would be refusing to pay any rent until the problems are fixed up.  Let the owners take you to the Tribunal.  However, in the meantime, I would be looking for a new place to rent.  It doesn't sound like either the owners or the PM are going to be easy to deal with.



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