Landlord Rights and Responsibilities

Property investment remains one of the best ways to create wealth but success depends on much more than just property selection and location.

You see… property investment also involves people – namely landlords (that’s you) and tenants.

Throughout the residential tenancy, you as the landlord have various responsibilities which must be upheld. landlord rights

Across the country, there is state-specific legislation that protects landlord rights as well as the tenant’s.

As this legislation is often amended, especially at times of tighter rental markets,  it’s imperative that landlords understand what their responsibilities are as investment property owners, as they are obligated to abide by state law.

This article will help all landlords better understand their tenant’s responsibilities as well as their own landlord rights when it comes to collecting, holding and returning a bond, collecting rent, increasing rent, entering their property, maintenance, repairs and ending a tenancy.

Of course, we’ll also discuss how using a professional property manager can make your property investment journey simpler and more enjoyable, too!

How do you choose a tenant?

As a landlord, you have the right to choose the tenant you consider the most suitable for your property but under the  Equal Opportunity Act you must not discriminate against any of the applicants based on their:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Marital status
  • Sexuality
  • Having children
  • Pregnancy
  • Mental illness
  • Disabilities
  • or a whole host of other discriminatory reasons.

If you do, you could be liable to pay damages or fines.

The Bond

Rental bonds are paid by tenants at the start of their tenancy and are a goodwill payment held in trust by the specific state government rental authority, which is used as financial protection for the landlord in case the tenant breaches the terms of the tenancy agreement.

This protects you if the tenant does not pay all the rent owed, damages your property or fails to keep it in a satisfactory condition, as you will then be eligible to claim some or the entire bond once the tenancy is over.

At the start of a new lease, you are expected to provide a bond lodgement form to be filled out by both parties and are responsible to ensure that it is lodged with the relevant state authority within the correct time period.

The amount of bond is usually about four weeks’ worth of rent, however, it can vary depending on the type of dwelling.

Want to take advantage

At the end of the tenancy, damage to the property may be paid for out of the bond, but only if both parties agree.

However, landlords cannot charge tenants for any fair wear and tear of property that may have occurred during the tenancy.

Examples of fair and wear include faded curtains or a worn kitchen bench-top.

Conversely, missing curtains or burns or cuts to the bench-top would likely be considered damage, so the tenant would be responsible to pay for these to be repaired.

At the end of a tenancy, if your property is left in good condition and is clean, then both the landlord and the tenant can agree to have the bond repaid to the tenant in full.

If there is any damage, then the process becomes a little more complicated as both parties have to agree that damage has occurred during the tenancy as well as the costs of the repairs.

For example, the landlord may make a claim on the bond for:

  • Rent not being paid
  • Damage caused by the tenant or their visitors
  • Cleaning expenses
  • Abandonment of the premises by the tenant
  • Landlord being forced to pay tenant’s bills
  • Loss of landlord’s goods

The Rent

As the landlord, you have the right to request rent on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis. With both the bond and rental payments received, you should provide detailed and signed receipts stating the date, amount received, property address, name of tenant and duration for which it has been paid.

One of the keys is to ensure you have the best tenants in your properties who have the financial capability to pay the rent as well as the desire to look after your propertyBest tenants in your properties well.

Successful tenant selection is a skill and is one where a professional property manager can help you.

They’ll also help you with all the necessary paperwork and following up if the tenant does not pay their rent on time.

As a landlord, you have the right to expect that the rent for your property to be paid by the due date in the way that was agreed on the lease.

While the legislation does vary across the country, if tenants have not paid their rent by the due date, they are considered to be in “arrears”.

If they are more than 14 days in arrears, then landlords have the right to issue the tenants with the relevant notices to vacate.

Landlords need to keep in mind that if their tenants do not pay their rent, or are late paying their rent, that the mortgage still needs to be paid, which always remains the landlord’s responsibility and should be budgeted for accordingly.

Utility and service charges

When it comes to utility and services charges, there are varying rules around this across the country so it’s important to check your relevant state authority.

Generally speaking, however, during a tenancy, tenants are responsible for the following utility charges if the property has a separate meter (one which the supply to one property only):landlord's responsibilities for utilities

  • All charges for the supply or use of electricity, gas or oil (including supply charges and reconnection fees).
  • All charges based on the amount of water consumed (but not service charges or reconnection fees).
  • All sewerage disposal charges.
  • All charges for the use of bottled gas (but not for the supply or hire of gas bottles).
  • On the other hand, if a property is not metered separately, landlords are responsible for:
    • Initial connection fees
    • Usage charges for the utilities.

Responsibilities of the landlord to the tenant

During a residential tenancy, landlords have a number of responsibilities to their tenants, which are enshrined in the relevant legislation.

Again, many of these responsibilities can be managed by a professional property manager on a landlord’s behalf.

Some of the responsibilities which a landlord has to a tenant include:

  • Give the tenant a copy of the relevant State or Territory booklet outlining their rights. This needs to be done before the tenants move into the property or on the day that they do.
  • The rental property must be vacant, clean and safe on the day that the tenant shifts in.
  • The main living areas must be kept in good condition and all the appliances need to be maintained.
  • The condition expected will be dependent on how old the property is and how much the rent is.
  • You are obliged to take care of anything that may need repairing on the property and must respond to any requests in a timely manner.Responsibilities of the landlord to the tenant
  • During a tenancy, the landlord is responsible for keeping the property in the same state that it was in when the tenant moved in. So this means maintenance and repairs need to be completed as they arise.
  • Respect the rights of the tenant to quiet enjoyment of the property.
  • Comply with all health and safety laws.
  • Provide reasonable security with locks in good working order and supply keys for each lock.
  • Pay all charges, levies, premiums, rates, and taxes for the property.
  • Reimburse the tenant for money spent on emergency repairs (certain conditions apply).
  • Not enter the premises to carry out a general inspection until after the end of the first three months of the tenancy (depending on the relevant legislation) and even at this time, follow the rules regarding proper notice periods.

When can a landlord visit their property?

While you may feel like checking on how your tenant is looking after your property, you can’t just pop in whenever you feel like it.

Local legislation will stipulate how frequently you can do this and how to go about it.

For example, in Victoria, a landlord may enter the premises as long as the tenant agrees to the time and was consulted within the last seven days.

Occasionally you may need to enter your property on short notice.

In Victoria, a landlord has the right to enter within 24 hours after having given written notice to the tenant in order to: Victoria

  • Carry out duties under the Residential Tenancy Agreement, the ‘Residential Tenancies Act 1997, or any other Act.
  • To value the property.
  • Show prospective buyers or lenders through the premises.
  • Show prospective tenants through the premises.
  • Verify a reasonable belief that the tenant has not met their duties as a tenant.
  • Make one general inspection in any six-month period, but not within the first three months of the tenancy.

Under these circumstances, the landlord is allowed to enter the premises if the tenant is not home providing the requirements regarding written notices have been met.

The landlord does not have the right to enter in an unreasonable way or stay any longer than necessary unless it is with the tenant’s permission.

Landlord rights regarding Repairs & maintenance

Occasionally you will be contacted by your tenant or property manager advising that you are going to have to repair an item in your rental property. While some of these may not be urgent, there are others than will need to be attended to promptly.

You will need to respond to urgent repairs without delay.

If nothing is done, your tenant has the right to arrange for these repairs to be done up to the value of $1000 – at your expense.

If you are unsure of what is classified as an “urgent repair”, consult your property manager or your local Consumer Affairs office.

RepairsExamples of urgent repairs include:

  • Burst water service
  • Blocked or broken lavatory system
  • Serious roof leak
  • Gas leak
  • A dangerous electrical fault
  • Flooding or serious flood damage
  • Serious fire or storm damage
  • Failure or breakdown of gas, electricity or water supply to premises
  • Any other damage which results in the property being unsafe or not secure

If they are not dealt with, the tenant has the right to organise a qualified professional to complete repairs, up to the amount specified in the tenancy agreement. You will then have to reimburse the tenant for the cost incurred.

Non-urgent repairs need to be carried out within a specified amount of time, which may vary from state to state, but must usually be carried out within 14 days, yet obviously I would recommend you do it sooner.

If not non-urgent repairs are not attended to, your tenant may apply to the Tribunal for inspection and subsequent report.

After 60 days, the tenant can apply to the Tribunal for a repair order.

Even though they may feel like it, legislation prevents tenants from withholding rent while waiting for repairs to be done.

By the way… landlords are not responsible for damage caused by tenants – such as a door ripped off its hinges – with the repair paid for by the tenant, by agreement, or deducted from their rental bond.

Professional property managers have well-developed systems for tenants to report any urgent repairs or damage, which can then be remedied by whichever party is responsible by agreement.

When can I increase the rent?

Tenants always think their rent is too high and of course, landlords want to take to maximise their investment returns.

The problem is you just cannot increase the rent whenever you want to.

Again there is legislation about the timing of rental increases across the country, but generally speaking, if a tenant is on a periodic lease the rent can be increased once every six months, after giving two months’ notice to the tenant. When can I increase the rent

If the tenant is on a fixed-term tenancy, such as a 12-month lease, then the rent cannot be increased until the end of that tenancy.

If tenants find the proposed rental increase unreasonable they can challenge it and have a state government inspector assess its fairness.

It’s important that landlords consider whether a higher rent will be more beneficial than having tenants stay in their property for longer.

Changing tenancies is time-consuming and has additional costs attached such as loss of rent during the vacancy, reletting fees and marketing charges – the total of which could be more than the proposed extra rent would bring over six months or a year.

With this in mind, landlords should consider whether an extra $5 or $10 per week will make a big enough difference to their bottom line.

This is especially important during times when rental supply exceeds demand so tenants have much more choice and may decide to simply move somewhere cheaper.

It may be more prudent to wait another six or 12 months before increasing the rent in such a circumstance.

Extended periods of vacancies are not what any landlord wants for their investment property so always keep in mind that long-term tenants who pay their rent on time and look after your property well are really the type of people that you want.

What are your landlord rights when your tenant stops paying rent?

It’s one of the worst nightmares for landlords – a tenant who hasn’t paid rent for weeks and won’t vacate the property.

Unfortunately, a good tenant can quickly turn into a bad tenant.Rent

This can happen due to personal troubles, health issues, drugs, they lose their job or get divorced.

But the problem is, as a property investor you not only stand to lose out on your rental income, which you’re most likely relying on to help pay your mortgage, but you may not be able to access your property or find new tenants until your existing tenants leave.

And the end result is that you could be significantly out of pocket.

So what are your rights as a landlord if this happens?

Well, it all starts before you take on a tenant.

Make sure your property manager checks their past rental history using national rental databases and make sure your potential tenant doesn’t overextend themselves.

At Metropole Property Management we don’t like the rental to exceed 30% of the tenants’ combined income, otherwise, they’re more likely to find themselves in mortgage stress.

I believe it’s important to have a good line of communication with your tenant by using a good property manager.

Hopefully, they’ll have done regular inspections of your property and answered any tenant requests promptly.

This should make communication during challenging times a little easier.

Tenancy legislation is a State-based law so it’s critical that you have a proficient property manager looking after your interests to stay within the laws when this type of unpleasant situation arises.

Find out why your tenant is in arrearsRent Price

Your property manager should know the day your tenant is in arrears by checking their trust bank account.

Their first step should be to find out why your tenant isn’t paying rent and to begin making polite enquiries and assist in minimising your loss.

The reason you haven’t received the rent could be something quite simple and easily fixed, such as:

  • simple forgetfulness
  • temporary cash flow problems
  • a misunderstanding between joint tenants

Or it could be something more complicated and long-term, such as:

  • your tenant has lost their job
  • your tenants are a couple and have split up
  • your tenant is suffering from challenging personal issues (such as bereavement or work-related stress).

What your property manager should do nextRent

If a tenant does not pay their rent by the due date, they are considered to be ‘in arrears’.

In Victoria, if tenants become 14 days or more in arrears, they can be issued with an official notice to vacate.

The number of days in rental arrears before these notices can be sent varies around Australia, so it is important to be familiar with your local tenancy laws.

But a landlord or property manager cannot evict a tenant, the proper procedures must be followed.

Firstly, the notice must be correctly worded and correctly delivered including, being delivered by registered post.

Then the matter must be brought before the relevant tenancy authority such as VCAT or the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

The tribunal may then issue a warrant of possession to evict the tenant.

However, at Metropole Property Management we try and nip things in the bud by monitoring arrears daily, because if a tenant falls behind in their rent, the sooner you know about it, the sooner you can attempt to resolve the issue and mitigate any financial loss.

We call and email the tenants and then send a breach notice outlining that they have failed to pay their rent on time after they’ve been in arrears for 3 days.

Going to the tribunal is the last resort.

Often the matter can be resolved by giving the tenant the option to make part rental payments or more frequent payments such as weekly to get them through what is hopefully just a bad patch.

If the tenant must be evicted, you will most likely be able to retain part or all of the bond to make up for your loss.

And any additional loss should be covered by your Landlord’s insurance.

How do I end the tenancy?

Every landlord will eventually face a  situation in which they need to evict a tenant. Evicting

If you want your tenant to move on earlier than planned, however, there are certain rules you must follow before showing them the door and these vary slightly from State to State.

Even if an agreement has a fixed end date, you will need to give the notice to end the tenancy.

Because the tenants’ rights to remain in the property are protected, if you want to end the tenancy, you should check:

• The reasons allowed for giving notice in your State to end a tenancy agreement
• Whether the notice needs to be given on an official notice or form
• How much notice you need to give before the end of the tenancy agreement

If this isn’t done, they run the risk of causing an unnecessary delay in getting back possession of their property or having to start the process all over again.

Here’s what you need to know…

The following information was written by Jacqueline So and was originally published in Your Investment Property Magazine in March 2018.

All legislation referred to was relevant at the time of writing, but may change over time.

New South WalesNew South Wales

A landlord is typically required to serve a signed written termination notice 14 days before the date of eviction.

This notice must indicate the property’s address, the eviction date and the reason for termination.

This reason must be valid.

If, for instance, a landlord claims non-payment and the tenant can provide proof that they have complied with the tenancy agreement and paid their rent, the tenant will not be required to vacate the property.

However, if the grounds for eviction are proven to be correct but the tenant does not leave by the specified date, the landlord has the right to obtain a warrant of possession, which will authorise officers to remove the tenant by force.

VictoriaVictoria

As is the case in NSW, Victorian landlords must provide a signed written notice, which can either be sent by post or delivered by hand.

If the tenant does not lave, the landlord has 30 days to request an order of possession from the tribunal.

This order includes instructions to vacate the home, the date of evacuation, and a warning regarding forcible eviction should the tenant fail to comply.

If there is no compliance, a landlord can then obtain a warrant of possession to allow the authorities to remove the tenant.

Queensland AustraliaQueensland

 In the Sunshine State, the appropriate form must be used to create the notice, which must be presented within a reasonable period of time.

The reason for termination must be indicated, along with the evacuation date.

If the tenant does not comply, the landlord must apply to the tribunal for a termination order and a warrant of possession within two weeks of the date of handover.

Upon approval, the tribunal will then send a notice regarding a hearing, as well as a copy of the landlord’s application, to the tenant.

Once the warrant of possession is issued, it must be carried out within three days of the termination date.

The authorities have 14 days to enter the property and enforce the warrant unless the tribunal indicates otherwise.

Western AustraliaWestern Australia

 In the west, landlords must issue a formal notice to the tenant regarding a breach of the tenancy agreement.

The tenant then has 14 days to correct the breach. If they do not comply, this is when the termination notice should be served.

The tenant is given seven days after receiving the notice to leave the property.

If the tenant does not vacate within this time period, then the landlord should apply for an order of possession from the Magistrates’ Court within 30 days.

The subsequent course of action is to request a property seizure and delivery order.

A court-appointed bailiff will then be sent to evict the tenant on the landlord’s behalf.

South AustraliaSouth Australia

In the event that a tenant has breached the rental agreement, the landlord’s are required to serve written notice demanding a remedy; otherwise, the tenant must vacate the home.

The notice should detail the breach, the suggested remedy and the notice period.

The landlord should be careful to specify “all other occupants” aside from the tenant, and there should be two copies of this document – one to be kept for the landlord’s records.

The tenant then has seven days to comply with the request; eight days if the offence in question involves rent arrears.

If this is disregarded, then the landlord may proceed to fill in an application form for eviction, which also covers a request for vacant possession.

It must be accompanied by supporting documents, such as a copy of the lease agreement, rent records, and written notices if any.

These requirements must then be submitted to the tribunal, the only part that can affect eviction via a tribunal order.

Tasmania AustraliaTasmania

 On the Apple Isle, landlords must provide a notice to vacate either 14 or 28 days prior to the stated eviction date.

This notice indicates the date on which the document was issued to the tenant, the names of both parties, the address, the reasons for the evacuation notice, and the effective date of the notice period.

If the tenant fails to vacate the property, the landlord can apply for an order of possession from the Magistrates’ Court.

A copy of the application must be presented to the tenant on the same day.

The court will then send a representative to enforce vacant possession of the property on the set date.

Capital TeritoryAustralian Capital Territory

When faced with a problematic tenant, a landlord is required to first serve a notice to remedy.

If the tenant does not act on it within seven days, then the landlord can move forward with a written notice to vacate.

If, however, the tenant has previously been issued two remedy notices, then a notice to vacate can be presented immediately.

There should be an adequate period of notice, and the document should indicate the legal grounds for termination as well as the premise behind these grounds.

If the tenant does not budge, then the landlord can apply for a termination and possession order from the tribunal.

Subsequently, the landlord can request a warrant for eviction.

Upon providing two days’ notice regarding the eviction, the authorities can then remove the tenant within a set period unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Northen AustraliaNorthern Territory

 In the Top-end, a landlord must first seek out a rental officer to apply for an order for the tenant to leave.

An order for eviction can be made concurrently, or at another time.

The rental officer then issues the order to the tenant, and an affidavit of service is generated.

If the tenant does not vacate, the landlord must file an order for a writ of possession with the Supreme Court within six months.

This order should be supported by the affidavit of service for the eviction order and another confirming that the eviction order was disregarded.

The writ should then be issued to the sheriff, who would be granted the authority to remove the tenant and recover the property on behalf of the landlord.

In all cases, both parties will need to be prepared for the cost of asking the authorities to hear a case.

Resources by StateLandlord rights and responsibilities

Being a landlord brings with it a raft of rights and responsibilities, which you must understand to be the best property investor that you can be.
As we’ve mentioned in this article, each state has its own specific legislation regarding this so it’s imperative that you become conversant with the relevant laws or better yet use a professional property manager to navigate them for you!

This is only a short summary of landlord rights and responsibilities and that is why to maximise your investment returns and to minimise your headaches, you should have a professional property manager manage your assets.

That way, all contact with the tenant should be through them shielding you from the day to day hassles finding tenants, completing agreements, organising maintenance, and if necessary, sorting out problems at the Tribunal.

Metropole Property Management – the smart choiceQuestionmark house

At Metropole, we help you build your wealth by offering you the best property management services available because we are a different breed of licensed estate agents.

We don’t sell real estate.

We lease and manage residential properties throughout Melbourne and Sydney and Brisbane and concentrate all our resources on ensuring that your specific management needs are fulfilled.

This means we will look after your property the way we look after our own, using our professional skills and the latest technology to find quality tenants, minimise vacancies and handle marketing, repairs, maintenance, accounting, and legal compliance efficiently and cost-effectively.

With so many different pieces of legislation regulating the landlord rights and responsibilities, it makes sense to have a professional on your side who can help your property investment journey be as successful and stress-free as possible.

You deserve a property manager who cares as much about your property as you do.

If you want to find out a little more about how Metropole can help you maximise the returns on your investment property, please click here, leave us your details and we will be in touch.

Editors Note: This article was previously published on Property Update and has been republished for the benefit of our many new subscribers

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About

Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who help their clients grow, protect and pass on their wealth through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's once again been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and his opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit Metropole.com.au


'Landlord Rights and Responsibilities' have 485 comments

    Avatar

    November 24, 2019 Brendon

    Hi Michael,
    The water system in my rental exploded at 2 am one night last week in the external laundry, I was fast asleep. I did awake by chance and thought I could hear incredibly heavy rain, but wondered why it was only at my back door. I went investigating to find hot water going everywhere. I went to the front of house and turned off the mains and waited for it too finishing leaking. It was boiling hot water and I could not do anything else. Water had gone everywhere in that external laundry. It destroyed and collapsed shelves and scattered mess.
    I informed the real estate, and within 24 hours i had a new hot water system.
    A day later I tried to use my washing machine, and discovered that water had got inside the electrics at the top of machine and completely destroyed it.
    As this was not my fault, but instead, because of the landlord not keeping the hot water system in a state of safe use, are they responsible for replacing the washing machine?
    I have tried to inform the real estate but they have as yet not answered my calls.
    I have two young children, and needed a washing machine, so went and bought a new one.. I would very much love it if they could re-imburse me. I bought the exact same model that was destroyed.
    Can you offer me any advice please.
    I have no contents insurance.

    Thankyou.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      November 24, 2019 Michael Yardney

      It’s a real pity you have no contents insurance. Hopefully the landlord’s insurance will cover it

      Reply

    Avatar

    November 21, 2019 Luis

    Hi Michael,
    Recently my property manager released the end of agreement bond back to the tenant without my authority or agreement. I have now change to a new property manager and it has come to my attention that the previous tenants had caused damage to the property. What are my options? Cheers Luis

    Reply

    Avatar

    November 7, 2019 Katie

    Hi,

    I have a friend and she hired a professional cleaner to clean a rental. After the clean was done the realestate wasn’t happy with the clean and sent photos. She is now wanting her money back from teh cleaner but teh cleaner is saying that my friend didn’t give her a chance to rectify the issues therefore she won’t give a refund. Is this correct?

    Thanks

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      November 8, 2019 Michael Yardney

      Katie – unfortunately the cleaner is right – they did their work and you approved it – they should have been given a chance to rectify things

      Reply

    Avatar

    October 4, 2019 Vicki

    Hi Michael, I have been a tenant in a property for the past 9 years. The property has always been in poor repair. Some of the issues I’ve reported over the years have been addressed, others haven’t. Three weeks ago, the roof of the house suddenly collapsed and the house has been fenced off as a danger zone ever since. I was issued a frustrated lease and have been told I can’t access the property. My children and I have been homeless sleeping on friends floors for the past 3 weeks while engineers etc are doing their business. My contents insurance company have told me my contents aren’t covered because it’s not an insurable event as the property shows evidence of termites and neglect. My landlord told me his insurance doesn’t cover my belongings either and it looks like he isn’t going to be covered himself for the same reasons. Who the hell is their to look after my kids and I? We have no possessions, they’re all trapped in the house I’m not allowed to access and no one’s insurance wants to cover them. I’m desperate for some helpful advice!

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      October 4, 2019 Michael Yardney

      That’s a terrible situation Vicki – the landlord should be paying your costs of alternative accomodation – take this up with your property manager immediatley

      Reply

    Avatar

    September 24, 2019 Andrew

    Hi Michael, we are looking at purchasing a property that is currently tenanted for another 4 months. We are wanting to move into this property as our primary place of residence. Do we have the ability to evict the tenant prior to their current end date? Thank you

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      September 24, 2019 Michael Yardney

      NO you can’t force the tenant to leave early – but you could give them a financial incentive to leave

      Reply

    Avatar

    September 19, 2019 Janice

    Hi Michael, I have a question regarding a keyed window handle and catch and I am based in Qld.
    I am a landlord. When we rented out this property, the keyed window handle and catch were working fine with no issues although this property is 20 years old. However, when we inspected the property at the exit, we identified that there were a coupe of these were broken.
    This issue was never brought to us neither by the tenants or the property agent during the tenancy.
    I consulted with a couple of different PMs and received different responses. Some PM said this is the landlord responsible to pay for this maintenance, some say this is tenants’ responsibility and is not considered as normal wear and tear.
    Some say to get a third person’s professional opinion to determine the cause. In fact, who would like to make a decision to say this is definitely the user’s fault or this is not the user’s fault, it is difficult to determine the real cause.
    It’s easier for people to say, this is aged. who would know how this happened and the tenants would not admit this was their fault even it was.
    I have lived in a property which is 27 years old and the keyed window handle is still working fine.
    I would like to know how you think of this and who should be responsible for this repair.
    Thank you very much. I appreciate your response.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      September 19, 2019 Michael Yardney

      Janice – clearly there is no clear answer otherwise I would agree – but in my mind this type of issue is the landlord’s (your) responsibility. If your tenant has generally looked after your property well, don’t stress about the little things

      Reply

    Avatar

    September 16, 2019 sid saxena

    Hi Michael,

    looking for help, wondering if you can help me.

    So we saw a ad for room available in a two bedroom apartment in southbank for $400. thinking the rent for entire place would be somewhere around $800(divided by bedrooms) we moved in. later on we found out that the rent is $602. we asked our housemate about this but she said it’s divided between people in house, which we came to terms with. So a week she pays less than us, and has a bigger room and bigger cupboard space and ensuite. And we just found out that she rented the car space and kept all the money to herself. what can we do about this!? I don’t know if agency will get involved in this? we all are on the lease.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      September 16, 2019 Michael Yardney

      I’m not sure what rights you have – if the other person was on the lease before you and you agreed to the rent their is no rule to say how you split the rent

      Reply

      Avatar

      December 4, 2019 Paula

      Hi Sid, I am not sure which state you are from but this link will assist you with information about shared households rights and responsibilities. I hope this helps!
      https://www.tenantsvic.org.au/advice/shared-households/

      Reply

    Avatar

    September 11, 2019 Babinyu

    Hi Michael,
    Wondering if you can help. I’m a property owner renewing a management authority agreement with my real estate agency. I am concerned that certain fees have trippled (not negotiable) since our last agreement and particularly about a clause I don’t understand re termination – namely that wrongful termination (including a sale of the Premises) will incur a 50% charge of the management fee for the unexpired period of the term. I don’t understand what that means and would like to before I sign. My property is not for sale, but if I wanted or needed to sell it, would I have to time a sale around the end of the agreed management period rather than just inform the agency of my intention to sell? I’d be grateful for any advice or explanation.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      September 11, 2019 Michael Yardney

      In which state is your property?
      Are you suggesting this is a different agreement to the one you have already signed – why are they changing it?
      The first place to sart is a frank conversation with your property manager

      Reply

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    September 9, 2019 carl

    Hi Michael I own a property in Sydney. I have a well known real estate managing the property. Due to past problems with tenants we were very careful in selecting a real estate to manage our property. Recently we have had a major issue being that the property was being used to manufacture methamphedamine. . As a result the tenants and the property manager, an employee of the Real Estate agent have been arrested and charged. We were advised that regular inspections had taken place however as the property manager was affiliated with the tenants all documentation regarding the inspections was fraudulent. There is now a significant damage bill and the Real Estate has agreed to pay only half. We have also lost a considerable amount of rent in the time it has taken for the Police investigation and repairs to be done.Our thoughts are, that if the Real Estate were not negligent in fulfilling their obligations which they were paid for, this would not have occurred. We would like to know where we stand in regard to who is liable to pay for the damages and are we entitled to recover any money due to lost rent.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      September 9, 2019 Michael Yardney

      Hi Carl – have you approached your Landlord’s Insurance company – your policy should cover much of your expenses

      Reply

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    September 5, 2019 Claire

    HI MIchael,
    Just a quick question, I have paid all the expenses that relates to my rental property eg insurance, rates etc. I give the bills and money to the agent, they then pay it in behalf of me. The rental statement then shows $1200 (say council payment) as Revenue then -$1000 under Expenses. My tax agent then says I cant claim it as a deduction as it is In and Out. Is this correct? The payment comes from my pocket tho. My understanding is i can still claim the 1000 as a deduction againts my rental income. Thank you

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      September 5, 2019 Michael Yardney

      At Metropole we always ask for all invoices for our clients to be emailed directly to us – we pay them for the client out of the rent and they claim that as a deduction – I’m not sure why your case should be any different

      Reply

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    July 24, 2019 Kaye

    Hi Michael… I own property in NSW and I live in the ACT the property currently has a tenant, can I claim on accommodation, meals, fuel etc to inspect property when travelling from another state

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      July 24, 2019 Michael Yardney

      Kaye – that loophole has now been closed – so the simple answer is no.

      Reply

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    July 20, 2019 John Cheadle

    Hi Michael,
    The below information is from my property manager and is for NSW , not sure about other states affected by these rulings. All the landlords out there should be protesting about these changes that will effect our investments and email or right there concerns to the Dept Fair Trading details listed below.
    On 17 October 2018, the NSW Parliament passed the Residential Tenancies Amendment (Review) Act 2018 (the Amendment Act), which introduced a range of reforms and improvements to the Act. The Amendment Act implements the majority of the recommendations of the statutory review, and other reforms aimed at improving the renting experience. Reforms relating to domestic violence started on 28 February 2019.

    Proposed changes to the Regulation include:
    7 Minimum standards
    Rented properties will have to meet 7 minimum standards at the start of a tenancy to be fit for habitation. These are baseline standards and are not an exhaustive list of whether a property is fit for habitation.
    These are:
    Structurally sound property – Note: Premises are structurally sound only if the: (a) floors, ceilings, walls, supporting structures (including foundations), doors, windows, roof, stairs, balconies, balustrades and railings are: (i) in a reasonable state of repair, and (ii) are not liable to collapse because they are rotted or otherwise defective, and (b) floors, ceiling, walls and supporting structures are not subject to significant dampness, and (c) roof, ceilings and windows do not allow water penetration into the premises.
    Adequate natural or artificial lighting in each room, except storage rooms or garages
    Adequate ventilation
    Supplied with electricity or gas and have adequate electricity or gas outlets for lighting, heating and appliances
    Adequate plumbing and drainage
    Connected to a water supply service or infrastructure for the supply of hot and cold water for drinking, washing and cleaning
    Contains bathroom facilities, including toilet and washing facilities, which allows user privacy.
    These standards must be maintained throughout the tenancy (by way of repairs).

    Rectification orders
    NSW Fair Trading will have new powers to resolve disputes between tenants and landlords over repairs and maintenance and property damage caused by tenants. This will include the ability to issue rectification orders.

    Rent increases
    The reforms will help reduce tenants’ fear of retaliatory rent increases by limiting them to once every 12 months for periodic leases.

    Other changes
    introducing mandatory set fees for breaking a fixed-term lease early. The break fee will apply to all new fixed-term leases that are 3 years or less that are entered into after the new laws start. The break fees are:
    4 weeks’ rent if 75% or more of the lease remains
    3 weeks’ rent if between 50% and 75% of the lease remains
    2 weeks’ rent if between 25% and 50% of the lease remains
    1 week’s rent if 25% or less of the lease remains
    making it easier for tenants to get repair orders from the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal
    providing that only landlords can carry out repairs to smoke alarms, except for certain kinds of smoke alarms and repairs. A penalty will apply for landlords who fail to repair a smoke alarm
    a new definition for separately metered premises to reduce disputes between tenants and landlords about who pays for electricity, gas or water usage charges
    clarifying the rules around taking photos and videos during inspections and publishing them to advertise the property for sale or re-lease, especially where the tenant’s possessions are visible
    introducing a penalty to the landlord or agent if they do not provide a tenant with a property condition report at the start of the tenancy.
    expanding the list of material facts that landlords or their agents must not knowingly conceal from a prospective tenant to include drug crimes
    prescribing the manner and the period for landlords to carry out repairs to a smoke alarm, and prescribing the conditions under which a tenant may replace a battery in a smoke alarm
    establishing a list of minor alterations that a tenant can carry out, where it would be unreasonable for a landlord to withhold consent, and specifying which alterations may be carried out by a qualified person
    providing an option for a 5-year fixed term in the standard form of agreement to encourage landlords and tenants to consider longer term leases
    updating the standard form of residential tenancy agreement and condition report
    Sorensen Real Estate are concerned that the introduction of the ‘7 minimum standards at the start of a tenancy to deem a property fit for habitation’ will ultimately result in more expense to a Landlord by requiring them to provide a building report report every year or so as evidence that these minimum standards have been met. Unfortunately a Property Manager is not qualified to deem a property structurally sound or not liable to collapse due to rot or something else defective and so a qualified person will need to be used.

    The other major concern to us is the new definition for separately metered premises. From our understanding a Landlord will only be able to charge a tenant water usage charges if their water is separately metered by Council. This means that any Landlord that has a house and granny flat will not be able to pass on those water usage charges to either the house tenant or the granny flat tenant if they only have a flow meter installed.

    Have your say

    Fair Trading invite you to tell them your views by using their online form. You don’t have to answer every question but your submission needs to address the specific issues raised in the documents and where possible provide evidence to support your feedback (eg are there any reports or papers you can refer to?).
    Open the online form

    If you can’t use the online form, you can email your submission to [email protected].
    Fair Trading will publish your submission if not told otherwise.
    If you can’t provide your submission electronically, you can send your submission by mail to:
    Residential Tenancies Regulation 2019 consultation
    Regulatory Policy, BRD
    Department of Customer Services
    2-24 Rawson Place
    HAYMARKET NSW 2000

    Reply

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    July 17, 2019 Carrie J

    Hi Michael,

    I am in Perth, WA and renting a small furnished apartment with a month to month arrangement, no formal lease. I have recently fallen slightly behind in my rent, never more than one week. Due to my circumstances I am having too pay small amounts over several days rather than full amount on the day the rent is due m. However, the previous week is paid by the time the next week is due, I do realise this is not ideal, and I am working hard to fix the situation and in the meantime just doing what I can to stay paid up.
    My landlord is not happy about this of course, as I guess she relies on my money to pay the mortgage. As a result she calls me everyday, sometimes several times a day, to basically complain to me about how I am stressing her out, that I am being unfair and not doing the right thing etc etc. I am aware that it’s not ideal for me to pay this way however I just keep telling her I am trying and doing the best I can and honestly I am really quite tired of the lectures 2 or 3 times a day about how terrible of a person I am and how shitty I am making her life. I am aware I owe her and I am doing my best, I don’t need to be told daily.

    If I don’t answer she calls over and over, sends texts with the same type of content as her calls and on two occasions, when I was not able to answer her call she came to my apartment, let herself in and proceeded to yell at me, telling me to leave immediately and threatening to call the cops on me. The second time was quite embarrassing as she let herself in yelling at me and I was engaging in.. Let’s say, a very personal thing with my boyfriend. We were b I th mortified and she didn’t even leave when she realised what she was seeing, we had to get up and put clothes on and I had to make her leave after she was once again threatening cops on me etc and telling me that have to go, that day.

    Not only is she dressing me out and pissing me off, but is actually embarrassing me too, as she is not giving any consideration to my privacy. Would I be able to tell her to stop calling me repeatedly, texting me constantly and certainly not showing up without notice? She isn’t allowed to do these things surely just because I am a little behind in rent? As I said I am never more than a week behind ans I pay her nearly everyday to try and get paid up as soon as possible. It’s not my problem she is relying on my money to live and pay her mortgage and she needs to deal with her own stuff and not constantly harass me, lecture me, tell me what a fuck up I am and just turn up when she wants. She is wrong yes?? Can you explain what she legally can do briefly? Thanks so much.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      July 17, 2019 Michael Yardney

      The problem is you are dealing with a landlord directly – never aod thing as the don’t understand where to draw the line.
      Yes she has overstepped the mark and can’t really take action until you are 14 days overdue

      Reply

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    July 8, 2019 Andrew Au

    Hi Michael,
    I rented my two-storey house as two units to tenants under two separate tenancy agreements. The house however only has one water meter. I used the standard tenancy agreement with the clause “The tenant is responsible for all charges associated with the consumption of services supplied to the premises, including electricity, gas, water and telephone.” I just realised that the landlord is responsible for any consumption charges and costs for any services that are NOT separately metered. In this situation, can I ask each tenant to pay for half of the water consumption even if they signed the agreements in the understanding that they should pay for the cost?

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      July 8, 2019 Michael Yardney

      Andrew – no you can’t ask them to if the property is not separately metered

      Reply

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    May 29, 2019 Steve Taylor

    we have been renting a house in QLD for the last 16 years…….just curious……….how often do the walls have to be painted and carpets replaced by the landlord as im afraid they will try to charge me for it even though it hasnt been done since we have been here

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      May 29, 2019 Michael Yardney

      Steve – there is no fixed time for these works to be done – but you should NOT be charged for these – after 16 years it is expected that these would have work out

      Reply

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    May 24, 2019 Charles

    Hi Michael,
    We are going to rent a fully furnished apartment, but the agent asked us to pay extra deposit/bond for those furniture. But i think 4 weeks bond is the maximum amount that we need pay to fair trading, am i right?

    Charles

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      May 24, 2019 Michael Yardney

      I can only speak for Victoria wher you are correct – see here; https://www.consumer.vic.gov.au/housing/renting/ask-a-question/how-much-bond-you-must-pay

      Reply

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    May 22, 2019 Em

    Have moved into a unit in QLD where to find carpets have a permanent odour (that professional cleaning cannot remove), previous tenants have drawn on them and they are ripped in some areas and nails are exposed from underneath and the carpet is at least 15 years old then should the landlord be obliged to replace the carpet? I’m being told that due to cost they won’t do it.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      May 22, 2019 Michael Yardney

      Em – didn’t you see this when you inspected the property – unfortunately you accepted as is

      Reply

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    May 22, 2019 Fiona

    Hi Michael,
    My property is up for rent at the moment and my property manager is not sending me the applications that come in. She gives me a quick run down and she has “not recommended” any of them. I recently asked for all applications and she advised me that after a week she shreds them. “for privacy reasons” Is this correct procedure? I never said no to any applications as i wanted to see what my options were first.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      May 22, 2019 Michael Yardney

      Fiona – it’s good your property manager is cautious about who she recommends – applications contain personal and private information – so I understand why she shreds the info

      Reply

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    May 1, 2019 Deanne

    Hi Michael,
    We have an investment property in QLD and the tenants have put in a maintenance request – The fire place is blocked cannot use at the moment. When used previously smoke come out into the house. Had to open up the house to ventilate. Please have it looked at before winter.
    Is this something we have to do or is it their responsibility? He said we don’t mow their lawns or clean their floors… is this something they should be looking after? I can’t find anything that gives me a straight answer.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      May 1, 2019 Michael Yardney

      Deanne if you are providing a fireplace, it must be in working order – it is your responsibility

      Reply

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    April 28, 2019 Gabe

    How long does it take, from the initial serving of a breach notice, to actually getting tenants to vacate a property for a serious breach? Weeks? Months? What is the process? I’m in NSW.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      April 28, 2019 Michael Yardney

      Gabe – how long depends on how efficient your property manager is at managing the process adn how quickly they get it to NCAT and the findings there – too many variables to give you a firm answer.

      Reply

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    April 24, 2019 Silke

    Hi, further to my post about my tenants ripping up the established garden and my property manager who doesn’t care. I want to sack my PM but I also want to issue my tenants with a Notice to Remedy a Breach. Does such a thing exist in NSW? What happens if the tenants don’t remedy the breach within the allotted timeframe?

    Also, my management agreement has a 60-day termination clause. What happens in that 60 days? Can a new PM step in and take over? I am unsure what my next steps should be. The tenants are on a six month lease that expires in September and I do not wish to renew, so I want to ensure I’ve left myself enough time.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      April 24, 2019 Michael Yardney

      The new PM can’t step in unless you pay your existing PM their 2 months of fees and ask them to terminate early.
      Make sure your new PM documents your claim properly to protect you if you go to NCAT

      Reply

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        April 25, 2019 Silke

        Hi Michael, I’ve just received the ingoing condition report from my PM. Two problems:
        1. It is unsigned
        2. The garden isn’t even listed. There is an option for ‘garden and grounds’, but it isn’t ticked.
        What do I do now?

        Reply

          Michael Yardney

          April 25, 2019 Michael Yardney

          Go ver your PM’s head and speak to the owner of the company

          Reply

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            April 25, 2019 Silke

            She *is* the owner of the company. Well, technically, her son is the principal. :'(

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    April 21, 2019 Silke

    Hello, I am a brand new landlord. Two weeks after moving in, my tenants chopped down all the trees in the back yard and dug up all the shrubs (all natives) in the front yard and dumped them in the garbage. What are my rights about getting this fixed? My property manager has a very casual attitude about the whole thing; even going so far as to say they did me a favour because now it all looks “neat” and “low maintenance”. I am waiting on a copy of the condition report; I am unsure whether they took photos of the garden but surely this forms part of the “property” that the tenants are obligated to maintain??

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      April 21, 2019 Michael Yardney

      Silke – you are correct – the tenants must “maintain” your property in the condition it was at the beginning of the tenancy – they are not allowed to “chop down trees”
      Sounds like you need a new property manager considering their lax attitude

      Reply

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        April 21, 2019 Silke

        What success would I have taking the tenants to NCAT myself? I’m in NSW.

        Reply

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    March 20, 2019 Alex

    I have just begun sub-leasing a room in a house with two other tenants. They are on the lease but I am not. It has been obvious since I moved in that the premises is infested by cockroaches. Can you please tell me if I, the sub-letter, am responsible financially for the fumigation or just my two housemates? The house is in SA, Australia.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      March 20, 2019 Michael Yardney

      Alex – while you may not be legally required to pay, I see it as the right thing to do as you’re now a tenant in the property

      Reply

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    March 17, 2019 Kevin Meschino

    Hi Michael
    Just wondering if you can answer a tax question as I have received contradictory advice from two tax accountants.
    The garden shed on my investment property is in poor shape and has corroded right through at the base and has become unstable.
    I have replaced it with a new shed of the same standard on the existing slab (the cost was just over $1k).
    The question is can I claim the cost as an expense in the current tax year or does it need to be depreciated? One tax accountant says it can only be depreciated while the other says that it is a repair because it has not added anything new to the property and the shed is of the same standard.
    Which interpretation is correct?
    Thanks
    George

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      March 17, 2019 Michael Yardney

      George – I’m not an accountant – but I can see where the confusion may arise, because it was a new “structure” rather than a repair.If you would have repaired the old shed there is no question you could write it all off in one year as a repair.

      However it is a new sturcture – so this is really a question for a depreciation quantity surveyor – but considering the relatively small sum involved – go with what your tax preparing accountant says

      Reply

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      May 17, 2019 DAVID GURUNG

      I need a little more information about it to be able to help you. So far as I have understood your explanation, it is a repair work and can be deducted one. The 300 dollar rule does not apply in the case of repair work. Even if it is replace but if it is just a part of big asset, I would consider it as a repair not a whole asset, so I will allow it to be claimed at once.

      Reply

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    March 12, 2019 Harley

    Hi Michael,
    I am a landlord and I am oversea at the moment. The contract with my tenant will be run out while im oversea and I dont want to continue that contract as I have received some complaints from my neighbour about the tenant. What is the course of action for me? Should I wait until I come back or email him to move out without me being there?

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      March 13, 2019 Michael Yardney

      Harley – this is exactly what your property manager should be doing and overseeing for you – leave it up to them – you should not be contacting your tenant directly and definitely shouldn’t be managing the proeprty yourself

      Reply

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    March 7, 2019 Aimee

    If there is a decrease in water levels due to a leak in the pool, is the landlord responsible for replacing the lost water?

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      March 7, 2019 Michael Yardney

      It depends on the terms of your lease- if you leased the property with the use of a pool if must be in “usable” condition, otherwise the landlord must repair it or compensate you

      Reply

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    February 28, 2019 Nickie Nolan

    Dear Michael

    I’m hoping you can help me.

    I have been a tenant of a property for almost 20 years. Upon the owners request, we changed property managers 18 months ago. Since then, I have had issues with her bullying & belittling attitude toward me. Recently it’s all come to a head & within a few days, she went from telling me she’s not going anywhere to advising that she will no longer be having anything to do with maintenance of the property.. only collecting rent. Since then, I have tried to get in touch with the owner, but he is refusing to respond to my emails. At this point I do not feel I have a property manager at all, as I have not been advised BY THE OWNER of changes in writing & what the process is going forward regarding emergency repairs, maintenance & reimbursement. I feel quite unsafe paying rent to an agency that is refusing to communicate with me whatsoever & according to the RTA, they don’t even need to send me rent receipts.

    I believe the Property Manager is advising him to get rid of me, as in the 19+ years I have been here, I have never had to wait more than one day to hear back from him. Now I feel like it is all going down this way because he’s trying to get me to move out, which I do not understand considering I’ve been a loyal tenant for so long & have always paid my rent in advance.

    Is this instance, who should I breach, what specifically should I say the breach is & how long should I wait until doing so? I have also been advised to withhold rent, but I am not prepared to do that, since that gives them grounds to evict me. I am also scared of retalitory eviction once I send a breach.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      February 28, 2019 Michael Yardney

      Nickie – don’t withhold rent – then you are in default. In the first instance complain to the owner of the estate agency managing your property.
      If you have no luck make a complaint to the tenancy tribunal

      Reply

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    February 8, 2019 Jackie

    Hi Michael, great article. I have a question if you don’t mind. On 29.1.2019 my property manager emailed me and advised that my tenant had advised him that the Hot water system had stopped working on Saturday. My property manager said that he was writing to let me know that he has organised for a plumber to attend. The next day I received an invoice from the plumber which said that he found the power was off to the hws and when turning on the hws he also turned the controller back on then Tested a few times and it always worked. Now I really don’t think that we as a landlord should be charged this fee as we have supplied a fully functioning HWS and if it was turned off by some unknown person, then I do not think we are responsible for that. (I mean we don’t pay for an electrician to attend when their light switch is off!) What are your thoughts?

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      February 8, 2019 Michael Yardney

      Jackie – it’s your responsibility to provide a functioning HWS and as it is an essential service if it stops working over the weekend the tenant can call out emergency repairers at your expense.
      But this is very unusual – you did your bit and provided a working service – the logic of your argument seems right – I’d suggest to your property manager that as nothing was wrong you shouldn’t pay

      Reply

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    February 6, 2019 Andrew Miga

    Michael,
    You are doing a great service to community. Many Thanks.
    I have a small question. My current tenant in VIC has just renewed the tenancy agreement to be started from mid of March. However, due to my personnel requirements i need to occupy the property from mid of April (after one month of new lease starts) and i informed the tenant about this requirements. The tenant is very good, to be honest, and they are ok with my request but no indication when they can vacate the property. Can we go for an agreement in writing for lease break? Is there a provision in the law? Should i offer the lease break in writing? Can i meet the tenant personally and discuss it? What will happen if the tenant vacate early or does not vacate on the requested (or say verbally agreed) date?

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      February 6, 2019 Michael Yardney

      Andrew – the tenant does not have to break their tenancy, so you’re lucky they are cooperative.
      It’s always best to deal through your property manager rather than directly – and of course everything should be in writing. Why not offer them a financial incentive

      Reply

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      May 19, 2019 Penny

      I have a tenant who is on a fixed term lease (6mths). We have given her notice that the lease will not be renewed all in writing. She asked if she could break without penalty if she found another property without penalty. We advised this would be fine so long as 2 weeks notice was give. The very next day she advised she would be vacating in two weeks and gave notice. Now, three days before she is scheduled to move out she is asking to extend. We have said no. Can we expect her to move out?

      Reply

        Michael Yardney

        May 19, 2019 Michael Yardney

        Penny – has all this been documented in writing by your property manager? You should expect her to move but it will be difficult for you to force her if she only requests a short extension

        Reply

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    February 2, 2019 Wojciech Lorbiecki

    Hi there
    Me and my partner have rented a property for nearly 4 years and have just recently moved out the property to reduce slightly our expenses. As we did move out all utilities we have been informed by energy supplier manager that we have been overcharged for gas usage. They found out that the gas meter has been upgraded in 2012 ( we moved in 2015) from imperial to metric but the industry had never been updated therefore we were charge more unknowingly. Bills pressure in winter season lead us to changing the supplier in 2017 and moving out eventually in order to reduce cost of living. Should the landlord take any responsibility for not updating utilities industry ?? I have recently emailed the landlord and letting agency about my findings, what sort of response should we expect from them ??

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      February 3, 2019 Michael Yardney

      Sorry Wojciech – I can understand your frustration this is not the owner’s responsibility – take up your concern with the supplier who overcharged you – your contract in this instance is with them

      Reply

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    January 31, 2019 SCA

    Hi Michael, my husband recently viewed a property on a Thursday at 5pm, and it seemed, large, quiet and filled with light. We subsequently applied for it. We were successful and signed the lease the following Friday at 9am. That evening, at 7pm, we entered the property for the first time since his viewing, and found that there was significant noise issues that were not apparent when he viewed the property.

    We are of the view that there is minimal sound insulation between the apartment and other apartments. The lack of insulation is to the point that we can hear, with great clarity, our upstairs neighbours urinate, the flushing pipes, all footsteps (normal footsteps) and near audible
    conversations. All of these sounds are not loud, just others ‘living’.

    We spoke immediately with the real estate agent (being less than 12 hours since signing) and were advised to return the keys and not move in. We did so the next day and have now redirected furniture to a storage unit. The real estate agent is currently speaking with the landlord about next steps.

    We are concerned that the landlord will enforce the break fee. We hope that they will not as we immediately informed the agent of the issue, did not move in, returned keys and have offered as an act of good faith to forfeit the two weeks rent already paid (noting this puts us out of pocket).

    Having described the situation to a few people who understand buildings a bit more, they have raised the possibly of there not being adequate fire proofing in the walls/floor, or indeed, possible non-compliance with building codes in terms of noise reduction. We knocked on the walls briefly and they do not seem to have much in them (certainly not concrete).

    Do you have any thoughts here about whether this suspected non-compliance is a legitimate point that could be made to NCAT, for example, if we were to dispute the break fee (again, the landlord has not confirmed whether they will enforce this yet, and seems to be relying on how long it takes to re-let).

    Any advice would be helpful!

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      January 31, 2019 Michael Yardney

      The standard of the building structure is pure speculation and won’t stand up at the tribunal without proof.
      Sorry – the landlord is within their rights to charge a break lease fee.
      That’s one of the many problems with many of the new apartment buildings

      Reply

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        February 14, 2019 Phillip S Glanville

        I don’t think the landlord can charge ‘a break lease fee’. If it were me, that contracted, to move into this property, and then found it not fit for habitation, I would be charging the landlord, for all of my expenses!
        NB: Respect the rights of the tenant to quiet enjoyment of the property.

        Reply

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    January 11, 2019 EM

    Hi Michael,
    I’m a landlord in NSW and QLD and have a tricky question regarding rental ledgers/payment receipting. When is the rent considered paid – is it the date the Tenant’s payment hits the rental bank account, or the date they schedule payment to leave their account?

    A couple of our tenants have Rents Due on Saturdays and without supplying any payment confirmation details, we post payment on Tuesdays, for payments received (PAID) Monday – meaning they’re 2 days in arrears (as calculated automatically by the system). Would it make any difference as to when/how payment is receipted if they provide an electronic banking payment receipt?

    Look forward to hearing back – as I can’t find anything definitive on my quick online search. Am particularly interested to see how NCAT/QCAT view this and on what basis – so we make sure everything’s by the book. Many thanks in advance.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      January 12, 2019 Michael Yardney

      EM – I hope your’e not managing your properties yourself. If you use a licensed estate agent with a trust account you should have no problems

      Reply

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      January 30, 2019 Graham Crowe

      EM – There is QLD legislation that explicitly states that the date of payment is considered to be the date that the tenant initiates the transaction. This legislation does not exist in any other state (as far as I know) and usually NSW payments would be considered paid on the date that the payment hits the receiving account.
      Oh and good on you for checking yourself, I know of cases where licensed agents in QLD have refused to correct rental ledgers to comply with the QLD legislation, and if the tenants took it to QCAT it would be the landlord who pays the penalty!

      Reply

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    January 10, 2019 Nicola

    Hi Michael, i am renting a house in Victoria and the landlord wants to immediately cut a large acorn tree in the backyard of the rental property due to a neighbours Removal off the tree will reduce privacy to the council park behind and the backyard will no longer have shade. Is this a breach of private enjoyment? What can i do to avoid the tree being cut down so that my famiily can enjoy our backyard in peace. What are the rights of both the landlord and the tenant in this instance. NB. Local council had advised that unfortunately no permit is required to cut down the 40 year old acorn tree. Help please!!??

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      January 11, 2019 Michael Yardney

      Nicola – I understand your concern – sorry what I don’t understand is exactly why the landlord is in such a hurry – this would be quite an expense for him – it seemed like you didn’t finish the first sentence. Also…have you expressed your concerns?

      Reply

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    January 6, 2019 Kristy Petschler

    Hi Michael, I get my house back on Friday that I have been renting for two years. When I handed over the property to the tenants I had freshly mulched the gardens and had trimmed back all the plants. I have driven past today and the plants are quite overgrown (shadowing the however the grass has been cut and there are no visible weeds. I am just wondering where I stand on having the tenant trim back all the trees into a manageable order?

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      January 6, 2019 Michael Yardney

      Kristy – I’m not sure which State you’re in but in many Stataes trimming the trees is a landlord’s responsibility – check with your property manager

      Reply

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    December 31, 2018 Andreas

    Hi Michael,
    My tenant in WA has installed wall hooks to hang pictures and wall shelves to 10 of my interior walls, drilled holes in 1 of my doors and damaged another, installed a ceiling hook, all without permission. Some of the wall plugs have been patched over and the affected section painted over poorly. The patch job left small ‘hills’ on my walls and the colour is not matching also. I have gotten a quote from 2 contractors to fix the affected areas and repaint that section of the wall up to the corners, not just the area of the wall plug. Both quotes are around 1,000 AUD. The tenant after long discussions reluctantly agreed to pay 400 AUD. This does by no means cover the repair to restore the walls to a condition before the tenancy.
    The walls had been painted 5 years earlier or just 4 years before the tenant moved in.
    Question is, if I take this to court, would the magistrate usually allow painting the whole section of the affected wall or just allows for repainting the small area affected by the wall plug as advised by my property manager?
    Would the magistrate take the age when a wall was last painted into account also, 4 to 5 years in my case and lower the compensation accordingly?

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      December 31, 2018 Michael Yardney

      This should really be in the hands of your property manager who will have a better idea of how the WA system works.

      They definitelywill take into account the fact that the paintwork is now 5 years old and probably around half way through its useable life.
      As for your question regarding would they accept a “patch up” instead of repainting the whole wall – this could well
      Depend on how well the case is argued. If you have a good property manager they should look after all this for you

      Reply

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    November 30, 2018 ND

    Hi mate, I am a landlord in Sydney NSW have end up with a dodgy property manager. I have this property management company on board for about a year and they haven’t done a single thing than collecting their fees from tenant’s rents before they are transferred to me. I was paying all the bills, was attending all maintenance issues requested by tenants to agents ending up with me to sort out. I was never provided any inspection report from agents despite my followups at 6 months and 12 months tenancy – I doubt they are doing any?? On one of my maintenance visits I found the tenants have sublet the place to bachelors and the out house has turned into a hostel place with damage to carpets, showers and toilets. Recently I noted the statement of rents was incorrect too for one of the weeks in last month and I thought enough is enough. I sent the agents my termination notice some 2 weeks ago under non performance of their duties. Now the agents are not willing to handover the files to my new agents as the contract clause is 90 days. They are also threatening my tenants to not to talk to me and vacate the place at earliest, also sending me emails saying the tenants are complaining about me accessing property without consent. Left with no option I have raised the matter with Fair trading NSW to assist me, however I am concerned that left this managing agent on board for any day longer might cause me and my tenants more trouble. What are my options as landlord to get rid of this agent in shortest possible time? Noting the fair trading and negotiation way will take days and days.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      November 30, 2018 Michael Yardney

      ND – sorry to hear about that – it’s a real shame.
      You’ve really done all you can do, clearly the agent has done the wrong thing by you and they’re continuing to do so. Why not go in personally and speak with the boss and explain your concerns

      Reply

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    November 29, 2018 Cathie

    Hi,
    I was wondering if you could help us. We are landlords who have given the tenant 90 days to vacate as we need to move into the property ourselves. The tenant has left the house in a disgusting state. We have had a (poor) Property Manager looking after our property for the last eight years and have always repaired everything when asked. We have replaced and air conditioner, water heater , toilet and oven over the years. The property manager says they now have to negotiate with the tenant a time to properly clean and repair all the damage and have told us this could take some time. We have sold our house and need to be out this weekend. What are our rights and who pays for us being out of pocket while the PM addresses these issues? She can’t give me a time frame and said it is whenever the previous tenant can get around to it.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      November 29, 2018 Michael Yardney

      Cathie – what you’ve been told is not correct – why have you put up with a poor property manager for years????
      I hope she hasn’t given the tenant their bond back – the funds may be able to come out of this – the works should have been done at the end of the tenancy

      Reply

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    November 22, 2018 Danny Cannon

    Hi Michael, As a tenant whos contents were damaged when a pipe burst in the bathroom and flooded the entire house, is the landlord responsible to pay our $1,000 excess when we claim contents damaged under our insurance? Thansk in advance for your advise.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      November 22, 2018 Michael Yardney

      Danny The landlord’s insurance should cover you for your damage and your excess

      Reply

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    November 13, 2018 Anne

    Hi Michael,
    Would appreciate it so much if you can advise me with this.
    Apartment unit is in MELB, landlord/tenant/agency did not mention about installing blinds. However, after the rental contract has been signed, it was raised up that tenants do not have privacy as the other apartment on the opposite could watch what the tenants was doing.
    I’ve done a research online, but no specific law said neither the landlord nor the tenants are obligated to install the blinds. But, the agency emphasises that “it may be a legal requirement to have them in bedrooms in terms of privacy”. Is this true?
    Then again, tenants did not mention that blinds have to be installed when they move in, nor was it stated in the contract.
    It is a new apartment in MELB CBD, however, charged at a very low rental rate at 530$/week. And average rental price was suppose to be $630-650/week.

    I sincerely hope that you could help me with this.

    Thank you very much.

    Anne

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      November 13, 2018 Michael Yardney

      Anne
      You must provide a reasonable level of privacy and it seems like the right thing to do doesn’t it?
      Why would you not supply blinds and make the tenants happy – your can depreciate them as a tax deduction anyway.
      As for the low rent – – why did you accept it if it was meant to be higher?

      Reply

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    November 4, 2018 Michelle

    Hi, I’ve lived in my current property for 6 months. The real estate agent made a rental inspection just after 3 months, and was perfectly happy. I’m a good tenant. He has also texted/emailed me twice saying he just drove past the property and this or that needed fixing up, and he would drive by again in a week to ensure it had been done. Is it fine for him to do this? It’s making me uncomfortable to know he is regularly driving by and commenting on things he thinks I should do. One was the grass was over grown (about ankle height) and I already had someone booked to come and mow it. The other was some boxes of toys and furniture that don’t fit in the house stored under the carport (which he referred to as ‘rubbish’). Is he allowed to inspect the exterior like this regularly outside of agreed upon rental inspection times? (I’m in Victoria)

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      November 4, 2018 Michael Yardney

      Michelle – I can understand how you feel. Your agent is being very diligent – most won’t do this as frequently.
      He can only do a certain number of internal inspections each year – depending on which state you’re in – but he is within his rights to drive by, however it does seem he is acting prematurely and a little unfairly in your case. Why not speak with him and tell him your good intentions but also how you feel – this may reassure him

      Reply

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    November 2, 2018 Ann Robbins

    good interesting site Michael. I live in Scotland but I am looking into a renting problem on behalf of my daughter who lives in WA. At the final inspection of her last rental, my daughters partner advised the Agent, they would like to attend, but the Agent did not come back with a time and date. Also am I right in stating that when a Final Inspection Report is prepared the Agent cannot come back 12 days later, by e mail, with further repairs, unless such repairs etc were not visible at the time of the original inspection. The Landlords Agent 12 days after the report is claiming for two trees that were damaged. They are stating they want two new mature trees. The damage to these were clearly visible at the time of the inspection. Regards, Ann Robbins

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      November 2, 2018 Michael Yardney

      Ann – it’s a pity that your daughter was not advised of the inspection time.
      The agent is probably within their rights to make a claim if the damage was there at the time, but would be hard pressed to pursue it if your daughter already has her bond back

      Reply

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    October 17, 2018 Kush

    Hi Michael,
    I have recently moved into an apartment where the front door lock of the apartment is faulty. You can use a key tag or a key but neither of the 2 work right away. It’s been nearly a week and the property agent has not fixed the lock nor replaced it. What can/should I do?

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      October 17, 2018 Michael Yardney

      This is a security issue and should be fixed promptly. Tell the agent (in writing /email) you are concerned for your security and if they can’t fix it in 24 hours you will and you expect the cost reimbursed

      Reply

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    October 16, 2018 Louis

    Hi Michael:

    I am a landlord in Mel , the tenant is owing me rent for more than 2 months , I have applied for a VACT for hearing , the first hearing date happened 1 month ago and my agent told me the tenant changed his business so they need more document to prove he is the same person who sign the contract and it task them 2 more weeks for this kind document , after they submitting the document it has been 9 weeks since the last rent paid , and we still waiting for the next heating date , I am not sure this is common as 9 weeks still waiting for hearing date does not seems good to me , so I am thinking either my agent or VACT made some mistakes , and how long it normally will take to vacate the tenant

    Thank
    Louis

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      October 16, 2018 Michael Yardney

      Louis – something sound very wrong here – it should definitely not take so long. It may be worth escalating this issue form your property manager up to their superior – either the department head or the owne rof he business

      Reply

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    October 3, 2018 jenny halson

    Hi

    I am a landlord to a property in Victoria. I recently replaced a decking at the property that originally had a rail on it that was very unsafe due to the kids swinging on n it all the time. I did not replace the railing. The drop from the decking is less than a meter. Do I have to replace the railing?

    Jenny

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      October 3, 2018 Michael Yardney

      Jenny
      The way I would consider this is if you lived there and you had children, would you be comfortable with them playing on the decking.
      Interestingly I recently built some townhouses and was in a similar situation and I put protective fence up

      Reply

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    October 1, 2018 Nettie

    Hello I was hoping you could advise us about our rights – our landlord moved in with his partner into the back cabin of the home we have been renting for 5 years. They don’t pay towards the electricity bills though they have doubled in cost and he increased the rent by $30 a week a few months after he moved in. He also parks permanently in front of the double garage we rent as part of the house as he saw we weren’t parking both our cars in there regularly. Previously he was increasing the rent by $20 every one or two years. Now he has tells us he wants us to stop paying the real estate rent as he wants us to pay him rent directly into his account. He said he wants to do an inspection of the home shortly which I imagine is so he can work out how much of our bond held by the real estate agent to return to us. As we had to pay a month’s rent in advance as well as a month’s rent in bond, if we stop paying rent as of the day he informed us, when should we begin paying rent to him, I’m assuming a month later? What paperwork does he need to provide us with now that he has changed the terms of our lease? For the first few years we signed a new lease every year but now it is a month by month lease and he hasn’t requested a new lease for a while. Thanks for any advice you have.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      October 1, 2018 Michael Yardney

      It sound like you’re in a sticky situation – Your landlord is overstepping the mark – you could go to the tribunal and put him in his place (approach the tenant’s union) or move out – neither a happy scenario

      Reply

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    September 18, 2018 Russell Williams

    I am a landlord to a property in VIctoria, which I have been renting out for the last 4 months on a 12 month agreement. Originally we bought the property to reside in, but were not yet ready to move. Sometime in the next 2 years I intend to make the rental property my place of residence. What is the correct process for ending the tenancy and moving into the property ?

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      September 18, 2018 Michael Yardney

      Russell – you can’t break a lease, so you’ll have to wait till the lease expires and then get your property manager to give adequate notice to the tenant

      Reply

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        October 1, 2018 Yas

        Hi Michael,

        I have an question and I hope this is the correct blog to ask it.
        What is the best way to reject an interested tenant’s application? Should the applicant be informed with specificity why they have been rejected/denied/refused or a simple blanket statement is safer and more favored amongst landlords stating “..that they are not what we are looking for” in the state of QLD? I am not seeing much information on this topic and if you could direct me to the right reading material it would be much appreciated.

        Reply

          Michael Yardney

          October 1, 2018 Michael Yardney

          Yas – this is the role of your property manager – I really hope you’re not trying to save a few dollars and do it yourself- that could easily get you into more trouble than you can imagine.
          For example there are laws about discrimination that can get you into trouble if you reject a potential tenant for the wrong reasons. However, there is no need to give any reason other than they are “not suitable.” Don’t go into it any further

          Reply

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    August 29, 2018 Eric

    Michael

    how long the agent should keep our data after we move out. e.g phone number and email. Thanks for your time

    Eric

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      August 29, 2018 Michael Yardney

      Eric, as far as I know there is no restriction on how long htey can keep your data – but they should have had your permission and explained how they use it

      Reply

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    August 28, 2018 Jaesh

    The real-estate claims that there are dents in the garage door and they need to replace the whole garage door and I have to pay for it. The garage door has been working fine and i had never noticed any dents to the garage door. More over it is on the outside of garage door. So looks like our neighbours could have hit the garage door when reversing it to our garage. But the realestate wants us to pay for repairs. I have told them that this is outside premises and i have no control over who does what to the outside of garage but they would not listen. What can i do here ? I am planning to raise this with VCAT .

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      August 28, 2018 Michael Yardney

      Janesh – I agree it would be difficult for the agent to prove you damaged the door and it is unreasonable for them to request you pay for the whole lot. Yes VCATis an option if they persist

      Reply

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    August 15, 2018 LIFEN CHEN

    Hi Michael,
    Thanks for this article. This is very informative and helpful.
    I am renting a uni in WA. Recently, the ceiling in the kitchen and living room of the unit fallen down completely. I has to move out and find a temporary accommodation. My own furniture was damaged. My agent told me that they would cover my costs and pay out the damaged furniture. But now they have changed their mind and refuse to payout the damaged furniture. I was told that I need to cover this using my own insurance. But this is due to inadequate maintenance (I was told this is because the property was too old) and completely out of my control. It is the owner’s obligation to ensure the rental premises are safe to live in. Would be great and appreciate to get your advice regarding this. What are my rights regarding this?

    Thanks a lot,
    Li

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      August 15, 2018 Michael Yardney

      Yes Li – the premises must be habitable – and the landlord does have to pay your accomodation and associated costs while you could not live there and while you should have your furniture insured the landlord should be insured for the damage he caused to your furniture. You should pursue your claim

      Reply

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    August 10, 2018 Danielle

    Hi Michael,
    My partner and I have been the property we’re currently in from the same agents for the past 2 years. Late in June I noticed that the ground around the water meter was wet but I couldn’t see where the water was coming from. I messaged my agent that I didn’t know if I just had to get in contact with them or if I had to get in contact with the water company myself. As the issue was underground I couldn’t work out what the issue was exactly and I didn’t want to cause any further damage by trying to figure it out myself. I didn’t hear back from the agent for 2 days so I submitted a fault report with the water company myself. The agent asked that I kept them posted on any updates. They sent me an email at the end of July asking if it had been sorted or not. I told them no and that the meter reading was significantly higher than it’s ever been and that the ground had basically become bogged. She then got in contact with the owner on the 3rd of August and informed him for the first time what was going on, and he called my partner the next day and he came around on the 5th of August to have a look. It appeared that he had fixed it. Then someone from the water company came to have a look on the 6th and he said that it was fine. Then we had another person from the company come by today (the 10th) who told us that the leak was still there and that we need a plumber to come and fix it. I informed my agent and she asked for the owner’s number so she could call him. He had already spoken to my partner and said he would come by on the 12th. I sent a message to my agent asking if we could get an emergency plumber to come out and fix it because we didn’t want to go without water for two days (the person who had come to inspect it had turned the meter off to try and prevent more water leaking out). She told me to turn the meter back on half way and that the water pressure wouldn’t be affected and to call the owner if I needed to have it explained.
    The current meter reading is over triple our typical usage and I’m worried about how expensive the bills are going to be. I got in contact with my agent and with the water company as soon as I noticed an issue and I don’t feel as though we should be expected to pay more than our typical usage as I did everything I believe I should have done. Do I have any rights in regards to this problem?

    Thank you

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      August 10, 2018 Michael Yardney

      Danielle – this is a littlr complicated but providing a decent water supply is the owner’s issue and you should never have been asked to deal with the water company – nor should you be responsible for excess water usage in this instance

      Reply

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    August 9, 2018 Livia

    Hi Michael
    I have a neighbour in the same block of flats where I live (I am an owner occupier). She did not ask for permission to put her personal drier in the common laundry area. She uses her drier very often so do other tenants which cost a lot of electricity for which we owner all pay. There is no coin operated drier in the common laundry area at this stage, but we will have it installed very soon. Are we allowed by the order of Body Corporate Management to request the tenant to remove her personal drier? I can imagine she would not want to use the coin operated drier because she will have to pay for it. Thanks for your advice.
    Kind regards, Livia

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      August 9, 2018 Michael Yardney

      Sure – of course you can ask her to remove it – if she wants a dryer she can put in her apartment

      Reply

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    August 9, 2018 Khalid

    Hi Michael,

    I have a property which I own and rented it to a family three months ago, I just realised that they didn’t arrange for an electricity service for the property, my question is, who’s responsibility is to make sure that tenants arrange these stuff and what will happen if they leave with no one paying for the last meter reading to the current meter reading ?

    I hope that I explain the situation clearly .

    Regards
    Khalid

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      August 9, 2018 Michael Yardney

      Khalid – have you used a property manager or are you renting this out yourself?

      Reply

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        August 13, 2018 Khalid

        Hi Michael,

        Thanks for the reply, I’m renting it throw the real estate and I contacted the property manager about it and he said we can’t force the tenants to establish the electricity, what worrying me is I don’t want to be in a situation that some one will come and say how come that when I left the property the meter was showing ( 100 ) for example and now its showing ( 700 ).

        Regards
        Khalid

        Reply

          Michael Yardney

          August 13, 2018 Michael Yardney

          Theer is no reason for you to pay fpr their electricity – your PM should have told you to cut off the meter in your name and advise the tenant this is happening so they connect their own electricity

          Reply

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            August 14, 2018 Khalid

            We already done that but my concern is what if they don’t connect their own electricity and keep using it until the end of the contract ?

            Michael Yardney

            August 14, 2018 Michael Yardney

            Disconnect yours

    Avatar

    August 2, 2018 jack

    I’m renting an apartment in California and have been here for 5 years and have never been late on my rent nor have had any problems with the landlord or the other tenants. tonight i had company come over and they was outside my door waiting for me to come out they was quiet and not causing any problems and my landlord told them to leave and stay off the property and then told me that i can’t have any of my friends on the property. my neighbors don’t have any problems with me and are very nice . my wife and i are in our late to early 60’s and don’t party , does my landlord have the rights to say who i can have over for company??? Maybe she is Democrat lol. my bad. would appreciate any comments on this problem, thank you JK

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      August 2, 2018 Michael Yardney

      Jack – sorry I don’t know US law – but what’s happening to you seems wrong and unfair – I would be very surprised if your landlord could restrict your visitors

      Reply

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    July 16, 2018 Hay

    Hi Michael,

    My partner and I moved in to an apartment that previously had a leaking ceiling. We informed the real estate agent we wanted the ceiling repaired before we moved in.They stopped the ceiling from leaking, however, visually, there is a hole (peeling popcorn ceiling) and markings that are visible on the ceiling from the leaks. Now, about a year later after moving in, the building manager is telling us repairs have to be done, and that they are going to have to move all of our things out (and move us out temporarily for a few days) to put in a false ceiling. I think that this repair is purely cosmetic as we’ve been living here for over a year and they are just now getting around to reparations despite knowing of the issue even before we moved in. We spoke briefly with the real estate agent about this who asked if we had anywhere else to stay, which we did not.

    What are our rights in a situation like this? Especially in regards to paying rent, putting up a place for us to stay, rental for a storage space for our furniture, etc. Do we have a right to ask for these things? Also because the repairs are mostly cosmetic, are we allowed to refuse the repair if we wanted to?

    Thanks in advance,

    Hay

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      July 16, 2018 Michael Yardney

      Hay – it may be hard to prove the repairs are purely cosmetic, but you definitely have the right to expect to be compensated for your inconvenience

      Reply

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    May 30, 2018 Darko Raskovic

    Great article and Q&A below are a fantastic resource for both tenants and landlords.
    I have been renting (as a landlord) 2 separate units for more than 17 years changing only a handful of tenants (both me and the tenants were happy, with some staying for 10 years).
    Recently, I have changed a tenants (2 young ladies) and although all checks were made, one of the tenants turned to be a nasty one (drug use, non-paying of rent, damaging property, etc). The nice lady moved out after 3 months, the nasty one staid and I had to take her to the Tribunal (after giving a proper notice). The tribunal ordered her to move out, but she refused; my next step was Sheriff and Order of possession, which was executed today (after almost 8 weeks, this is how long this takes in NSW).
    Sheriff told me that we have to agree about a time for her to collect her belongings (he said only once and for a 2 hour duration), which we did in front of him (for the same evening). At the agreed time, she just sent me a text saying that she can’t come, which is what she did all the time with the rent and moving out order (notorious layer).
    Now, I am left with her stuff in the unit.
    Would you be able to advise, how many times I have to be available for tenant to remove the possessions from the unit? And, when can I organise the cleaning company to dispose of the belongings, if the tenant keeps refusing to collect at the agreed time?
    I understand that the tenants need their rights protected, but this experience told me that landlords need protection as well.

    In this particular case, I am owed 8 rents, damage in the unit of over $3000 – the bond was only $2300. I do have the Landlord insurance, but it will certainly not cover all I have lost (my time of work, etc).
    My screening process is going to be much more rigorous in future, unfortunately to the detriment of some possibly nice tenants.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      May 30, 2018 Michael Yardney

      Darko – you’re in a difficult position aren’t you – must be frustrating.
      I’m not sure which state you’re in so please ask your property manager

      Reply

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    May 29, 2018 Matt Hindman

    Hi Michael,
    Great article, are you able to expand perhaps on landlord rights over the remaining assets when a tenant has significant unpaid rent for a commercial property. For example, a tenant wants access to remove their assets, can i restrict access until they pay their outstanding rent? Can i sell the assets to cover the outstanding rent, make good costs & re-hiring (rent free) costs etc. It frustrates me to no end that tenants can get themselves into highly leveraged situations, transfer everything into their mums name and then go into liquidation – 2nd tenant in a row! so really appreciate your thoughts.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      May 29, 2018 Michael Yardney

      No Matt – you have no right to take the tenant’s assets. The residential tenancy act is very much in favour of the tenants – not the landlords

      Reply

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    May 23, 2018 Kleo

    As a Landlord, can you claim further costs (ontop of bond amount) from tennants for damage sustained to rental property?

    Reply

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    May 11, 2018 ANU

    Hi Michael – Great article. As landlord can I ask my real estate agent to send me copy of applications,he has received. Thanks Anu J

    Reply

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    April 30, 2018 Carol

    Hi Michael,
    Just found this page and finding it extremely helpful, appreciate you taking the time to help others.
    I have just moved into a rental property with 2 pieces of furniture in the lounge room that I requested to be removed by the owner, however they have refused citing “the removal and storage of the units and the repairs required behind the spaces they currently occupy”. The agent did mention the furniture comes with the tenancy during viewing but upon signing the lease it was not specifically mentioned (while things like dryer and dishwasher were mentioned) so I thought I have the option to get them removed if not required. They are taking up space where my own furniture is supposed to be and it’s only a 1 bedder. What are my rights in this scenario?
    Thanks.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      April 30, 2018 Michael Yardney

      Carol I don’t understand the agent’s reply to you – but if you were told they come with the property, then they come with the property. Maybe you could see if they could store them somewhere

      Reply

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    April 23, 2018 Kat

    Hi,
    I live in a house with 4 other girls. We all pay rent individually to the same bank account.
    Our old landlord changed the account when he decided to run his own real estate. Somehow i didn’t get this information because he just told one of my housemates, so from july2017-november2017 i kept paying rent to the first account. This year 2018 April we now have a new landlord which told us the previous landlord has been taking money and money is missing from various houses.
    The new landlord can’t contact the previous landlord just because he’s not answering. But the new landlord just told me that i have to try to get in contact with them and try to get the money from the first account. Otherwise i have to pay that money. To me is not an option to pay because i already did, i can’t pay again as i’m an overseas student temporarily living in australia NSW and i don’t have the money to pay again $4,405.
    Any advice on how i can solve this?

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      April 23, 2018 Michael Yardney

      Kat – this just doesn’t make sense. If you hadn’t paid the rent the old landlord wouldn’t have allowed you to stay and when a new owner takes over you don’t owe him back rent. You should never deal with a landlord directly – speak to the property manager

      Reply

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    April 13, 2018 Maria

    Hello,
    Myself and 2 other people were sub-tenants in the property having no interactions with the landlord. Head-Tenant lived in the property with us.
    This Wednesday a Sheriff came to evict us, as it turned out that the head-tenant was not paying the rent.
    We contacted the Real Estate agent to collect the belongings, but she forces us to move all the belongings out as one go.
    Meaning that we have to wait for Head-tenant to organize movers before we can get access to our belongings.
    Appreciate your advice if this is legal to do so.
    Thank you.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      April 13, 2018 Michael Yardney

      Maria
      Sorry to hear of your plight, but if you are not on the lease because the “head tenant” is – then you have no rights unfortunately

      Reply

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    April 10, 2018 Sam

    Hi Michael,

    We have a rental property in NSW that has recently been vacated and we are still waiting for the property manager to deposit rent owing for the last week of tenancy – the tenants agreed to vacate on a set date but vacated 7 days later. The property manager has been uncontactable since and we have also been hit with a $318 bill for the tenants illegally dumping rubbish upon vacating the premises. What legal course of action can we pursue if the property manager fails to deposit the owed rent and what course of action can be taken for the dumping bill? Can we seek/employ a different property manager while we do repairs and renovations on our vacant property – our contractual agreement with the property manager ended 4 months ago?

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      April 10, 2018 Michael Yardney

      Sam
      If the property manager is a licensed estate agency then your rent should be in a government guaranteed trust account – you should be fine.
      Also the tenant should have the extra days rent and the rubbish removal taken out of their bond – again you should not be out of pocket.
      If the property manager is not returning calls speak to their boss – the agency owner

      Reply

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    April 4, 2018 Anthony

    Hi Michael,
    As a landlord of a 40 year old residential home (not strata) in NSW what requirements do i have in regards to window lock safety and balcony safety. I am familiar with the current legislation for residential strata but I am not aware of what if any legislation applies to non strata residential.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      April 4, 2018 Michael Yardney

      Anthony I don’t understand your question – is this a house you own as a landlord that you are asking about.
      What is your concern about window locks and the balcony – do you feel they are unsafe?

      Reply

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    March 29, 2018 Hilton Electrical

    I found this article really easy to read and to understand, very informative and it is very clear, concise and to the point. Thank you for sharing this.

    Reply

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    March 29, 2018 Sophie Boddy

    Hi Michael, i am a tenant in NSW and am terminating my lease 6 months early. This has been discussed with the estate agents, and we have agreed they can advertise and arrange viewings as soon as possible. How soon after should they advertise and begin viewings?

    Also, when discussing apartment viewings with the estate agent we arranged times but he informed me that nobody would be available to assist viewings and that i would have to be at home to direct the inspections myself. He also sent me a copy of the application forms to print and and give to those coming to inspect the apartment. Is this something that i should be doing? as terms and conditions of terminating my lease require payment of advertising and re-letting fee to the estate agents.

    Thanks.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      March 29, 2018 Michael Yardney

      That’s terribly wrong Sophie – what do you think the owner of the property would say about this – considering the agent will take a fee. That’s their job – they are being lazy – speak with their boss – the owner of the real estate agency

      Reply

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    March 28, 2018 sal

    HI There,
    Thank you for the information.
    Is it the responsibility for a new tenant to remove the old tenants rubbish and old furniture which was left behind?
    I have moved into a unit and there is old furniture and rubbish left in the garage from the previous tenants. I asked our property manager to remove the rubbish and he sent me a link for the local council free pick up service which wouldn’t take most off the items.
    thanks for your help.
    Sal

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      March 28, 2018 Michael Yardney

      Sal – of course not – this is not your responsibility and the agent knows it – it was their job – the managing agent to ensure the tenant left the property in good condition. Stand your ground – take lot’s of photos to prove your case and keep copies of all correspondence – put it in writing or email – not verbal and go tot he tribunal if necessary

      Reply

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    March 28, 2018 Nikki B

    Thanks for your article – very helpful !
    looking for some help i have about 3 months left on my lease but i am not comfortable living there anymore. Our neighbors party all the time during the week ! now i work full time and this is very frustrating, last night they had started at 7.30pm & were still going at 5.30 this morning, it wasn’t a quiet party either i had closed all doors & windows and could still hear them all night. i have complained to our real estate but they are stating i would need to keep paying if i had moved out? is this true or is there anyway around this? im in SA 🙂

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      March 28, 2018 Michael Yardney

      Unfortunately they are correct – except you are meant to have quiet and peaceful enjoyment of your premises.
      If the estate agent does not manage the adjoining noisy property, you may have to complain to the police about the noise

      Reply

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    March 25, 2018 Bhaskar

    Hi, Thanks for informative article….I am in QLD ( Brisbane)…
    My property agent failed to give me 2 months notice before lease expiry. and gave the notification exactly 4 weeks before effective date of expiry.. …Although they confirmed that lease can be extended up to 2 months from the date of notification but nithet I not my landlord are happy about it…. This delay in notification has caused me some inconvineice and disturbance as we were 2 people on the lease and one of the lessee wants to vacate the flat on the original date of expiry of the date….. My landlord and I feel that the property agent is liable for a compensation to me….. Can you suggest what can be done in this scenario?

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      March 25, 2018 Michael Yardney

      Bhaskar
      I don’t understand – the managing agent is only the landlord’s representative – tey don’t have a personal interest in the property? Why are they saying something different to what their client (the owner) wants and how do you know what the landlord wants? Have you spoken with them?

      Reply

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    March 13, 2018 Lachie

    Hi there,

    Thanks for the great article. We are moving into a rental property in Collingwood, Melbourne that doesn’t appear to have washing machine connection pipes. The real estate agent verbally said you can definitely install a washing machine when we inspected the property. Are landlords required by law to provide washing machine connection pipes?

    Thanks in advance!

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      March 13, 2018 Michael Yardney

      No the landlord does not need to provide washing machine facilities, on the other hand the agent cannot misrepresent what the property offers.
      Unfortunately if it was only verbal, it may be hard to prove he misrepresented the property

      Reply

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    March 4, 2018 Sasha

    Thank you for such an informative article. I had a quick question. We are just about to move into a new apartment and noticed that the AC unit is really quite an old one. Super noisy and yellow/grotty plastic, definitely more than 10 years’ old. It does still work, however. Are landlords required to ‘update’ old appliances? We’ve recently moved to Australia from Switzerland where this is a requirement. Many thanks for any advice you might be able to give.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      March 4, 2018 Michael Yardney

      Welcome to Australia Sasha – no there is no requirement to update appliances, but they must be in working order

      Reply

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    February 26, 2018 Cass

    Hi there,

    We are currently renting a home since the 29th November 2017, we are first time renters and the landlord was willing to give us a go even though we have no rental history. We signed a 6 month lease. Now a couple of weeks ago we received a 90 day Notice to vacate for no reason apart from he is a first time landlord and is covering himself for the worst once he comes for the first inspection?! Is he allowed to do this? He hasn’t even inspected the property yet nor has the property management team? I feel like we are getting judged before he even comes to have a look!

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      February 26, 2018 Michael Yardney

      Cass – this is very unusual – in fact it makes no sense for a professional property manager to say this – was this put in writing by your property manager?

      Reply

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        February 27, 2018 Cass

        Just through email saying its all just precautionary until he views the property. Also is the landlord allowed to look over our fence into our backyard? there is a vacant block next door and we feel like he has looked over

        Reply

          Michael Yardney

          February 27, 2018 Michael Yardney

          Cass – this all sounds very strange and a little unfair.
          No the owner must give you peaceful enjoyment of the property and come only come in and this would also relate to peeking over the fnece – with written notice and your permission

          Reply

            Avatar

            September 28, 2018 LW

            That’s nonsense Michael, there’s no reasonable expectation of privacy that a reasonably foreseeable observation may be made over the fence. The fact it is reasonably foreseeable that someone may walk across the vacant block and take a peek is precisely why there should be no expectation of privacy. Landlords are not held to any mystical standard above that of every other citizen when it comes to privacy laws; however offering legal advice without being a licensed lawyer DOES apply a higher standard of expectations that you avoid stating things that might encourage these people to seek to litigate or take a drastic measure.

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    January 8, 2018 J.D.

    Hi Micheal,

    We have a question in regards to our rented apartment in QLD. When we originally moved in to the apartment the property manager said that we could have pets (either cat, dog or bird). We didn’t have one at the time but have since got a cat. Now that the lease is being renewed the property manager says that we can’t have the cat. We don’t want to loose the cat or the apartment and he says that we definitely can’t have a cat so we will have to move out. He says that it was a mistake what he originally said when we first moved in and because he never put it in writing then we have no evidence that he said that. He has already put the flat back on the market for quite a significant amount more and we feel that he is using the cat as an excuse to bully us out of the property so that he can get new tenants in with a higher rent. Do you have any suggestions for us?

    Thanks,

    J.D.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      January 9, 2018 Michael Yardney

      JD – you’re in a difficult position. The landlord has the right to say “no to pets” but cats are very different to dogs – very few landlords mind their tenants having pets. You could ask your agent to include a”pet clause” into your new lease ensuring you make good any damage cuased by your pet. That should reassure the landlord

      Reply

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    November 25, 2017 J.N

    Hello,
    Let me apologise in advance for the long email as I am hoping to get some direction on the matter that I will be outlining.

    My young family and I are currently renting via a property manager in Qld. We were informed prior to signing the contract that the water was included and would only pay for excess usage. I pointed out a clause in the tenancy contract that stated we will be liable for water cost and was told that the contract was standard and that will not apply. Three months later we received a water bill for the full amount excluding the service fees. I have checked and the usage and it was not excessive. I then questioned the bill and was not provided with any explanation. I requested to chat directly with the landlord as I felt we have been misled prior to signing the agreement. I was refused by the property manager to contact the owner, I asked the property managers to forward a letter addressed to the landlord which was declined. I then mentioned that I will raise the matter with the landlord on her next visits. From that point on our relationship when south. The manage abruptly directed me to the RTA should I need to query this matter with the landlord. I paid the bill as I was aware that I have signed a legal document despite what has been verbally discussed. Weeks later a neighbour queried their water bill as it seemed they were also informed that the water was included. Few months later I received an email questioning if we are considering to renew our contract? I replied by enquiring about the water bill. I had not received a reply for weeks then got a notice to leave exactly two months prior to the contract expiring. I am not sure if the landlord is aware of the promises that have been made by the property managers and think they want me gone before the owner visits the property. I strongly believe the notice to leave was retaliatory.
    I then started hunting for a new rental property and for the first time found it extremely difficult to find a place. We have been refused a few properties and was surprised as we have never had an issue securing a rental before. We never defaulted on rental payments ever and all our rental properties have also been neat and tidy. My wife and I had sleepless nights and stressful weeks ahead as we could not find a place for our young family. I was then informed by another rental agent that our reference from our current manager was not very good. Apparently, we were asked to leave because we were hard to manage and we keep going to the RTA. I have contacted the RTA has the property managers have directed me to them via email.
    Now that we are exiting the property, we are asked to steam clean the carpets and to leave brand new batteries (in the packaging). We were not provided with batteries in its packaging when we moved in. Given the state of the carpets on our arrival I have requested a receipt for the carpet cleaning as proof that it has been done. I have sent a few emails requesting the receipt and was told they are not obligated to provide. This is also a clause in the contract, that steam cleaning the carpets must be done. I am aware that they cant request professional service to be carried out and that carpet cleaning is a very grey area in QLD. I have no issues with getting this done provided they can prove it was done prior.

    I need to know what is my right with the following:
    1. Property Managers providing inaccurate references
    2. What are my obligations in regards to fulfilling the requirements to steam clean the carpets?
    3. I am considering not doing it till they provide proof. I move out on the 01/12/17 and need to get this done prior. Should this matter go to tribunal can I request to get my own carpets cleaners or are the allowed to get this done using my bond without informing me first?
    4. Since steam cleaning the carpets is a clause in the contract that I have signed can I still request proof that is was done prior to me moving in?
    I know we going to have difficulty getting our bond as I assume they may have been the reason I had difficulty in finding an another rental.
    This money is so valuable to my family and I and cant afford to lose it just because I rightfully questioned what I have been informed.

    Await your feedback

    Thanking you in advance.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      November 25, 2017 Michael Yardney

      JN – There is too much for me to answer in this forum but in short
      1. Ut is your words against the PM – what the tribunal will look at is the written contract – your lease
      2. The lease stipulates you must steam clan the carpet – so that’s your obligation
      3. The PM does not need to provide you any proof – your requirement to steam clean at the end of your lease is stipulated in your lease.

      Reply

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    November 2, 2017 Umar

    Hi,
    I am renting a two storey house with a ducted gas heating option on ground floor but there is not heating option on upper portion of the house. The ground floor heating is not good enough to warm the whole house. I used my own electric heaters during winters for heating the top floor of house. This spiked my electricity bill. My question is, whether it is responsibility of landlord or not to provide proper heating option for whole house?

    Thanks.

    Reply

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    October 22, 2017 Mon

    Hi,
    If the house you’re renting sells, and you make an offer to the new owner to continue renting, is the real estate agent obliged to pass on your offer?
    Thank you

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      October 22, 2017 Michael Yardney

      Your property manager has an agreement with your old landlord, but may not even know who the new purchaser is, but I would think they would be keen to submit your offer as they could get the property management “business” from the new owner

      Reply

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        March 28, 2018 Ayodele S K

        f lanlord was given part of money to be paid for rent by new perso and yet to pack in because of the balance, later on another person brought in full payment for renting the particular apartment and money was collected. So,he has to call the former to come and get the paid by him and gave key to the later one as real tenant. Later on he called that he not collecting the money but securing the apartment. who is faulty?

        Reply

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    October 20, 2017 Antonio

    Hi i was given a notice to terminate my rental property on a short notice while i was on trial on a civil matter against the STATE OF NEW SOUTH WALES against the police my landlord with police have applied for termination while i was on trial when i got home i that evening i read the termination order which stated termination due to rent in arrears of 7350 also unlawful use of property which was made on false facts rent was always paid and no unlawful use of property was happening ,,I confronted the landlord about this and was told don’t worry that his wife was losing her mind i continued with my trial for another fifteen days on the last day of trial a detective was cross examined and asked if he had any part of the termination happening but did admit to speaking with the landlord the time the trial commenced he also said he was told by the land that the rent was always paid .. But while this was happening that day in Sydney in my town in the Illawarra they were applying for a possession order without me present the order was given and i was told to leave one morning and couldn’t take any belongings ,,,was advised that i had two weeks to organise with the landlord to pick up belongings but within half hour i returned to see what was happening on the premisses and seen the landlord with 4 detectives going through the property and inside my rooms … They found a slug gun that belonged to the landlord and charged me for firearm offences which i am going through court at the moment in a criminal local court i also appealed the NCAT orders and at the moment waiting on new hearing in November consent orders were made in my favour to landlord giving me entry to property to collect belongings after 4 months without no belongings or clothes also any missing or damaged property to be returned or paid for also 2 weeks of over paid rent to be given back to me .. what rights do i have here most of all the firearm offences considering that they didn’t have no search warrant to enter also false facts to obtain the possession and termination the detective lying on the stand on my trial having no knowledge of the eviction happening but was on of the offices on the property please help

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      October 20, 2017 Michael Yardney

      Antonio – this is a legal matter – not the sort of this I can give advice about here

      Reply

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        October 18, 2018 Denise Takinui

        My daughter stays in Eaglevale, Campbelltown NSW. She had an argument with her partner and threw a bottle at him which went through the window. Her partner called the police and they arrested her, she was detained for five hours and charged with damages to a rental property. She goes to court on Monday.

        Reply

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    October 19, 2017 Bob

    Hi,
    We are owner/occupiers in a strata complex. We have included the no-smoking by-law into our strata by-laws.
    The tenants next to us continue to breach this by-law every day. We have lodged informal complaints via our strata management and the agent for the unit which have been forwarded to the tenants. We are aware of the notice to comply process which we are now pursuing. The owner of the unit is aware of the breaches, the complaints and that it is ongoing (for months).
    My questions are; what obligations does the owner of the unit have in relation to their tenant’s failure to comply? What ‘pressure’ can be put on the owner to participate in having the tenant comply with the by-law?
    many thanks 🙂

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      October 19, 2017 Michael Yardney

      Bob
      it is the owner’s responsibility, through his managing agent, to notify his tenants of the bylaws and their breech.
      However, as you’re finding out – it is very difficult for him to enforce this

      Reply

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    October 17, 2017 Tamanna Verma

    Hi I am a landlord and property manager looks after our newly built property, My tenant gone to tribunal and denied to pay the replacement cost of blind which was completely replaced within one year due to emergency service access the property through the glass door as tenant forgot to turn off the gas and we were not even informed by our property manager and came to know ab out that looking at our monthly statement where they charged us the replacement cost of blinds.
    after the hearing property manager advised that we wont be able to claim it from tenant and will try it to put it through strata instead due to some access issues from main door as master key wasnt working on the door.

    Can anyone please suggest what can be done in this case

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      October 18, 2017 Michael Yardney

      If your property manager paid an expense on your behalf, but without your permission, you have a right to question them why they did this – they are meant to run these expenses past you for authorisation, unless you’ve given them permission to pay expenses less than say $100 or $200 without your approval.

      Reply

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    October 11, 2017 Mon

    Hi, I’m just wondering how it is right and fair that an owner sells a house and gets money, a buyer buys the house and gets the house, an agent sells the house and gets their commission, and the tenant who has been paying rent and looking after the house gets 30 days to pack up their life and move, along with the assosiated costs; ie pays the bill

    Reply

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    August 22, 2017 Heet

    Hi Michael,

    I was a Tenant in Perth WA, I have vacated the property, inspection is completed and even bond money is returned. It is almost 1 month now since I have vacated the property. Now my previous real estate got in contact saying owner thinks lawn is not maintained upto the mark and requires compensation. What rights I have now. Why after 1 month real estate emailing their concerns. Lawn where maintained on regular basis.

    Can you please guide

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      August 22, 2017 Michael Yardney

      I can’t see that they have a claim on you any more – they’ve given you your bond back. Don’t worry

      Reply

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    August 7, 2017 Tony

    Hi Micheal,
    My son is a tenant in NSW .From the start of his tenancy there was evidence of cockroach infestation in his unit . In the last 4 weeks his stove blew 2 elements and after informing the realestate and having a electrician inspect the stove we were informed there were cockroaches breeding in the internals of the stove .Could you tell me if the landlord is required to replace the stove being a health issue or what I should do ?
    regards Tony.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      August 7, 2017 Michael Yardney

      Tony – of course the landlord must keep the property pest free. Complain to the property manager and if you don’t get a prompt response get his to go to the tenancy tribunal to uphold his rights

      Reply

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    June 7, 2017 Son

    Hi Michael,
    I’m a tenant in Victoria. I just moved into my new apartment (less than two weeks ago). When I inspected the place I noticed that one of the windows was broken (the frame is totally broken and the glass could fall down) and I told the real estate. They said of course that needed to be fixed and it will get done. I got offered the place, and because I really liked it, I signed the lease also because the real estate assured me the window would get fixed by the time I moved in or shortly after. It’s been now almost two weeks and the window hasn’t been fixed or any measures have been taken. The landlord said (after I signed the lease) that windows was a body corporate issue and that there was a new body corporate starting around the June 1. Because I didn’t hear from the landlord after the 1st of June, I emailed him twice to ask for an update about the body corporate and the windows, but I didn’t get any reply. Finally, with some pressure from the real estate, I’ve been given the details of the body corporate so I’m trying to get things sorted with them. Although, this is very frustrating that is happening just at the start of my lease, when they already knew about the broken window. Actually, most of the windows are rotten and they would need to be repaired/replaced, according to my handyman opinion. Should the body corporate take care of all the windows? How damaged they have to be before they have to repair/replace them? Is not the LL responsibility that the premises are in good repaired when you move in and to keep them in good repair during your tenancy agreement?

    On top of that, I haven’t received the condition report yet. The real estate said they left it in the mailbox, but my key for the mailbox doesn’t work (I told them just the day I moved in and I still don’t have the right key) so I’m not able to check if it is in there. Although I got some of the top letters and the condition report wasn’t there.

    So now I have some questions:
    1. Do I have ground to present a Notice of Breach of Duty if the window issue doesn’t get solved promptly? They keep saying shortly, but that sounds too trivial. How long should I wait to give a Breach of Duty?
    2. Can the landlord delay the window repair because of the body corporate? In the end the landlord is the one responsible to keep the premises in good repair according to the Residential Tenancies Act 1997.
    3. If the windows are a body corporate and the body corporate was about to change, should I have been told that before signing the lease and not after when I’m already bind to the tenancy agreement and it looks like all I can do is just wait?
    I’m honestly getting a bit frustrated about this situation and I’m even thinking about breaking the lease if this doesn’t get solve quickly enough. But I’m confused about the steps I should have to take before getting to that point in case the BC or LL don’t do their job.

    Thanks

    PS All my communication with the LL, real estate and BC about all the issues have been through email, so I have written evidences.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      June 7, 2017 Michael Yardney

      Son. I can feel your frustration. While the window frames are a body corporate matter – the body corporate does not change – it comprises all the owners – what may change is the manager. It is not for you to contact them – that is the responsibility of the landlord as is the need to provide you with safe accomodation.
      If the glass is not broken then your claim is less of an urgent issue

      Reply

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        June 12, 2017 Son

        Thanks for the quick reply, Michael! I also talked to Consumer Affairs and Tenants Union of Victoria, who recommended me to send a formal “Notice to the landlord” filling out one of the forms that CAV provide. As soon as I let them know I intended to send that form to the LL, I got a call from the BC and they came to inspect the property. I still sent the Notice to the landlord so formally and officially he has two weeks to solve the problem (even if he knew about that since I moved in…). Still feeling frustrated and misleaded as I wasn’t told the BC was about to change before I signed the lease, so there was no way the windows were gonna get fixed quickly. At least it looks like there is some progress now…

        Thanks again!

        Reply

          Michael Yardney

          June 13, 2017 Michael Yardney

          Thanks for the update Son. It looks like things will get done now

          Reply

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            June 13, 2017 Sonia

            Yes! Cheers! Last question. The opinions of the maintenance man that came with the OC to inspect the windows and our handyman are a bit different… The maintenance man says that the wood of the window frames is fine, it only needs to be painted because the paint is coming off and the wood is exposed to the weather. Our handyman said that most of the frames are actually rotten and probably need to be replace, but of course it is an expensive job and the OC probably doesn’t want to pay for it. You can actually see how the wood is damaged where the paint has come off. So, depending on what the OC decides, do tenants have right to get a second opinion or independent inspection?
            Thanks!

            Michael Yardney

            June 13, 2017 Michael Yardney

            Sonia – With regard to structural matters of the building, and in particular those controlled by the owners corporation rather than your landlord, I see no reason why you should get involved. All you dealings should be with the property manager and no one else

    Avatar

    April 27, 2017 Joanna

    Hi Michael,

    We are tenants in a rental property and have been in the property for 9 months so far. We recently had a lightbulb from a spotlight fixture in the ceiling break. The face of the lightbulb sheared off and burnt a ring in the carpet.

    As it was both a fixture and a lightbulb installed in the property either by the landlord or by the previous tenants, are we responsible for accidental damage or are they? Our lettings agency today suggested that we would be liable for the full cost of replacing the carpet, either through contents insurance or through deductions from our deposit.

    Thank you very much for your help.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      April 27, 2017 Michael Yardney

      Joanna
      As a tenant you should not be responsible for the damage if it was due to a fixture or fitting owned by the landlord. And even if you did do damage the carpet, you would not be liable for the full cost of replacing the carpet as the carpet would have been worn over time. This means that if this case went to a tribunal, and it was found that you are at fault, you would still only be responsible for a part of carpet replacement and the landlord for the majority of it because it’s not a brand-new carpet

      Reply

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        April 29, 2017 Joanna

        Thank you very much Michael – we now feel a lot more confident about our rights as we deal with the lettings agency and landlord and try to resolve this matter.

        Kind regards
        Joanna

        Reply

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    April 6, 2017 Kannika

    Hi Michael,

    I am a tenant and would appreciate some advises. A unit I am living in (QLD state) has some technically-problems machines that needed to be fixed a couple times repeatedly during my 6 months lease (though they are all new). They seem to need a replacement and happened again before I signed on a fixed-term 12 month lease. The organised for repairers didn’t take too long on those first-2 times but it took over 2 weeks and into 4th weeks. I know these could happen anywhere and any times, with a bit of long or short wait can just be ignored and live on if only these cause my daily conveniences. I am a long term tenant where I prefer to stay in a place years if all go smoothly, and payments are made on time or early possible(only minimal accident in late payment sometimes occur) and I live peacefully, tidy and strictly respect rules – most places asked me not to leave. I keep on asking as the emails update from the agent are taking a bit slow which is taking even longer to process. What rights do I have to bring these conveniences back to normal or am I able to break lease early before my new lease start? I don’t want to be rude keep on asking or break lease either. Thank you for your advises.

    Regards

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      April 6, 2017 Michael Yardney

      Kannika
      you have the right to expect appliances to be in good working order or repaired promptly.

      Four weeks seems excessive to me, however you do not have the ability to break your lease.

      You may have the ability to claim a reduced rent or complaint to the tribunal

      Reply

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    March 28, 2017 Private

    Michael,
    I’m having an issue here, a few calls to Fair trading and they are very vague on what to do. I live in NSW.
    I am the landlord and I engage a property manager. Tenant’s lease recently expired and she signed on for another 12 months in early February. About a week ago the PM forwarded me an email from the tenant to say they were both moving on due to moving in with her partner and would the landlord (me) consider transferring the lease. The PM also said in the email he received 2 applications and he was recommending these tenants, he did not forward the applications at this time. I requested to see the applications and evidence of reference checks. A few days later he sent through the two applications and reference checks. The reference checks were dated AFTER I had requested them and one of the applicants had stated on her application she is currently living at one address (elsewhere) yet in the ID she provided a Drivers License which expired in September 2016 with the address of my unit on it. There was also an email included to say she would be providing a rental reference from my current tenant. I brought up my concerns with the PM that she had no valid rental history in Australia and she did not meet the 100 Point ID check and he responded asking if I would like to meet her. I also asked him why he would recommend these two applicants not having done any reference checks and the conflicting/expired ID, he responded that he had over 50 years in the business and knew how to recommend tenants.
    My questions are as follows:
    Are my current two tenants (named on the lease) in breach of the agreement because this person (the applicant) is not named on the lease and on the lease it states there is a limit of the number of occupants specified at 2 people?
    The applicant has lied with her application, is there any consequence for that?
    It feels as though my Property Manager is not really working for me being the client and is more working for the tenant or trying to make things easy for himself. Is this against the Rules of Conduct for a property manager?
    Thank you for any response you can provide or any other places I can go to for advice as the landlord besides Fair Trading.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      March 28, 2017 Michael Yardney

      I agree your agent is being lazy. As they landlord you have the right to accept a proposed tenant or not. On the strength of your arguments I would not accept these tenants. Instead I would get the agent to advertise, at your current tenants expense for new tenants. There tenant breaking their lease will have to pay all your costs. And it may be worth looking for a more professional property manager

      Reply

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        March 29, 2017 Private

        Hi Michael,

        Thank you for a response. I agree with you and I have declined applications and will be sorting out a new property manager however I’m obligated to 30 days notice under the agreement with him so it doesn’t quite help me in the immediate future.

        I still have no vacating date from the current tenant yet the agent wants to start advertising now. He said he has made a provisional agreement with the current tenant. Is he allowed to do this without my knowledge? I feel he is working for the tenant here and not me!

        Reply

          Michael Yardney

          March 29, 2017 Michael Yardney

          I’m not sure he’s working fo the tenant and I can’t see any harm him advertising at the tenant’s expense. But it doesn’t make much sense till he has a vacating date

          Reply

    Avatar

    March 19, 2017 vanessa

    hi is there a page that I can print regarding how often a rental property has to be painted my rental is in nsw

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      March 19, 2017 Michael Yardney

      Vanessa there is no set interval between times when you need to paint your property, but keeping it in good order attracts better tenants who are likely to look after your property

      Reply

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    March 11, 2017 Leo

    Hi Michael,
    I am a landlord. I have to fix my bathroom as there is leakage to the neighbours downstairs. Body Corporate agrees to reimburse some of my expenses if the problem lies within Strata’s responsibility – cost of new waterproofing membrane, cost of changing damaged water pipes if any. Who going to pay for new tiles and my lost rent?

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      March 11, 2017 Michael Yardney

      Leo. A leaking shower is your responsibility, not the owners corporation. Unfortunately you will have to pay this. These are deductible business expenses

      Reply

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    February 19, 2017 Oliver

    Hi Michael,
    I recently ended my lease in a boarding house, unfortunately in the last week or so my cupboard door was damaged and had to be replaced, I know that the landlord likes to rip people off, and doesn’t like fair dealings so I asked if I could replace it myself.
    He gave me the name of the builders who installed the doors, and I’ve worked to get it replaced as soon as possible.
    However it simply can’t be replaced in a day or two because of the lengthy process of obtaining the same door, and having someone come by to install it.
    My landlord has only responded to that by saying that he will continue to charge rent until it is fixed.
    Is he allowed to do this, and what can I do?

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      February 19, 2017 Michael Yardney

      NO Oliver – he can’t keep charging you rent. He can however take the cost of the door out of your bond.

      This is again one off the many reasons I suggest never dealing directly with landlords – only through proeprty managers.
      Anyway..stand up for your rights

      Reply

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    January 9, 2017 Abs

    Hi Michael,
    I subleted my garrage due to some emergency without owner consent for a very short period of time (1 Months). The sub-leter kept some furniture inside garrage. The building caught fire within one month and all the garrages in that apartment has burnt fully along with the furniture inside. Actually, there is no written paper for sub-letting. Real-estate knows verbaly about sub-letting but didn’t interfare much on that. The furniture owner now threatening me to give his money back for extremely huge amount.
    What could be the leagal solution, if this case brought to the court?
    – Abs

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      January 9, 2017 Michael Yardney

      While the building would be insured by the owner (landlord) this would not cover your contents or that of your friend who subleased your garage.
      I’m not a lawyer but I can’t see how he could sue you for this – it’s his property that he must insure

      Reply

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    January 2, 2017 Anna

    Hi Michael,

    I recently signed a lease for 6 months for a studio in Sydney’s Inner West, a terrace that was quartered and recently renovated 6 months ago, fresh with a new house smell. The problem is, I have now left the property after a week as this ‘smell’ left me waking up with sore eyes/ears/throat, exacerbated eczema and dizziness for hours after leaving the apartment. This was worst when using the ‘ventilator’ in the apartment. It was a little better when I slept with the window open, but it’s a ground floor apartment with *severe* noise pollution from 6am. I am currently a nomad until the real estate open at full staff this week.

    The place was advertised as having a front courtyard with door and clearly had an openable window. I left the inspection unconcerned, I assumed I would just leave the window open and air the space out. After moving in, I quickly learned I was living now right under the busiest Sydney flightpath (Stanmore which as 41-293 planes a day) and despite being four suburbs away from the airport, the international planes are low flying due to the suburb being higher up than those closer. The place is soundproofed, which helps, as the noise is too loud and frequent to be reasonably tolerable otherwise.

    I have since left, frustrated that the inspection had been quiet due it it just simply being held within a quiet air traffic patch, plus there was sound-proofing anyway. I lived down the road previously, and was never overly bothered by the prevalent planes of the Inner West. Being directly underneath them is a whole new ballgame. The root of my problem here is that I have no choice but to have the noise pollution (which I could not mentally handle), or seal the place off, close everything only to be visibly affected by the indoor fumes (I ended up getting a medical certificate detailing my reactions). On calling up my real estate agent and expressing that this is not ok, she simply forwarded the terms of the lease and said it would be 6 weeks rent upfront to end the lease, and has been on holidays since.

    Could you help steer me in the right direction with rights/responsibilities when discussing ventilation issues, indoor pollutants and excessive aircraft noise?

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      January 2, 2017 Michael Yardney

      You’re in a difficult position Anna. You were aware of the location of the apartment, so I don’t think you can argue about the “noise pollution.”

      Similarly if you are allergic to the “new house smell” but it is clean and in new condition, I’m not sure what argument you have against the owner to break your lease. You may just have to ask the agent to find a new tenant and pay their costs and put it down to experience

      Reply

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        January 2, 2017 Anna

        I do appreciate your prompt response Michael, you’re good to answer these queries!

        I guess my case lies in that I’m likely reacting to cheap building materials/paint still off-gassing after 6 months — without the option of sufficient ventilation. The repeated dizziness is what makes it serious for me, when needing to work etc. Keep in mind that those toxins are still around when others don’t react so easily.

        Reply

          Michael Yardney

          January 3, 2017 Michael Yardney

          Anna – yes you are in an unfortunate position that you seem to be reacting more than others are, but I’m not sure how this helps your case – you signed a lease which binds both you and the landlord for a fixed time.

          Reply

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            February 6, 2017 Anna

            Just an update: I’m glad there are checks and balances in our society. I spoke to relevant departments and they helped me work out what areas I could argue, and with negotiation with the real estate (involving getting them witness in person how unliveable the place was) I was able to leave.

            Michael Yardney

            February 6, 2017 Michael Yardney

            That’s great news Anna

    Avatar

    December 3, 2016 Ingrid

    HI my tenants have broken the key off in the front door lock. Does this come under emergency repairs and are the landlords responsible for the replacement of the lock. Or as the lock has been in good working order and new keys were provided at beginning of tenancy because the tenant broke the key is it their responsibility to replace the lock and provide new keys to the landlord. The property comes under NSW law.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      December 3, 2016 Michael Yardney

      I can understand why you may think this is a grey area, but if you think about it it would be very hard to break a key unless the lock was stuck, if the lock worked properly the key would turn it and nothing would have brocken.
      Accept it as a cost of owning an investment property and don’t let it bother you

      Reply

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    November 8, 2016 abir

    One question, my tenant has been renting the house since 2014 and I have sent her a 90 days notice that i need the house for personal occupancy as I dont have any other house & she agreed to moveout by december. Now, she is claiming she has birdmites in the kitchen cabinets and she wants me to pay +350$ for pest control. whose reposnsibility is this under south australian law?

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      November 8, 2016 Michael Yardney

      Abir. Infestation and pest removal is usually the responsibility of the landlord

      Reply

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    November 5, 2016 Linda

    Hello. We are landlords in nsw. Our tennants were given 95 days notice to vacate premises from periodic lease. They were due to move out this weekend, however now have informed at short notice-today (Friday) that they won’tbe out for another week. We have been living overseas for 14 months and we planned to move back straight into our family home beginning next week (we are travelling back to Australia this weekend). We have 2 young children and will have to stay in a hotel for a week or so until our property is vacant. Not only has this late informed situation been tremendously disruptive it will incur extra expenses for us hotel, removalist cancellation, potential loss of earnings for my husband (due to start new job and then has to reschedule start date to assist with removal also does not bode well with new employer ). Can we al least claim hotel and removal costs for this from tennants bond?

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      November 5, 2016 Michael Yardney

      Linda. This is very unfortunate and must have been very distruptive. You should be able to make some claim on the tenant – check with your property manager

      Reply

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    November 3, 2016 Tash

    Hi Michael,
    I’m renting through a property manager and the sprinklers have been broken for the last year, they are underground sprinklers and leak down the road without watering the grass. Every time summer hits we get complaints about the grass dying however we’ve requested the sprinklers be fixed on numerous occasions. They have sent out six different contractors who have all agreed that there is an underground pipe that is burst but the landlord refuses to allow them to dig up the front yard to fix it. He then sends us a $900 water bill when our average is $250 from all the water that has run down the road. It’s become a rather frustrating situation and with another 7 months on our lease it honestly doesn’t seem worth staying. The landlord has repeatedly tried to charge us for damage to the grass and for the ridiculous water bill. Is this grounds for breaking our lease?
    Kind Regards,
    Tash

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      November 3, 2016 Michael Yardney

      Tash
      You have a right to be upset and complain tot he tenancy tribunal

      Reply

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    October 27, 2016 Rei

    Hi, Michael

    We are currently renting a property in NSW.
    We recently had an accident that caused some damage to a wall in our kitchen and after a close look at the broken wall, we decided to send some of it to be tested for asbestos as the house is quite old and we were fairly concerned.
    The test came back positive for asbestos. We went straight to the real estate agent after getting the results and told them about the accident and that we had found asbestos in the wall. They offered to fix the hole in the wall, but not take any further action to remove the asbestos. We told them that we were uncomfortable living in a house with flimsy walls that contained asbestos and proceeded to tell the agent that the wall around and under the sink (made from the same material) had water damage and appeared to be rotting away the bench and that we felt this posed a health/safety risk to us. The real estate agent responded that we had accepted the house in that condition.
    We have tried explaining that, while we knew about the water damage and were ok with the condition of the walls at the time of moving in, this was ONLY because we did not know and were never informed that the walls contained asbestos. If we had known we never would have taken the house/signed the lease. The agent does not seem to understand our concerns and just keeps saying that we knew the wall was damaged and would not be repaired when we signed the lease.
    When asked if they could speak with the owner to organise removal of the asbestos, the agent told us “that is between us and the owner and is not your business”

    Our lease is ending soon and we are planning to give notice this week to leave within the month, but I am just wondering, what steps can we now take to ensure this is problem is fixed? If not for us, then to ensure that other tenants are not moved in before the asbestos has been dealt with. We have lived here for 12 months, not knowing that the whole time those rotten, water damaged walls contained asbestos.

    Would appreciate if you have any suggestions,
    Thank you!

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      October 27, 2016 Michael Yardney

      Rei, its a real pity that some landlords don’t look after their tenants and their properties isn’t it.

      I don’t know what you can do – most older properties have some asbestos, and there is no way of forcing owners to fix them as far as I know

      Reply

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    October 24, 2016 Sia

    Hi Michael,

    We have recently re-signed our lease for a second year. The owner of our property (who is not our go to for any house related problems) has now twice driven past and made comment on our front yard. The first time was due to palm fronds that the gardener had yet to collect and most recently due to our lawns overgrown state after the recent storms (in SA). Both times he was ‘in the area’, even though our street is fairly isolated withing the suburbs, and no inspection was scheduled. After this most recent event he has requested a personal inspection on the grounds that he is fearful we are neglecting the interior of the house, even though all previous inspections have labeled us as exemplary tenants. We find this very invasive, and on top of there has been consistent inadequate provision of repairs, mostly provided by friends of the owner, we were wondering if his drive by inspections would constitute a breach of lease inspection or privacy guidelines.

    Kind regards,
    Three stressed out female university students.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      October 24, 2016 Michael Yardney

      Do you lease directly through the owner (you NEVER should) or through a property manager?
      Please explain your concerns to them.
      An owner or property manager has the right to a reasonable number of inspections to ensure you are looking after the property internally and externally. I understand yoru concerns but it would be hard to complain about 2 drive bys in a few years (even though they were a few weeks apart.)

      Reply

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    September 13, 2016 Chris

    Hi Michael,

    I am just coming to the end of my 4th consecutive year renting the same property in VIC. I have been offered a further year which I am looking to take up (I like to relative security a fixed term lease provides rather than being month to month).

    Having said that there are a few items that need attention (in my opinion) in the house and whilst most I dont think I will have an issue with (boiler failing to heat water every so often, broker panel on back door, external fence degrading and leaning badly) I do have one request for the Landlord around repainting the interior of the house. The painting was completed at least 5 years ago and my initial response from the property agent is “the interior painting is rarely done while the tenant is in the property and usually attended to at the 7 or more years”. Whilst this may be true, given I have been an excellent tenant (no property damage, no late rent payments etc) I would expect that this should be done especially since I’ve giving the landlord another year with no stress!

    So the question is, is there any way I can try and force the issue here? What is the situation on painting at my own expense?

    Thansk
    Chris

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      September 13, 2016 Michael Yardney

      Chris the agent is right – but everything is negotiable – as a landlord I would consider doing it to keep a good tenant happy – but I’d put up the rent a little to cover my cost

      Reply

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    August 29, 2016 Claire

    Hi Michael,

    I am wondering if you might be able to clear up a question I’m stressing about. One of our kitchen cupboard doors recently fell out of the cabinet – the wall plugs are plastic and had deteriorated to the point where they crumbled all of a sudden, meaning the hinge screws fell out of the chipboard. We don’t slam the door and there are no kids that hang off it or anything like that.

    My question is whether this type of wear and tear would generally constitute ‘normal’, or would our landlord be entitled to charge us for this repair (given that they might not believe us when we say we have not treated it roughly). Cheers!

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      August 29, 2016 Michael Yardney

      Claire
      Don’t worry – this should be a landlord expense – not yours

      Reply

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    August 23, 2016 Melissa

    Hi, I have recently purchased a home (in Tasmania) with the intent to live in it but my marriage has recently ended and i have had to move in with my parents and young son to try and save some money before moving in. As an interim i decided to rent my house out through an agent for a 12 month fixed lease (tennants moved in July 2016). Unfortunately my parents house is newly listed on the market and i am desperately hoping there is some way i can change the lease from a 12 month to a 6 month lease so i can move in around January 2017. Does anyone have any suggestions on what i should do?

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      August 23, 2016 Michael Yardney

      Melissa
      You are bound by the terms of the lease,just as your tenant is – they can’t get out early either.
      having said that you can both agree to terminate the lease – but this would most likely involve you paying them an incentive

      Reply

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        August 23, 2016 Meliss

        Thanks Michael, I did fear this might be the case. I guess it is just worth asking the question.
        Regards

        Reply

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    August 17, 2016 Tina

    Hi Michael
    Thanks for the article. I’m a renter and the airconditioner was first serviced when we moved in in 2013, it hasn’t been serviced since (almost 3 years). It’s now blinking and not working as it should. The electrician (organised through the agency) has been and said there is dirt and hair build up on the outside and needs a clean and service. Our dog goes down the side of the house, but cannot access the area as it is fenced off, so the wind must blow the hair towards the unit. What am I liable for in terms of the unit – the clean or an actual replacement of the unit? It’s not intentional damage from our part as the dog cannot access the outside of the unit and they have also not kept up with servicing the unit. Thanks for any information you could share.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      August 17, 2016 Michael Yardney

      Tina – this is a difficult one
      There is no set service interval for air conditioners, so your landlord does not have to service them
      I have airconditoners in all my proeprties and we have over 2,500 under our property management for clients, and I’ve not heard of “hair build up” clogging the airconditioner.

      A clean and service should not be expensive and while it would normally be at the cost of the owner, if your dog has been responsible, you may have to pay some of this cost

      Reply

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        August 18, 2016 Tina

        Hi Michael, thanks so much for the advice. Cheers

        Reply

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        December 29, 2016 Faust Azana

        Hi Michael, I have turned over our unit to our tenant with AC serviced and in good running condition. After 7 months tenant is now asking for a service. Is this fair? I already have given in to the request but i have a feeling that they might request for the other one to be done as well.

        Reply

          Michael Yardney

          December 29, 2016 Michael Yardney

          The air conditioner must be in good working order, but there is no need to regularly “service” air conditioners preventatively

          Reply

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    August 15, 2016 Lisa

    Also, the landlord went into the property before I fully moved out. Is this allowed?

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      August 15, 2016 Michael Yardney

      Lisa
      This is why landlords shouldn’t DIY manage properties and tenants should NEVER lease directly from a landlord.

      Protect your interests by making a claim at the Tenancy Tribunal in your state

      Reply

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    August 15, 2016 Lisa

    If my property is damaged to to mould in a private landlord situation, are they responsible. I know she also did not lodge my bond? Thank you.

    Reply

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    August 1, 2016 Chris

    Hi Michael,
    If a tenant makes a copy of the keys, say to leave with a friend in case they lock themselves out, are they obligated to give the copy to the landlord/agent when they lease is terminated? If so, is the landlord obligated to reimburse the tenant for the cost that was incurred in getting the keys copied?

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      August 1, 2016 Michael Yardney

      Chris
      Clearly you should not keep a copy of the keys after you lease expires. You would not have liked it is someone potentially had access to the property when you lived there.
      And as the owner did not request or authorise the expense, there is no reason they should reimburse you for the keys

      Reply

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    August 1, 2016 Esha

    Hi Michael,

    I moved out of a share house about a month ago. I was told that there were some stains on the carpet in my room and that my bond would only be returned after they tried to get the stains off by steam cleaning the carpets. If these stains still did not come off then I would have to pay for the replacement of the carpet. I admit that there are about 3 small stains from what I believe might be from using shoes as they are mainly near the door of my room.
    I was told today that steam cleaning did not work and the cost of replacing a plush wool carpet in a 15 sqm room would be over $1000. However, they are willing to settle for $500 because owners plan to replace all the carpet in the house before they sell at some point.
    I am aware that the carpet is 10 years old. Is it reasonable to pay $500 for the steam cleaning and replacement or am I not liable for it because the carpet is so old?

    Please Advise.
    Thanks!

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      August 1, 2016 Michael Yardney

      Esha
      With the carpet being 10 years old if this matter went to a tribunal, the landlord will only be able to claim a small percentage of the cost – say $100 -$150
      Your property manager would now this and should not be asking for the full reimbursement

      Reply

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    July 30, 2016 Cooper

    Hi Michael,
    I am moving out of my property in a few days due to mould and leaky roof issues. My bedroom door wouldn’t open all the way due to the roof coming down where water had pooled. In order to fit my furniture out the door, I requested my landlord have a builder come to fix the door issue. This was done but now there is large amounts of plaster on the carpet from the builder scraping away the roof so the door could open (the builder cleaned up the plaster before he left but more has fallen from the roof since). The end of lease cleaners may refuse to clean this mess (rightly so I think) in which case they won’t be able to steam clean the carpet in that room either. I feel this is the landlords responsibility not mine, as it’s not my fault the builder had to hack away at the roof in the first place. Any advice? Thanks

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      July 31, 2016 Michael Yardney

      Cooper
      You are correct – this is not your problem but the landlords problem.
      Please take lots of photos to protect your interest and document everything in writing to your property manager

      Reply

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    July 25, 2016 Eliza

    Hello,
    I am in Victoria and moving out of my rental in a week. My landlord has requested I leave the electricity connected until he says it’s ok to disconnect. I am not happy to do this as I know they are having works done to the house and do not want to risk them using the electricity whilst I’m still responsible for the bill. I have agreed to leave it connect for two business days after I move out but no more. Is he allowed to request that I leave it connected? Thanks

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      July 25, 2016 Michael Yardney

      Eliza – you under no obligation to continue the power supply after you leave. In fact I’s cease it the day you leave so you are not lumbered with any unnecessary expenses

      Reply

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        July 25, 2016 Eliza

        Thanks Michael. Also, do you know how long a landlord has to perform a final inspection after I have vacated the property? Thanks

        Reply

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    April 21, 2016 dev

    sir my tenant reported that backyard brick pave are not leveled. he is is landscaper,. so i came over to see the pave. He said that he will do it cheapest way and will let me know the total cost material involved. After 3 months he stop paying me rent. Asked on phone why he is not depositing the rent in account –he said will do it in next payment.
    so i relaxed. then next payment did not came also. called him why he is doing that? He told me that i owe him $8500 for the brick pave he has done at back yard. he start telling me that he got the right not to pay the rent until cost matched.
    i said you didnt even provide me any quote. which i was waiting for it and now you said that job been done without my concern.
    100 sqm prick pave – he charged me 230 hr. for the job. mean 28 days with 8 hr full time a day.
    got local quote $2500-$3000 for the same work.
    he didnt agree and not paying me rent for 6 weeks so far.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      April 21, 2016 Michael Yardney

      Dev
      I hope you’re not managing the property yourself! Everything should be documented and if you haven’t agreed to the works in writing, then byy your account of the details he owes you the rent and must pay.

      Get your property manager to resolve the problem – you shouldn’t be involved. If you don’t have PM go to the tribunal

      Reply

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        April 22, 2016 Dev

        sir i am managing the property. this is the first investment i have.
        i have given him 15 days rent not paying notice. other thing is i can not claim my home insurance.
        insurance company is asking about the site inspect before the job done. so i loss the claim also.
        becoz he has done without my concern. no written agreement has been made between us.
        in fact i was waiting for the quote so that i can show it to the insurance company.
        all messed up here.

        Reply

          Michael Yardney

          April 22, 2016 Michael Yardney

          Dev – that’s a real pity. you can see why I warn against self management – it doesn’t really save you money

          Reply

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    March 29, 2016 Liana

    Hi Michael, could you please help? I have a friend who is a tenant on a farm, the farm has about 10 different little townhouses on the property. The place where my friend is staying doesn’t have the necessary connections for her washing machine. So her washing machine is standing in a laundry room as discussed with the landlord on the day she viewed the place. My friend has had quite a few issues with this agreement as damage has come to her washing machine due to anyone/everyone on the farm having access to the room. So she has placed a big bath sheet over her washing machine. Now she is noticing the bath sheet is in a different position every time she goes there. She suspects the landlord is looking inside her machine, as he gives her a lot of grief about her washing. I just wanted to know – is he allowed to do this? Or is it an invasion of privacy?

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      March 29, 2016 Michael Yardney

      Liana
      from your email address it sounds like you’re not based in Australia – the whole arrangement sounds peculiar to me – and I’d not be happy with it

      Reply

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    March 14, 2016 Keri

    Hi,
    We have been renting in a property for 3 years and just renewed our lease. We have an oven which is really old, the stove top works but the oven itself take about 3 hours to cook a small chicken and then it is raw in the middle and burnt on one side, the same with vegetables, the oven is just a complete disaster and we cannot use it.
    Anyway, the real estate sent a technician to look at the oven, he and the real estate said because it switched on and has a ‘heartbeat’ and they know it’s an old oven and will not cook food properly, the owner will not change it, not even if we have a second hand oven. Do we have any rights when it comes to this oven being debilitated? Thank you

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      March 14, 2016 Michael Yardney

      Yes- you should have the right to cook a meal in a reasonable time.
      If the owner is not prepared to replace it then complain to your state tenancy tribunal

      Reply

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    February 17, 2016 Amanda

    Hi there,
    After having hired an electrician to carry out an electrical safety report on the property i rent and speaking to Energy Australia regarding very large power bills of 1500 dollars plus a quarter some running at 2500 dollars a quarter. The safety report came to the conclusion that extensive wiring replacement must be undertaken due to it being dangerous wiring that did not meet aus wiring regulations. Hardly any necessary work has been carried out and I’m moving on after 3 years of promises and half arsed repairs made to the premises.
    Is it possible to recieve reimbursement for the excess power consumption I’ve had to pay for over my tenancy? Energy Australia are quite confused by my energy readings etc and believe it’s also due to old faulty wiring. Thoughts? Please and thankyou.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      February 17, 2016 Michael Yardney

      Amanda, it seems you’re in a difficult position.
      You should never had to hire an electrician – that should hev been done by your property manager on behalf of the landlord.
      Have you approached your property manager about this? That’s your first port of call

      Reply

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    December 19, 2015 karen

    Hi, not sure if anyone can help but..have a rental property, rent is thousands of dollars behind, have a tribunal decision it must be vacated. If the tenant won’t leave can I move in? The sheriff will take a while but I am now living in a motel until I can get back into my home. So can I move in with the tenant who is not paying rent and stay there until she is evicted by the sheriff? Thank you

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      December 19, 2015 Michael Yardney

      It’s not fair – why should the tenant still have rights under these circumstances, but they do and legally you should wait for the sheriff

      Reply

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    December 12, 2015 Roger

    Hi Michael,

    Hope you could give me some advise.

    I rented a unit for 2 years and just moved out, I did the final inspection with the agent, she noted that one room was bad and I agreed with her. She took photo’s of the unit and none of the other walls was bad. The owner or no representative was present at the final inspection. A few days later I received a mail from the agency that R4000.00 will be deducted from my deposit because he has painted the unit. I don’t think that this is correct because he did not inform us that he was going to paint to unit. I would think that he should of informed the agent and send quotations of what the price would be to paint the unit after I have left.

    Can you please shed some light on this please….

    Regards and waiting on your response.

    Regards
    Roger

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      December 12, 2015 Michael Yardney

      Roger
      It seems like you’re in South Aftrica and I don’t know the tenancy laws there. in Australia the landlord has to replant at his expense if it’s fair wear and tear. However if you’ve caused excessive damage, then it’s your responsibility to pay for the repairs

      Reply

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    November 25, 2015 Karen

    Hello – hoping you can help!
    We are moving out of our rented premises where we have had a pet dog (outside only). There are no additional terms in our lease that indicate the need for professional carpet cleaning or fumigation. In fact, on the lease, the term (45) that says “the tenant agrees to have the carpet professionally cleaned or to have the residential premises fumigated if the cleaning or fumigation is required because animals have been kept on the residential premises during the tenancy” is crossed out.
    However, I have received an email from the property manager indicating that the carpets are to be professionally cleaned and the place fumigated.
    there is no carpet damage, apart from normal wear and tear, and there are no pest infestations.
    Just wondering what our rights are here?

    Also, who’s responsibility should we be required to re-turf an area of lawn that dies regularly due to lack of drainage and lack of sunlight?
    Thank you
    Karen

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      November 25, 2015 Michael Yardney

      Karen
      It is common practice for the tenant to pay for professional carpet cleaning at the end of the tenancy. If the turf died due to weather conditions, you should not have to pay for this

      Reply

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    October 19, 2015 Ben

    Hi Michael;

    My significant other has recently rented a small house, however has found after a few hot days and rainy weather that the previous owner kept a dog with bladder control problems – the house reeks of urine, though the owner did not allow pets.

    She has contacted the agent who advised there is nothing they can do, as the carpets were steam cleaned and deodorised prior to her signing the lease.

    The carpets themselves are at least 10 years old, with multiple bare patches. What steps can she take to have the carpets and underlay replaced? Note there are only two carpeted rooms, no more than 40 meters squared.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      October 19, 2015 Michael Yardney

      Ben
      This is a difficult situation.
      As a landlord I would fix this so my tenant was happy, but if your partner accepted the property “as is” and didn’t mention this in the original condition report, your rights are limited

      Reply

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    September 14, 2015 Rekha

    hi, we rented an apartment almost for 3years back and we just moved out.we never used dishwasher in the old apartment. after vacating my agent saying it’s not working. but we never knew it.they are saying : Electrical board cover broken, Drawer broken & does not close properly.
    they are asking for replacement.what we have to do ?
    Please reply

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      September 14, 2015 Michael Yardney

      Rekha
      You shoudl have a condition report of the property showing the condition of the proeprty when you commenced the lease. If things are broken you may have to replace them, but you would NOT have to replace the dishwasher. Things break downa nd wear out – you are only responsible if you dmaged it

      Reply

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    September 9, 2015 Nicola Appleton

    We have a rental property on the Sunshine Coast which we are planning to sell. We need to carry out various repairs and maintenance to the exterior and interior of the property to improve it’s appearance to prospective buyers. The tenant has agreed to the exterior repairs, maintenance and painting being carried out, but refusing to allow access to complete painting and repairs to the interior during the term of the lease. I understand the right of a tenant to quiet enjoyment of the property, but can they refuse to allow access by contractors to the interior? We would like to put the house on the market, before the current lease ends.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      September 9, 2015 Michael Yardney

      Nicola

      The tenants do NOT need to allow you to enter their property (it is their’s to enjoy while they have a lease) – why would they – they don’t benefit form the works and they will be dispupted

      Reply

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    September 3, 2015 Javed

    Hello, I hope i am asking this question on the right forum.
    I am a tenant and a couple of weeks back at 3:00 am half of the ceiling of the roof has collapsed in the lounge area. Fortunately my kids were sleeping in the room and no one was in the lounge. The lounge was full of dust and stuff came out from the ceiling and pieces of gyprock everywhere. We reported the problem and the agent arranged people to come and clean it up. But this process took 2 days and during those two days half of the ceiling was missing in the lounge and it was not safe for kids. As a temporary solution the landlord arranged someone to out a plastic to cover the hole and they say the property is now safe to live in.
    They have cleaned up the lounge but we still spent a whole day to do a detailed cleaning.
    Now the landlord is saying that we need to pay the full rent for the whole week (Where for the 2 complete days the property was not livable). Now the ceiling is half plastic and its winter and rainy season –
    Do we still need to pay the full rent – because the full rent was for a property in a good status not for a property where half the ceiling is missing and covered with plastic until they sort out insurance and get it fixed.

    I need some advice as who is responsible for what- do i need to pay the full rent still and what about the 2 days when we were out of the property when the whole was being covered with plastic. They will fix the whole ceiling next week and again displace us for few days and in that case should the landlord arrange a temp accommodation for us or just forgo the rent during that time when the ceiling is getting repaired and property will not be able to lived in.

    I really appreciate your advice on this.

    JJ Baloch

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      September 3, 2015 Michael Yardney

      Javed
      You are correct in thinking that you shoudl NOT be paying the full rent adn you should be compensated for the time you were not able to live in the proeprty.

      If your agent and landlord do not accept this, you have a fair cliam in the tenancy tribunal

      Reply

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        September 4, 2015 Javed

        Hi Michael,
        Thank you very much for your advice. I really appreciate that you took time to read my post.
        Regards
        Javed

        Reply

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    August 23, 2015 Alison

    Hello,

    Curtain and curtain fixtures … there are supposed to be curtains “officially” in two rooms and there aren’t. When I expected the property the agent said there was supposed to be one on the front as well and she said “I’ll get that done before you move in”. Well, when I completed the in-going report (NSW) all hell broke lose as I commented on this … I didn’t want to be held accountable for curtains that weren’t there, additionally the agent overstated the cleanliness of the place, she made it sound as if it was a brand new place so I remarked “the walls are clean they aren’t spotless as stated in the report” … a back door not locking, windows not locking as stated. I just wanted to first let you know what I am dealing with. Her attitude got to the point that I complained to the agencies principal and now she can only communicate via email – I learnt many years ago a company will often believe an employee if it’s a verbal “he said, she said” situation.

    Anyway my question, I have curtains for rods not ones that are hung on hooks and open and close with a cord. There is no way I can use my curtains. What are my options here? I’m happy righ my curtains and it becomes costly if I have curtains for all type of fixtures I’d need a road-train to move. As you see by above, I’m extremely reluctant to contact the agent. I’m correct in thinking putting up fixtures for rods would be crossing the line? Where do tenants stand regarding curtains? Do tenants have to curtains for all occasions?

    Regards,

    Alison …

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      August 23, 2015 Michael Yardney

      Alison
      You rent the property as inspected, but if curtains were promised, they should have been installed.
      I agree that your should always correct any errors in the agents inspection report in writing, and it makes sense to document all further communications.
      As for putting up curtain rods, you’d have to seek permission

      Reply

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    August 9, 2015 Michelle

    I’m a landlord in Vic and while only two tenants signed the lease agreement, believe there are four tenants. Do we have any recourse to increase the rent? Would we have to prove this somehow? What if the renters say, they just ocassionally spend the night.

    Plus, they also have a cat there and we said no to a cat when asked by the property manager. What are our options? They have been tenants for about four or five months.

    Great article!

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      August 9, 2015 Michael Yardney

      Michelle unless the tenants a are not looking after your property, I’m not sure either of the issues you raise should be a concern.
      As for the cat, the tenants should have asked permission for a pet, but would you really deny a good tenant the right to have one – the tend to do no harm.
      As for having more people staying at the property than have signed the lease, that is not to unusual, but if you feel the extra people are causing excessive wear or damage to the property ask your property mangler to attend to it

      Reply

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    August 5, 2015 Jodie

    Hi Michael,we moved out of a house we were renting 5 months ago.Unfortuantly there was a stain on the carpet in one bedroom and during final inspection the landlord and agent were fully aware of the stain.we had our full bond transfered to the place we are in now and without it being contested.about a week or two after the final inspection and handing in keys to old place we were told by agent the landlord was not going to get us to pay for the stain.now out of the blue 5 months later our old landlord said to the agent they want us to pay $400 to re carpet the whole room.Is the landlord able to just come back 5 months later and demand money like that ?If it goes to tribunual will we have to pay?we are in n.s.w

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      August 6, 2015 Michael Yardney

      Jodie
      it is unlikley the landlord would win this claim at tribunal – they refunded your bond and could not claim for the whole carpet – usually the sum is discounted for the age and wear of the existing carpet. Stand your ground

      Reply

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    July 16, 2015 kamal

    hello,
    I rent a home recently, after moving in, I get to know there is reticulation system for the backyard lawn but not connected to the water hose. the property manager asked me that the owner provide the pipes, you can connect manually and also there is no light at the backyard garden. who is responsible for these stuff.
    Another problem I am facing is the noise created by the train which passed nearby the property. this has not been mentioned by the manager?

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      July 16, 2015 Michael Yardney

      Sorry to say you took the property as is – no light in the back yard – that was the way you rented it and you should have known about the train line

      Reply

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    July 2, 2015 Harry

    Hi Michael,

    I’ve just moved into a 1 bedroom flat with my girlfriend. We were delighted with the place and set about to make it our home. The flat has a great working shower and a bathtub but we’ve discovered the water runs out in 5 minutes of shower-time and fills up the bath about a 1/6 of the way. The Property Agency had a plumber come out to the premises to inspect the unit who found out that the apartment only has a 50L electric hot-water system, dating back to 2001, but that it’s in full working order and operational.

    As such, our only advice from the Agency has been to get a water-saving shower head which would extend showers to 7 minutes before all the hot water has run out but not fill the bath up any more (or create any additional supply of hot water). They won’t consider replacing the tank with anything larger as the current tank has been ‘built-in’ with wooden panelling to hide it and fit-to-size.

    We’ve just signed a 1-year lease and the prospect of not being able to shower in sequence, use the bathtub which was something that initially attracted us to the property, and have the water run out in under 5 minutes if we have washed the dishes or used any of the hot-water taps for other things is not something we can bear.

    Do we as tenants have any right to more hot water, what constitutes an adequate supply? If not, are we able to break our lease as the landlord as breached their right to provide ‘reasonable use and quiet enjoyment’ of the property?

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      July 2, 2015 Michael Yardney

      Harry
      I’ve come across this before, where small 50L underbench hot water services that were commonly installed in the 70’s are not adequate for 2 people.
      I have heard that the tenancy tribunal has in the past found for the tenant and allowed them to break their lease

      Reply

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        October 4, 2018 Scott de Senerpont Domis

        Hi Michael,

        I have a similar issue. I was wondering if you could provide a citation of any tribunal decisions regarding this?

        Kinds regards

        Scott

        Reply

          Michael Yardney

          October 4, 2018 Michael Yardney

          Scott – this is not the right forum to dig into legalities – we have to stay in the big picture

          Reply

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    June 23, 2015 gail

    Hi,

    I am a tenant in a property in WA, the landlord has come back from their 12 month trip earlier and is now harrassing us in all sorts of ways, we would like to move out but the landlord will not apply to the courts to get us evicted, we are waiting for this to happen however meanwhile the landlord is calling us whenever we turn lights on in their house, meaning they are nearby the property.
    Do we have any rights, the landlord is becoming a nightmare but we cannot leave the house otherwise it would be an “Abandonment” issue. Please help

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      June 23, 2015 Michael Yardney

      Do you have an agent managing the property – you shouldn’t be dealing directly with the landlord

      Reply

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    May 11, 2015 Charlie

    Hi Michael,
    I am the landlord of a semi-furnished house in Victoria. I was wondering how I would go about removing a piece of my property from the house during the tenancy, or even if I am legally allowed to do so?

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      May 11, 2015 Michael Yardney

      Charlie
      Officially you can’t remove anything – the property was let “as is” However you can come to an arrangement with the tenant and ask their permission

      Reply

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    May 4, 2015 Marcus

    Hi Michael,

    We have tenancy of a 4br house, and have had this tenancy for 3.5 years. A year into the tenancy, we started to make requests for the landlord to replace our carpet due to wear and tear that was already there in part when we had moved in.

    We recently received notice to leave the premises, and have suddenly started to receive calls from carpet companies to quote on replacing the carpet. Our real estate agent also informed us that the landlord can get a greater rent than he can achieve by increasing our existing rent if he replaces the carpet and removes us.

    We feel that we’ve been treated unfairly. If going to tribunal, would we have a case for receiving compensation for living with carpets in a state of disrepair for the last couple of years, and if so, would you have any indication what that compensation might look like?

    We also had an issue where the strata blocked our house’s access to the pool and gym areas because two flatmates had been throwing a ball around the pool area. Strata has refused to give us access since, and it’s been about 3 months now. Our landlord, despite requests, has in no way acted as an advocate for us to be able to regain access to the areas we are paying for as part of our rental. I actually even offered to evict my two flatmates who had been throwing the ball around in the first instance, as this was affecting the rest of the house from being able to use the facilities they were paying for.

    As the landlord has made no effort to let negotiate with strata on our behalf, my same questions relating to tribunal and compensation apply to this part as well. Again, we feel the landlord is neglecting us in favour of kicking us out.

    Thanks!

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      May 4, 2015 Michael Yardney

      Marcus

      It is unlikely that you would get any compensation for living with the carpets, as they were in that state when you began the tenancy and the landlord would probably argue that you are receiving a reduced rent to compensate for the state of the carpet.

      If you rented the property with access to a pool and gym and this was later denied it could be argued by you that you should be paying less rent for not having use of these amenities. Similarly the landlord is likely to argue that you did not “play by the rules of the strata community” and therefore you should be denied the benefits of the pool. I wouldn’t like to take your case to tribunal – you may have difficulty winning

      Reply

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        May 4, 2015 Marcus

        Super valuable blog here, Michael. Thanks.

        One more question from me:
        The landlord originally served termination to us on the basis I had been Airbnbing my room out whilst needing to be elsewhere on business (how he found my small listing I don’t know). I’ve been advised by the rental advice line that my use of Airbnb should not constitute the breach of my contract and was incorrectly labeled as a breach by my agent and the landlord. (the contract suggests I can’t pass the tenancy onto another or sublet without the written permission of the landlord, but I’m also told that airbnb, in my case, isn’t subletting)

        This false information resulted in me cancelling prepaid bookings, affecting what I am told was a legitimate way for me to substitute my rental costs whilst I was needing to be abroad.

        Do we have a case for compensation here?

        We’re a bit upset with the landlord’s treatment of us as a transaction after providing a long term tenancy, and see the above as a non legitimate excuse for trying to kick us out fast.

        Reply

          Michael Yardney

          May 4, 2015 Michael Yardney

          Marcus
          I would suggest that if someone paid you for renting or staying at your place, and they were not a friend and you were not there at the time, it could be construed as a sublease and a breach of your lease.
          I’ve found the tenant’s union and rental advice line is often wrong

          Reply

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    April 30, 2015 Argile

    Hi,
    We just had once in 50yr storms in Sydney and an external pipe blocked outside my apartment, clogging any water escape from upstairs apartment, which ended up flooding into their floor cavity and ultimately through our kitchen ceiling. Strata has managed to claim on our building insurance and also accepts costs are Strata costs. The issue is that I rent as holiday property and had tenants move in the day after. Although all was cleaned up beautifully, there was still a hole in kitchen ceiling during the tenants 4 day stay. Electrician and Plumber said it was not dangerous and the kitchen was usable. Such a small kitchen that the hole not visible from any other part of the apartment, just an eyesore if you look up when in kitchen.
    Tenants are demanding compensation but Strata and Insurance won’t give it since there was no danger and the place was completely habitable. They said there was a smell but when I went there I did not smell anything and I have a radar nose!
    What to do???

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      April 30, 2015 Michael Yardney

      You should not be involved. What did your property manger advise. Let’s them resolve the problem

      Reply

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        May 2, 2015 Argile

        Hi,
        Thank you for your reply. I manage it myself but the Strata company is managing the insurance claim. So I forward to the Strata to deal with? I looked at the CTTT and it said my only obligation is that I do all repairs within 14 days. Their booking was only 4 nights, so from a tenant/landlord perspective, I did everything ok by getting repairmen there as soon as I possibly could.
        They gave me a security deposit, so i will return that and give them our strata contact? or should I hold security deposit until it’s resolved? THANK YOU again.

        Reply

          Michael Yardney

          May 2, 2015 Michael Yardney

          Argile

          Now you see why I recommend you use professional property managers – things are fine when all goes well, but you need their input when things don’t go as planned. It’s not the short term tenant’s job to contact YOUR Strata Manager

          Reply

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            May 2, 2015 Argile

            Tried that! They were appalling! Lackadaisical and no care taken at all. They got the worst tenants who partied and did nothing about it, damaged furniture and left over 15 garbage bags of alcohol bottles. I tried another company and the same thing. I’ll never do that again. I monitor my guests and after six years of running many properties I now have a third sense of who is the right kind of guest. Anyone with grammar issues sounds young and I ask for their drivers licence, etc.

            The strata insurance says they will not reimburse any tenant money due to a minimal ‘eyesore’, a small hole in the kitchen ceiling. It was safe and habitable and no damage done to guest or their belongings. The tenants first claimed it was unsafe, now they have switched to claiming “tradesman interruption” despite insisting on me getting tradesmen there. I’ve contacted my solicitor to now take over for me, they don’t have a claim as the problem was there when they moved in and they accepted to stay, knowing there was a hole in the ceiling. The kitchen is not visible from any other room, not even the next room, the dining room. It’s clear they are taking advantage of a situation and it’s sad there are people out there like this.

            I hope this helps someone else in this situation. Thank you for your post and your replies.

    Avatar

    April 30, 2015 Jasmin

    Hi, just wondering if you can shed some light about floorboards and if they have never been redone in a property that has had them for 20years and is a rental can we charge the latest tenant to have them redone?

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      April 30, 2015 Michael Yardney

      NO. It s called fair wear and tear. It’s not the tenants fault

      Reply

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        May 1, 2015 Jasmin

        Thank you, this is what I thought and I will let my friends know.

        Reply

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    April 23, 2015 JenMc

    Hi, I am a tenant with a Maintenance/ Repairs/Entry question!
    Our real estate have recently invoiced us for an electrician service fee for back in December 2014! It is for a call out fee to replace our oven.
    We had arranged with the electrician that we would leave our key in a ‘safe’ place for him to gain entry, but thought better not to, and assumed the electrician would have a key from the agent anyway.
    Evidently, the agency closed early and the electrician arrived to our house and could not gain entry as we had gone out – this was Christmas Eve!
    The oven was later replaced in Jan, following an entry notice and entry of the electrician with a key provided by the agent ( we were away on holidays).
    The agent is charging us for the 1st call out fee, saying they were ‘doing us a favour’ as it was Christmas Eve and we must pay the fee as we had made arrangements with the electrician. Entry notice had not been provided for this, more a casual conversation over the phone with the electrician.
    Are we in the wrong for assuming the electrician would gain access with a key supplied form the agent? Or are we liable for the cost for making arrangements directly with the electrician?
    Thanks in advance for your reply 🙂

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      April 23, 2015 Michael Yardney

      It sounds like you arranged to leave a key for the electrician and then chnaged your mind without telling him. How was he to know not to come out on Christmas Eve if you didn’t tell him.

      No you shouldn’t assume the agent will give the electrician a key – they can’t let him in to your property without your permission

      Reply

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    April 3, 2015 yvonne

    Hi Michael,

    I awoke Saturday morning to find flooding along my bedroom wall ( backs onto the bathroom ) & notified the Property Agent directly. I followed up with 4 calls throughout the day – advising the situation was becoming worse & contacting tenants of apartments above and either side ( as per agents request). By 5pm, after my fourth call advised the leak had progressed into the neighbouring apartment, they sent a plumber. He said the H/W system ( located in bedroom wardrobe) was fine, likely cause was blocked waste tray in my bathroom.

    I had moved all my bedding/possessions out of the bedroom slept the next 2 nights in the lounge. The stench was bad but more concerning was the poor quality of air – my breathing was laboured & we slept with the ranch sliders open overnight to provide ventilation. Unsurprisingly, quality of sleep was very poor. No use of bathing/ laundering facilities nor use of my bedroom for 2 days.

    The Property Agent called on Monday morning asking us to provide access for a second plumber. He inspected & unblocked the bath waste pipes/tray. Property Agent advised that evening we could use the bathroom/laundry & dishwasher facilities again – not the bedroom – as she was arranging carpet cleaners to contact us and arrange access. I thanked them for getting onto the matter, but mentioned the progressively poor quality of air meant sleep was difficult & alittle unsafe ( having to leave ranch sliders open overnight ) – that we put up with it expecting the property to be fully liveable within days of first notifying them of the issue. She dismissed this as not her concern. Use of bathing/laundry facilities returned.

    By Tuesday, when my daughter arrived home especially to provide access to the carpet cleaners, they discovered the water leak was not fixed, had in fact become far worse. The carpet cleaner advised as he inspected the damage, the under flooring was mouldy, suggested leak had been slowly occurring over a longer period of time than past 4 days & would need replacement & the concrete sub floor dried out – by running a drying fan 24 hours over a period of 2/3 days. Again, I contacted the Property Agent directly. Her response at 7pm was that it was now a Building Warranty matter ( not hers or her client the landlord ) & asked we provide access to the apartment builders and plumbers at 7.30am Wednesday morning, as she was still not available to provide master key access later in the day( I gave consent for their repair people to access ) or meet them on site to do so. This we did – taking paid time from our employment again- as this was a serious leak that needed urgent attention by day 4. No use of bathing/laundering facilities or my bedroom for 4 days. After the Property Agent again dismissed my breathing issues/ concerns about the quality of air – I emailed my concerns & asked her to respond in like. The quality of air was so bad , we slept elsewhere that night.

    We returned to provide access at 7.30am Wednesday morning & I took several calls throughout the day from my work to arrange ongoing access for builders & plumber & carpet repairs as well as the Property Agent who wanted access to take photos. Leak was identified as an unusual occurance, caused by neighbouring split pipes to their bath waste tray/trap – fixed – can now use all bathing laundering facilities. Builder & plumber need access again Thursday morning and next Tuesday ( long easter weekend ) to finish the job so I arranged this. A commercial carpet dryer had been on half the day & must remain on 24 hrs next 3 days – wet carpet & dust was fanning throughout the apartment – they would be back on Tuesday ( another 5 days time ) to shampoo & complete carpet repairs – unknown when I may have use of my bedroom again. Property Agent claimed she & the Plumber & Apartment Builder & it was claimed – the carpet repairer – all deemed the apartment fit to be lived in – expect the bedroom & by the way they claim it “..only costs about $10 a week in electricity to run those machines 24 hours a day…”. At this time – she had not visited the property since the leak began 5 days earlier. After visiting/ taking photos she called me back & advised -any arrangements to sleep elsewhere is my problem & my cost & “..it’s unlikely you’ll get compensation for more than one night…” said the Agent. We slept elsewhere again that night.

    I cannot afford to pay for motel/hotel & am sleeping on the couch of someone else couch & my daughter camped at her friends home. We both have work/study committments that have suffered. This is Easter weekend, & plans to celebrate have been ruined as my apartment is not fit for visitors. To say we have being inconvenienced is an understatement – as a previous home owner for over 3 decades, I appreciate this is unavoidable when such breakdowns/repairs occur. However, compromising our health & causing financial burden to us without any ‘real time’ course for redress, is unacceptable – because they all have a vested interest.The agent acts to mitigate any possible costs to their client, the landlord – as does the apartment builder & tradespeople, because eventually any claim will impact their insurance premiums/claims under Building Warranty.

    My question is – is a failure of care of duty possible under Residential Tenancies Act section 68 – Not in Good Repair and /or 67 – Not allowed quiet enjoyment of the premises – relevant to this situation? I am hoping to raise the matter with VCAT at the earliest.

    Kind regards

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      April 3, 2015 Michael Yardney

      Clearly this has bee very inconvenient for you – esp over Easter.
      From what you’ve said I believe the agent is incorrect saying you will only get compensation for 1 night – it sounds like you should persue your case at VCAT

      Reply

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    March 23, 2015 Sharyn

    Hi Michael,
    We are tenants in Qld and have noticed our lawn starting to die. After some investigating, we have noticed lawn grubs / beetles. Whos responsibility is it to spray the lawns to eradicate them?

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      March 23, 2015 Michael Yardney

      Ask your property manager Sharyn, but I believe while it’s your responsibility to keep the garden neat and tidy, it’s the landlords responsibility to get rid of vermin etc

      Reply

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    March 19, 2015 Edcat

    Hi, just wondering what your thoughts are on our situation.
    We are renting in WA after relocation. Renting out own home in NSW. We moved in Aug 2014 after signing three year lease. Within two weeks of being here I received a call from property manager stating owners needed to move back in and would we resign lease for us to move out in one year not three. I was a bit flustered on phone so said yes. The manager said someone would be round shortly for me to sign new lease. I felt quite sick after the call so after consulting google, phoned Consumers advice line and was informed that we were entitled to remain unless an understanding could be attained between us and the owners.
    As it was an executive relocation my home contents were professionally packed, transported from NSW to WA along with our cars and camper trailer and then all unpacked for me into new home.
    I rang my husband and informed him of the call and that they were rushing a new contract over. He said not to sign it and that he would speak to the property manager. We both felt that the wool was being pulled over our eyes as at no time were our rights discussed and the fact that a new lease was rushed round. I took the lease but didn’t sign it.
    Now we have been notified that our rent after six months is being increased by $85 per week. It is being increased to the amount stated in the lease agreement but that was to be incremental over 36 months.
    Also we have pointed out in last inspection a leaking shower and four dead trees that are in danger of falling on our walkway but owner is ignoring the property managers emails.
    Do we just suck up the rental increase or would we have a right to dispute the whopping $85 per week increase?
    Your thoughts will be appreciated.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      March 19, 2015 Michael Yardney

      If you believe the rental increase is unfair or above market or not in line with your lease agreement, you are entitled to ask for meidation att he tenancy tribunal in your state

      Reply

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    February 14, 2015 Mel Bloomer

    Great article, but I have a quick question. I’m pretty sure in recent weeks, I’ve had mice move into my roof & walls… Who is responsible to rectify this, landlord or tenant? I can’t seem to find an answer anywhere?

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      February 14, 2015 Michael Yardney

      Speak to your property manager as the landlord should eradicate this problem for you

      Reply

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    September 22, 2014 Mark Thurston

    Nice article!! If Someone looking for flat share in Australia browse: rentaroom.com.au

    Reply

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    September 16, 2014 Saya

    Dear Michael,

    I lived in Melbourne until last July in a share house. I paid my bond of $320 and I have a text message that the landlord sent me when he received my rents and the bond. Even though I have left the house about 2 months ago, the landlord has not given back the bond to me yet. I have repeatedly sent messages asking him to transfer the amount to my account and he has replied only once saying “I will complete the process soon” and still no track. Obviously he has not lodged my bond to RTBA, but is there still any chance I can get the bond from him?

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      September 16, 2014 Michael Yardney

      Unfortunately you’re dealing directly with a landlord, not a property manager. Make a claim at VCAT – that should get the landlord moving

      Reply

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    September 3, 2014 mick

    As a life long renter I found this forum interesting. My two cents worth.

    In many other parts of the world, people rent a property for their entire lives from a family of property investors.
    In Australia, owning rental property is seen as a tax effective mid term investment to sell to make money to have a holiday. In my work I get to see who owns what for half of Melbourne. There are not a lot of people who hold more than a dozen residential properties no matter how disguised. People go to extraordinary lengths to save tax when they own more than a few rental properties. All of those who do, are over the age of 50 and it is inherited money. Many people own 6 or so rental properties, most purchased when houses cost 30-60k. Our obscene house prices in Melbourne caused largely by our inability to move further than 25k from the coast probably prevent people from investing in property like people did pre 1980. The % return through rent is not considered to be enough long term if you buy a property today. Its all about capital gain.

    The majority of rental houses coming onto the market now are inherited from parents. If they are left to one sibling, they remain rentals for a long time if they are not sold immediately. If the property is split between a family, it ends up sold, sadly in some cases, after almost as much in legal fees has been spent. Now we force the elderly to sell their houses to developers so they can pay a bond to move into a home to die, thats very sad comment on Australia.

    I have been pretty lucky with owners, my average stay is 9 years, I like most people, treat the properties as if they were my own. This means no hydroponic crops, meth labs, house parties or changing motorbike oil in the lounge room etc. Ive had dogs, bees, planted trees and left every place as good as when I moved in. They get sold demolished and 2 3 4 go up in their place.

    When you rent out a property to a tenant, to make money from the rent or part pay the mortgage on the investment you will sell with a huge financial gain later down the track, you cant act like an old English Landlord. If you want to, then perhaps owning a rental property is not for you. Its funny because the investors in apartments in the city who rent them out for short term accom are making a killing way more than a normal rental apartment and couldnt care less who stays there, but thats another story.

    You have to rely on your REA to make annual inspections and handle complaints about rattling windows. If you feel that you have to spy on your tenants, wonder what they are doing to your house whilst you lie in bed at night perhaps its not for you but I think I have just come up with an idea for a movie.

    As an owner, its your responsibility to have an accountant depreciate every thing in the joint that can be claimed at the appropriate rate. I am sure many do, but how many go on to replace carpets, stoves, HWS etc at the end of their depreciated life span? not many in my experience. So theres a rort there worth any carpet stain IMHO. In my experience, when a landlord replaces an appliance, the first thought is to up the rent to cover the cost. Not for 6 months, but add an extra 10 bucks nest review that loasts for then length of the tenancy.

    I see a lot rental properties that are not let as they ask too much because it has a “new kitchen” but doest have 2 bathrooms. Its crazy, but thats people today, they want at least two. They watch too much TV.

    Its all about give and take, you take the rent, the tax breaks real or imagined. You have to give your tenants the right to live as you would want to live. People seem to worry about the carpet or a mark on a wall, but dont lie awake worrying if the place burns down. Ah Insurance! well surely your property is insured against major damage, and fair wear and tear is covered by tax deductions.

    With regard to pets and 64% of Australians own one, it seems now that the possibility of owning a pet in a rental property is reliant upon the overall assessment of the applicant and pet. Of the advertised rental house listings in Melbourne, 3% are listed as pet friendly. Clearly people want to know if its fido or puss rather than rambo the pit bull. However the current procedure seems to force dog and cat owners underground. In my experience, owners are better off being acceptive of a pet so they can see what it actually is during the application process and relax, or move on. If the pet is causing trouble, the tenants will be too, pets mimic their owners.

    You have to remember though, if you dont have a dog that barks at a knock on the door, you are 98% more likely to be burgled whilst you are away from home. Happened to me twice, you dont want to know about it and you shouldnt want your tenants to either. Locking one in the backyard only reduces the risk to 75% not 50%.

    For reading this dribble, I will give you a tip, take it as you like.

    Forl less than the cost of the average rental house in Melbourne, you can buy a block of land in an industrial estate, throw up an empty tilt slab shell on a slab, stick an office on the front and lease it out for twice the return of a residential rental. The tenant even pays the rates in a lot of cases! There must be a catch but I cant work it out.

    Reply

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    September 1, 2014 Carla Rozowsky

    Hi Michael

    I am new to the rental thing in Sydney. As a tenant, am I allowed to knock up pictures and paintings on the wall?

    Thanks
    Carla

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      September 1, 2014 Michael Yardney

      Carla
      Usually you can use “sticky” picture hooks that can be removed without leaving damage – ask your property maneger

      Reply

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    August 5, 2014 Gary

    Hi Micheal,
    We are renting in the ACT and have had mice in the roof since we moved in 10 months ago. They are making a racket at night and the sound scares our three year old.
    We alerted property manager and they said it was our problem. Is this correct?
    It’s not as if we leave or put food in the roof to attract them.

    Gary

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      August 5, 2014 Michael Yardney

      NO Gary. It’s not your responsibility. The landlord must eradicate pests and vermin

      Reply

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    July 30, 2014 Scott

    Hi Michael,
    Just wondering what your thoughts are on this.
    I have never rented & it seems that NSW fair trading see this a s a very grey area.

    My brother in-law was in a rental property for the last 12 years and has now passed away, this being said we spoke with the owner (whom manages the property) he advised us the property was in need of a full renovation when he moved out just before my brother in-law moved in so he advised Ashley (brother in-law) not to worry too much about the property as he WILL complete a full renovation of the property once Ashley moves out. He apparently did mention the following items would be done: carpets as they are old and approaching end of life when the LL moved out, the kitchen, the bathroom, full paint, “so don’t worry too much about the state of the apartment, as long as there is no structural issues it would be fine.”
    The LL also told me the exact same thing when I got hold of him to advise of Ashley’s death (that alone took 3 days)
    We cleared the apartment of Ashley’s belongings did a light clean and arranged to meet the LL on site to hand keys back.
    On the arrival of the LL he changed his tune dramatically, firstly he asked if I had any previous experience with renting/leases, as I said no I personally think he now wants to take advantage of the situation, he advised us that we need to sand the walls in every room and as he stated have it ready so his painter can just walk in open the can and start painting, he wanted to pay/contribute to the replacement of the carpets that were flaking & threadbare, laminate floor tiles in the kitchen were in a bad state and lifting in areas (I believe this to be a maintenance issue), replace a damaged tiled in towel rail at a cost of $240 (a few property managers I have spoken to say this is a maintenance issue due to the age of it (circa 35-40yrs), replace an internal sliding door that is damaged (wants $480 for the door), $490 for cleaning (if the property is being gutted for renovations and him stating to us that we should not be too worried I don’t believe we should be paying this & a few other minor things.
    The LL has never completed a routine inspection at the property at any time during the past 12 years. In terms of maintenance he has completed at the property it has only been 2 things: repair of a plumbing issue & replacement of the hot water service. (a previous co-tenant has told us that nothing has been done, he has seen the apartment from when Ashley moved in to assisting us with the clear out after Ashley’s death). He is a very good friend of Ashley and they regularly spoke about the fact the LL has never inspected or maintained the property.
    It is my understanding he is in breech of the NSW tenancy act if he does not conduct regular inspections and he can not make claims if he has not conducted routine inspections.

    Had the LL not advised us he was not too worried about the state of the property and speaking with previous tenants of his with regard to this is common practice for the LL as if he delays you handing keys back he gets more rent. We would have paid more attention to the property.
    We are now off to tribunal in relation to the matter & his $2040 claim.
    Please advise of your thoughts, as I have no idea due to never renting.
    Cheers,
    Scott

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      July 30, 2014 Michael Yardney

      Scott
      Yes – the matter is “grey”. I suggest never renting from someone who manages the property themselves, they tend to miss a few steps in the documentation that protects both themselves and the tenant

      Reply

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    July 11, 2014 PHYLC

    Hi Michael,
    Thanks for your advice previously. I am the landlord with the 10 years old carpet that’s been badly damaged by the tenant. They didn’t pay the last month’s rent and hence they’ve used the bond to cover it. So end up they don’t have to pay for any damage for my place at all! and worked out they still own $100 rent. They’ve obviously planned it all out. To chase that $100 rent I’ll have to go through VCAT and that cost $250.. I am just so angry why the law always protect the tenant more than the landlord..
    Is there any way to prevent another tenant from hell if I have to rent this place out again?

    Reply

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    July 8, 2014 Lucy

    Hi Michael,
    Thanks for your article.
    I am writing to ask you about pets at a property. We moved into a house 6 months ago and had an inspection about 1 and a half months ago that the property owner attended as well as the property manager. We have a dog and signed a pet’s clause on our lease. We received correspondence after the inspection asking us to keep the dog outside, and we informed that while we were given permission to have the dog at the property, the animal is not permitted inside at any time.
    We were not aware that this was the case as it is not stipulated as such anywhere on the pet clause or on the lease. In fact the pet clause states we need to have the carpets cleaned on vacation (which we would be happy to do) but I believe this infers that the animal may in fact be inside hence why the carpets will need cleaning. If we knew that the dog wasn’t allowed inside we would not have said yes. Our dog is an adult dog who does not sleep inside and doesn’t go in the carpeted areas (bedrooms) of the house, but we do like to have her inside in the living room when we are home.
    Is the agent correct in telling us we’re permitted to have the dog but not to have it in the property if it is not stipulated anywhere on the paperwork?
    Thanks

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      July 8, 2014 Michael Yardney

      Lucy
      I believe your expectation that your dog is allowed in your property is a reasonable one. You shoudl stand up for your rights

      Reply

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        July 8, 2014 Lucy

        Hi Michael,
        Thank you for taking the time to reply. I have emailed the property manager to this effect. Fingers crossed!

        Reply

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    July 6, 2014 Fred

    Hi, I have a question regarding blocked drains. Our drains are to the point it takes 2 hours for water to subside within the shower recess. Due to being behind on rent currently, first time since moving in to the tenancy 5 years ago. We was told by the land agent, not the owner that basically because we are behind in rent that they will not do anything about it. I was under the assumption that this is against the health, safety and welfare of us living here due to not being able to use the shower to maintain hygiene. This is a rental property in South Australia. Could someone give me advice? Thanks.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      July 6, 2014 Michael Yardney

      You are right Fred. Being behind in your rent should have nothing to do with undertaking important maintenance like this. But get up to date with your rent and their excuse will be gone

      Reply

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    July 4, 2014 Garry

    Hi. We entered a 12 month lease in August 2013 on a fully furnished home in a poor condition. Property manager A took photos and we signed a condition report. I attached a few extra pages giving further details of problems with the home and it’s contents to protect ourselves and I retained the original copies. Once the electricity was connected we found we had no hot water and our problems with the owners began. As it was a solar system, the owners first sent someone to inspect it. Then an electrician inspected it. Then a solar company inspectd it and ordered parts. After around 3 weeks it was working but developed a water leak. A few further weeks and this was fixed. We complained about the dishwasher not working correctly, no code for the electric alarm system and many other problems including dirty carpet, dirty mattresses and the list goes on and on.

    At the first inspection, after a lot of cleaning, we received a thank you letter from property manager A for taking good care of the property.

    Property manager A left the company shortly after and the receptionist became the defacto property manager, property manager B.

    An inspection was conducted prior to the inspection due in April, but we didn’t receive a report or any comments.

    The house was put up for sale and we had a few inspections, some unannounced.

    I complained again about the dishwasher and said I would go to VCAT if it wasn’t repaired. We were told to come in and fill on a maintenance request.

    Around 2 weeks later we received a notice to vacate for arrears rent, even though we had paid the rent prior to receiving the report in the mail. We had to vacate by 12/6/2014,

    We contacted property manager B who said she would contact the owner of the business. We heard nothing.

    Upon vacating, we handed the keys to property manager C, a new manager we hadn’t met. She said she would do the final inspection the next day….this wasn’t done.

    Around 2-3 weeks later, the inspection was done on the 25/6/2014, when we weren’t present and the long list of faults began.

    The list of demands commences with us paying for steam cleaning of carpets and furniture when they were filthy when we took possession and this was noted.

    Demands of pruning 10 metres high hedges etc..

    Demands of paying more rent until August and that we broke the lease.

    VCAT won’t assist until we lodge an application. Consumer affairs say we could have stayed as we had paid the rent due bit also if we had received a notice to vacate,then we should abide by that.

    We are in limbo with not receiving the bond and sick of the arguments.

    Help?

    Reply

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    June 26, 2014 Andy

    Greetings Michael,
    I wanted to exit my house after 4 months of living in. the contract i have signed was for me to stay 6 months. In the contract I am paying my rent to the head tenant. However, in the contract, I was named the landlord and the head tenant as the sub tenant, this was wrong. Moreover, the bond stated was more than one month and so after the signing i asked the head tenant to refund me the difference between what i paid and the needed 1 month rent value as bond. My problem is that I am not happy that I am paying double what the head tenant is paying to the owner of the house. I the head tenant 2 weeks notice that i am moving out and when he said no, i asked for 3 weeks, he still said no. He insists on the 6 months that was on the signed agreement. My question is, can i force my exit in 2 or 3 weeks? he is very hard to deal with because he does not compromise. he is firm on insisting on my signed 6 months. and also, can I declare the agreement invalid since it has wrong things in it? Please help..
    also, he did not lodge my bond to the RTBA and now that i am asking him to lodge it, he does not speak, basically just walks away.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      June 26, 2014 Michael Yardney

      Andy I haven’t seen the contract/lease but it sounds like you do not have a valid lease and he can’t hold you to it. If you aren’t successful go to VCAT

      Reply

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    June 20, 2014 PhylC

    Hi Michael,

    I’ve rent my apartment out for a year, the apartment itself is 10 years old. After the end of contract, I realised the wool carpet is badly stained by the tenant’s pet’s urine. steam cleaning didn’t do the trick, so the carpet has to be replaced. I’ve been told the tenant only have to pay for 10% of the expenses since they’ve only lived there for 1 year!! Is that really the case?

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      June 20, 2014 Michael Yardney

      That is correct – the tenant cannot be charged for the complete replacement of a carpet that was already 9 years old at the beginning of their tenancy.
      The advice you’ve been given is correct

      Reply

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        June 22, 2014 Phylc

        Thanks for your reply Michael. On the contract it’s written no pets allowed, however the tenant still kept a dog and I wasn’t aware of it. Is there a breach of contract here?

        Reply

          Michael Yardney

          June 22, 2014 Michael Yardney

          YOu’re correct it a breech of the contract, but if taken to the tribunal, the tenant will not be required to pay the full replacement cost of what is now a 10 year old carpet.

          Reply

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            June 24, 2014 phylc

            so there’s nothing much I can do even though they breach the contract at the first place.. sigh.. it’s not easy to be a landlord!
            Thanks for your prompt reply!
            Phyl C

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    April 15, 2014 Jane Robey

    Hi Michael
    I am a new landlord, and I’ve provided the property furnished to the tenants, including white goods. The freezer recently broke and the tenant did not notice for a few days and they claim they lost hundreds of dollars of meat when the freezer defrosted. They would like me to reimburse them. I have replaced the freezer, but I would like to know if the contents of the freezer are my responsibility. I have a standard lease in place with them, with a list of furnature provided attached to the lease.
    Thanks, Jane

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      April 15, 2014 Michael Yardney

      Jane – it could be argued that you are responsible for the tenant’s loss, but your insurance is likely to cover you for this

      Reply

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    April 8, 2014 Geoff

    We have recently found our own property to buy and unfortunately have has to end our lease half way through the rental term. As well as being up for a range of fees (lease fee, advertising fee etc), we have been told we also need to replace all the plants/trees that have deteriorated over the recent Melbourne summer. The place is only a 2-bed unit and has a small garden, we have always kept the garden neat and have replaced some plants previously. However they now want us to replace nearly all plants. What are our rights in terms of plants/trees dying through extreme days of heat?

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      April 8, 2014 Michael Yardney

      Geoff
      Congratulations on finding your new home. While you do have to pay the fees associated with finding a new tenant with Melbourne’s very dry conditions, it is normal for some plants to die off and it is not usually the tenants responsibility to pay for these.

      Reply

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        April 8, 2014 Geoff

        Thanks Michael.
        The realestate agent is being very persistant on us having to replace the plants, pulling out photos of the state of the garden when our orginal lease began, which was over 3 years ago!
        How should we approach this?
        Thanks

        Reply

          Michael Yardney

          April 8, 2014 Michael Yardney

          Geoff
          It sound like the agent is overstepping the mark – you can approach Consumer Affairs who will explain your rights

          Reply

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    April 3, 2014 Richard Ferrer

    I bought a mobile home and the hot water heater was installed wrong. am I responsible for the damages?

    Reply

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    March 30, 2014 mel

    I am a landlord (WA), we have the property under a company trustee. recently changing property manager and the new agency has requested for 100 point ID of the directors of the company. I was told that it’s the new requirement!. (I was not aware of such requirement until 2 month after signing the exclusive management authority), checking with the department of commerce I was referred to the code of conduct for agents and sales representative for verification.
    the new agency insisted that we have to provide them with a copy of our ID to be kept on file (eventhough we are not selling the property). we agree with the verification process but disagree for them to keep a copy of our passport and driving license on their file. I feel that we are not in the position for such requirement. I would like to know is it necessary for them to perform the 100 point ID checked on landlord and the necessary for the agency to retain a copy of our passport and driving license on file, while they have already done current company search through ASIC and sight our passport and driving license for verification? I greatly appreciate your comment / advice in this situation. thank you Michael.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      March 30, 2014 Michael Yardney

      A good property manager will actually verify that you are the owner of the property and they can take instructions from you. As a company owns this property they want to ensure you are authorised to act on the company’s behalf. You should have no concerns that they keep these records on file.

      Reply

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    March 28, 2014 Catherine

    I was just wondering where things stand if the lawn at the rental property we inhabit has suddenly declined and appears to be infested with ants and grubs? Our landlord is claiming this is our cost per our rental agreement with them (direct agreement, no property manager) however I cannot see anything stating as such in the agreement. I understand it is our responsibility to mow the lawns and upkeep the garden, which we do diligently. However I would have thought that pest infestation of lawn is the same as that of a house and therefore the landlord’s responsibility and cost??
    Thank you,
    Catherine

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      March 28, 2014 Michael Yardney

      Catherine
      I believe the landlord is wrong. Pest infestation is usually the responsibility of the landlord

      Reply

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    March 25, 2014 Kay

    What can I do if the letting agent has issued satisfactory condition reports and yet when the tenant leaves I find that two kitchen cupboards are very badly water damaged and the kick board is basically non-existent dur to water damage. It appears that the whole kitchen may have to be replaced due to an inability to match colours and styles of cupboards doors. There is a similar situation in the bathroom.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      March 25, 2014 Michael Yardney

      Kay

      Did the property manager send you photos along the way?
      It also depends what caused the damage -was it the tenant, wear and tear, water damage from rain etc if it is the latter it could be an insurance cliam

      Reply

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    March 25, 2014 Javier

    Hi Michael,

    I am currently renting a flat and I had a scheduled inspection which did not happen, I took half day off at work to attend but I ended up waiting 4 hours for the agent to come over, at the end no one appeared.

    Is it the real estate responsibility to attend to the scheduled inspections? I lost half day pay in vain which I do not care to lose if the inspection is done. Can I do something else than a simple complain? I think this is very disrespectful from the real estate to do.

    Thank you for your time

    Kindest regards,

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      March 25, 2014 Michael Yardney

      Javier

      I agree that what ocurred is very rude and disrespectful of your time. Unfortunately I don’t know of anything else you can do other than complain. Of course you do not have to be present at the inspection

      Reply

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    March 20, 2014 Sam

    There are items that are not covered by any insurance that have been damaged therefore I can not claim through insurance which would make process easier. Still my property has been damaged…whats your thoughts?

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      March 20, 2014 Michael Yardney

      I’m not sure which items you refer to, but if your personal property was damaged by the landlords building collapsing it seems that he is responsible for reinstatement

      Reply

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    March 20, 2014 Sam

    Hi ive been renting a property for nearly 3 years unfortunately the internal ceiling of the garage collapsed and damged my property its lucky no one was in there at the time. Is the landlord liable the damage caused to my belongings under common law in that her property has damaged mine.Her insurance has denied her claim for repairs. I assuming she doesnt have an liability cover either.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      March 20, 2014 Michael Yardney

      Sam
      I don’t know all the facts, but yes it sounds like the landlord is responsible. Your property manager should take care of this for you

      Reply

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    March 13, 2014 JG

    Hi there,
    I am about to purchase a house and rent it out. There is currently a tenant in there and he is great so i am going to keep him on. However we have.signed on to lease through a real estate agent and now we do.t want to go through that agent anymore as they have been very unproffessional.
    Can anyone please help me and let me know how i go about cancelling the contract with the agent?
    The terms and conditions dont list anything about the client cancelling with the agent.
    Please help, much appreciated.
    JG

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      March 13, 2014 Michael Yardney

      JG
      You’re allowed to change property managers when you purchase the property. You are not stuck with the current PM

      Reply

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    March 9, 2014 Andy Sunt

    Hi, I just moved in a share house of four (4) rooms and with four people. The Lead tenant says the owner of the property is his friend. I assume all of us is renting the property. I have just signed the contract with him stating that If i wast late with my rent, the penalty is 10% per day. And when i was filling up paperworks, i needed to know the exact rent the house required per month, and i found out that I am paying 48% of the whole house rent per month. This made a little confused and a little upset. i feel like the lead tenant is making money out of me while he is staying in the house for may for free. My first question is, is 10% per day penalty rate reasonable? (note that i have already signed the agreement). The second is, can i demand to lessen my rent per month ? It would be great if someone can give me a legal advice about this. Please help.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      March 9, 2014 Michael Yardney

      Andy
      You “agreement” is unusual and as you say uncommercial. Has the “lead tenant” got permission to sublease the premises? You may find you do not have a legally binding agreement if it’s one he put together

      Reply

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        March 10, 2014 Andy sunt

        Thank you Michael for your response . I understand now that the agreement might not be really valid . But under these circumstances where I am already 2 days in the house and has already payed apprise amounts , can I demand to lessen my rent ? What should I do ? Should I also tell him that the penalty rate does not really apply legally ? And one more question please , hthe bond I payed was 5 weeks that’s more than one month, in Victoria can I demand that I take the excess amount back ? Please reply one more time . Just need a light in this thing , very hard to find exact quotes from papers available online ,

        Reply

          Michael Yardney

          March 10, 2014 Michael Yardney

          It really sounds like you’ve been “taken” and I can understand your concern. My suggestion is you approach Consumer Affairs Victoria who have a department that helps tenants in your situation.

          Reply

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    March 3, 2014 robyn phillips

    hello we have purchased a property in Brisbane and need to know if we have to use the existing property manager for our tenant

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      March 3, 2014 Michael Yardney

      No.

      You can change the property manager to one of your choice – but don’t even consider trying to manage it yourslef

      Reply

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    March 2, 2014 ampsan

    Recently moved into half house with landlord on the back. landlord is now stating after 2 months into lease that he would like to drop estate agents and start a new private lease agreement. This cannot be legal or fair but I live wall to wall with landlord and feel like if I go to dispute this with agent it will cause many dramas. Please help!!

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      March 2, 2014 Michael Yardney

      I agree that it could be awkward to have a private arrangement directly with a landlord, especially if he lives in the premisses. It’s a recipe for disaster.
      If you currently have a lease in place, then that is an ongoing legal agreement between you and the landlord and legally he can his agent or in fact remove his agent, even though he’d be silly to do so

      Reply

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    February 24, 2014 Pearl

    Hi
    I’m renting in a property with large garden. I put few small fruit trees in the garden with owner’s permission during my tenancy. Now because the property is for sell and the trees may be destroyed, I have asked them if I can take the plants which I planted with me. I’m still renting and house is not sold yet. Owners are now saying whats in the ground stays in the ground. Is that correct? What are my rights?
    Please help.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      February 24, 2014 Michael Yardney

      Pearl
      YOu should have the right to take back your plants on the condition you reinstate the garden to its original condition.
      The problem is purchasers of the property may expect the trees to remain, so the selling agent will have to make it clear what stays and what goes on settlement

      Reply

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    February 19, 2014 John Tao

    Hi Michael, thanks for writing such a useful article! I am the landlord and recently the 17″ LCD TV at my property has ceased working. My property manager quoted $640.00 to source a new digital ready TV and bracket, mount on the wall, and connect to the cable and test by an electrician. I found it too expensive so I did my research and should be able to do it for less than half of the quote by sourcing the TV and finding a licensed electrician by myself. My question is, is it advisable to to use the real estate agent’s “regular” or it is perfectly okay to ask them to instruct the licensed electrician who I found to carry out the work? Thanks in advance!

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      February 19, 2014 Michael Yardney

      John
      Not sure why you bother providing a TV – it only gets you into this type of trouble.
      The problem is if you provide one at the beginning of the tenancy and it breaks down, you have to replace it.
      Of course you can supply the TV yourself and use your own tradespeople (as long as they are appropriately qualified and licensed) if you’re sure they’ll do a good job promptly. There is no obligation to use the agents tradespeople

      Reply

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        February 19, 2014 John Tao

        Hi Micheal, thanks for the useful tips once again!

        Yes you are right. I rented the apartment out as fully furnished and now I am regretting that! 😉

        Reply

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    February 17, 2014 Jen Shayla

    Greetings Michael, I am using a Property Manager to rent out my property while my husband and I are overseas for 12 months. The tenant signed a 6 month lease. However, my son wants to move into our house at the end of the current tenants lease period. How do I/property manager go about this please? I am aware that the tenant needs to be served with a “Notice to Vacate” but I would like to know under what section of the Act do I state as my reason?
    Thankyou kindly
    Jen

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      February 17, 2014 Michael Yardney

      Jen
      It shouldn’t be a problem. Your property manager will know how to give the tenant appropriate notice to leave at the expiration of his lease. This may vary from state to state – but is usually 60 days if a family member wants to lease the property

      Reply

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    February 10, 2014 Yvonne van der Veek

    We had solar panels installed on our house at the time when you received a 60 cents feed in tariff . We moved out 2 years later and kept the property as an investment property. We kept the energy bill in our name as not to loose the feed in tariff. Our property manager told us we couldnt pass on this electricity bill because it’s in our name but we could charge a higher rent ( an extra $20 per week) and have the electricity inculded. This worked fine for the first year. We then got new tenants and our last bill was a shocking $2000 that we had to pay. Tenants claim they don’t know why. We had the electrician out to check the wiring and we had endeavor energy run a meter test. Everything was fine. The property has a gas heater and gas hot water ( in the tenants name) so this bill was beyond ridiculous. We want to change the lease so that the tenants pay market rent plus electricity ( but still keep it in our name) Our property manager insist that she can not do this. we have made enquires with another property manager who said that this is no problem. Where do we stand with this legally? We’re thinking of getting rid of these tenants and go with another agent. Any help would be appreciated.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      February 10, 2014 Michael Yardney

      Yvonne
      You can’t change the lease in the middle of a tenancy, but a reasonable increase in rent is acceptable at the expiration of the lease.

      If this is an investment property I see no benefit in you complicating matters by having the electricity in your name. Just let the tenant pay the going rate as they would anywhere else.

      then there will be no arguments

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        February 11, 2014 Yvonne van der Veek

        Thank you Michael, we will have a chat with the property manager

        Reply

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          April 27, 2016 Why not free rent too?

          Hi Yvonne, I understand your frustration. If you disconnect your account you will lose the Feed-In-Tarriff, and will not be able to pay off your investment in the panels. The tenant has made no investment in the panels, yet NSW law rules that they are entitled to the benefit. If you increase the rent (to cover electricity) by too little, the tenants will abuse the electricity. If you increase it by too much, you won’t be competitive in the market. I assume you are in NSW, since other states don’t seem to have this problem. You could install a pay-as-you-go meter, or try Digital Solar to manage the payments.

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    January 31, 2014 Nad

    I recently accidentally forgot some cookies I was baking and the oven on and I left my house and went to the shops. I forgot to switch off the oven, when I got back the oven, which was an old model was burnt out.
    I informed the agency barry plant i am renting through and they advised me I have to replace the oven, and buy a brand new one not a second hand. Is this ok? Or are they exploiting my rights? They are charging me 500 for electrician and 500 for an oven. The oven was a very old model probably valued at less than 100$.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      January 31, 2014 Michael Yardney

      Nad
      That is a pity, but I believe the agent gave you the correct advice.
      It’s hard to accept a used oven as a replacement – you don’t know the condition, what’s happened to it , what could go wrong.
      However the installation cost seems excessive. It possibly included the cost of removing and dumping the old oven

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    January 22, 2014 Kerryn Ferraro

    Is it the tenants or landlords responsibility to repair leaking taps (tap washers) in Western Australia 2014?

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      January 23, 2014 Michael Yardney

      I don’t know the Western Australian legislation, but in other states maintenance like that is part of the landlord’s obligation

      Reply

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    January 2, 2014 emT

    Thanks for the informative article, in fact for all the articles. I believe re-printing articles can be very useful as it provides opportunity to see change (hopefully improvement) over time.
    As a self-managing lessor of 6 rentals in WA, being a good landlord and having good tenants is a matter of ensuring expectations are clear and being prompt and fair in dealing with concerns.
    The Department of Commerce has some excellent resource material for lessors and tenants which is clear, helpful and free. http://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/ConsumerProtection/Content/Property_renting/Renting/NewRTALaws.html
    My comment to tenants is to make yourself informed about your rights and responsibilities and when you inspect – ask questions of the lessor. If your application is accepted – have a second look at the property before signing anything and ask more questions if needed. It is so much simpler to ask at the start of a tenancy (when the lessor has allocated extra time to establish the tenancy). If needed, special items can be included as additional clauses in your lease.
    To landlords – ditto. Your rights and responsibilities are not passed onto an agency and being informed is your best protection. However, if you do use an agency, read the management agreement carefully and consider whether you need to include extra clauses, or delete others.

    Some of my self-management practices would not suit all investors, however they work for me and in the longer term, continue to make my investments rewarding and of benefit to both me and my tenants.

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    December 31, 2013 Andy

    It is amazing to see an article written only 1 day ago (30/12/2013) has received 80+ comments, some of the comments were posted as early as 2008! How amazing!
    Or was it really written only 1 day ago?

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      December 31, 2013 Michael Yardney

      No Andy

      It wasn’t written 1 day ago – it was published a few years ago, but republished now over our holiday break when I’m taking a little break and not writing new articles

      Reply

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    December 31, 2013 Daniel

    I have a question about fair wear and tear. We looked at a property to rent that had polished floorboards. The Agent told us that since the floor had only just been done if there were any scratches or marks when we moved out we would have to redo the floor at our expense. Having had polished floorboards in our own place we know how easily that can happen (especially with small children) so ran a mile!

    Is the Agent correct? We will shortly be on the move again and the majority of houses we’ve seen this time have polished floorboards which is making us nervous!

    FYI we are in Victoria if that makes a difference.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      December 31, 2013 Michael Yardney

      Daniel
      We have polished floorboards in many of our properties and quite the opposite – I’ve found them very hard wearing and difficult to damage esp with children and pets.
      Unfortunately “fair wear and tear” is difficult to quantify.
      I believe minor marks or scratches would be seen as fair wear and tear by VCAT – the tribunal

      Reply

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    December 19, 2013 Kristy

    Hi,
    I have a question that I’m having trouble trying to find readings on. I would like to know if a property manager has failed to do an inspection in 18 months what may have they breach? any info would be great help.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      December 20, 2013 Michael Yardney

      Kristy
      There is no set frequency for how often a routine inspection “must” be conducted.

      Also…different states have different frequencies in which they allow regular inspections, but not doing an inspection for 18 months is a breach of their service standards to you – a lot can occur over that time

      Reply

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    November 22, 2013 Chris

    Hi,
    I rented a furnished property on 3 month lease and have been here for 9 months. When signing the contract there was a stipulation for me paying a $380 cleaning fee on exit. I disputed the fee and even asked for quotes from a few cleaning firms which were far less than $380. I was told that it was sign for the 380 or not get the apartment so i was forced to sign. Is the letting agent in their rights to do this? Am I in my rights to get an invoice directly for the cleaning company or get a comparative quote?

    Reply

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    October 29, 2013 Wendy

    I am a landlord and the tenants acquired a puppy without informing the real estate or myself so it was not approved therefore in breach of the tenancy agreement. I felt pressured by the real estate to approve the puppy as the tenants were young and eventually I agreed to approve the dog on the basis that it remains outside and not be inside due to the new carpets I put in. The neighbours report that the puppy lives inside and is locked inside when the tenants go to work or go out and I have witnessed this myself. I pass this onto the agent and requested the dog be removed and is no longer approved due to the daily breaching of the dog living inside. The agent tells me the tenants say the dog isn’t inside and I approved the dog so it is allowed there however is going to issue a breach/request to remedy. This will be second breach/ warning. As a landlord surely I have some rights in requesting the dog be removed from the property where the tenant in my case is blatantly lying and intentionally and willingly does not comply regards the dog. Your opinion will be appreciated.

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      January 13, 2014 Suzie

      Hi Wendy, Although they have breached the lease agreement, it would be wise to allow the dog to live with the tenants. You have a bond which should cover any damage or cleaning caused by the dog. Shelters are full of animals for this reason alone- tenants pay LOTS of money to landlords, and have the right to live as they like to live provided they are not breaking the law. It is unfortunate is general that your property has carpet, but it can be cleaned when the tenants decide to leave.

      Reply

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    October 28, 2013 Julie

    For some time my landlord has known of roofing issues, roofers back and forth patching the roof, he finally relented to roofers advise and authorised the roof to be replaced and got a quote a week ago, however this morning in heavy rain our ceiling collapsed and on top of tv, rug etc . To make a claim on these contents will cost us our excess of 300$ and we will lose around $120 a year no claim bonus discount – is it reasonable to expect the landlord to reimburse these costs given the time it has taken TI action a known problem? Our insurance company said if it was thought the landlord had not acted on issues known they would purse the costs from him and return out excess and restore our no claim bonus but I don’t want to them I had reported issues to him.

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      November 11, 2013 shannon davis

      Hi Julie,
      There is a good case to answer here if you have the written requests and you can prove the time the owner took to take action was excessive. Good luck

      Reply

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    October 14, 2013 shannon davis

    Hi Tara,

    Vermin is the responsibility of the landlord unless it can be proven a the way a tenant is living is attracting vermin but in the case – its the owner.

    I hope that helps

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    October 14, 2013 tara linforth

    Just wondering if anyone can please tell me. We have been renting this place for 2 years and we have been having trouble with the water tanks pressure ect so we opened them up and in one of them there’s a dead snake, 4 dead toads and a green frog swimming around (green frog is not a worry)
    Who is responsible for the tanks being cleaned out? Us or the owner’s? Unsure if they were cleaned prior to us moving in. If they are cleaned they drain the water. Who flips the bill?

    Reply

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    August 26, 2013 Tipu

    Hi
    Read through the previous questions in tha hope of finding an answer.
    Who’s responsibility is it to mow the lawns, both on the yeard and the nature strip?
    We took over the lease a few of months ago and found out during a routine inspection (after 3 months) that the lawns were all really long.
    When queried we were told by the agent that the previous owner had done the mowing for the tenants.
    Now what?
    we obvoulsy do not want to take this on if it is the tenants’ responsiblity.
    I would be greatful for your assistance

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      August 27, 2013 Michael Yardney

      Tipu
      It is usually the tenants responsibility to maintain the gardens and lawns if they rent a single dwelling property.

      Reply

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        September 13, 2013 Amy

        I hope this is the right place to ask a question…
        Help, I’m a landlord. I have an agent who has been looking after my apartment in Melbourne for the last 6yrs. I always trusted that they will look after my interest. Unfortunately I was really naive and never went for the routine inspection. I did finally go this week and I was shocked. Rental agreement said only 2 tenants but in reality there were 6 persons in the place.
        The cabinet doors of the main bathroom and kitche was all water damaged. The main bathroom was wet. Holes in the walls. The living room floating floor was all delaminated. In other words, they trashed the place.
        I want to evict them as I felt that they have violated the contract. The contract ends in Mar 2014.
        But I was willing to give them 6 weeks to move out. I felt that I was reasonable. They pay rent monthly.
        BUT my agent tells me that I have no legal recourse and that we cannot evict them as VCAT will not do anything for the landlords.
        Is this correct? I am most upset as I was not also informed that I have to get extra insurance to cover tenant abuse of the place.
        PLEASE HELP…as my beautiful apartment now looks like a slum housing.
        Regards
        Amy

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    July 14, 2013 Megan Rumley

    I have been renting my house for 2 years. I received my new lease in Sept 2012 and now my landlord is requesting an inspection/walk-thru…….is this legal? I have never had a mid-lease inspection ever. My landlord and I don’t get along that great, but I am quiet, I pay my rent on time, I am not sure why she is requesting this of me. Seems very odd. She did not request this in Sept when we renewed our lease or last year mid lease. Shouldn’t she be required to give me a reason as to why she is requesting this walk-thru?

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      July 14, 2013 Michael Yardney

      Megan
      Your landlord or his managing agent do have the right to inspect your property periodically to ensure that it is being kept in good condition.
      Don’t be offended by this – all good property managers do this, but they should give you plenty of notice and you have the right to be there at the time

      Reply

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    July 12, 2013 Chauey

    I am the landlord and my properties are manage by the agent. For repairing the properties, can I get a friend to fix or the tenant should go thru the agent? Am I do the right thing that I get friend to fix it all the time. please advise.

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      July 12, 2013 Michael Yardney

      Chauey
      I believe the best route is to use the agent to contract to fully licensed trades people – the tenants should have no contact with you and it’s best not to use friends.
      If your friend is appropriately licensed, let the managing agent instruct him

      Reply

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    July 7, 2013 Shirin lakhani

    We have been living in a granny flat behind the owner house recently an other tenant staying there bought a dog without our consent and owner also did not ask us before giving permission I’m scared of pets and recently have hurt my back while running because of the dog came behind me I was hospitalised as well

    Please reply what are my rights I’m in Nsw

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      July 7, 2013 Michael Yardney

      While the owner should have given you the courtesy of letting you know, I don’t believe he has an obligation to ask your permission

      Reply

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    April 30, 2013 Faye

    Hi,

    I own a property in NSW and was contacted by my Property Manager for permission to repair the oven door as it would not close properly. Upon receipt of the work order invoice it stated ‘2 door hinges and 2 door holders were broken’. Can you please advise me if I would be able to make a claim on the bond for the cost of this repair, considering it appears that it was the tenant who broke the oven door?

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      July 7, 2013 Michael Yardney

      Faye
      You’d have to prove that the Brocken hinges were due to the tenant causing the damage rather than “fair wear and tear”. That’s often hard to do

      Reply

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    April 22, 2013 Peter O'Brien

    Hello,
    If the mice problem was caused due to any contribution from the tenants at the property the Landord would not be responsible to control the problem. However, if the tenant has not contributed to this problem it is the Owners responsiblity to rid the pests from the property. The best scenerio is for the Owners to engage the services of a Pest Control company and arrange for this company to remove the pests and prevent them from returning to the property.

    Reply

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    April 22, 2013 Adele George

    Hi,
    I am a Tenant in Victoria and we have had mouse problems since we moved in, there is currently a ‘mouse plague’ in our area. These mice are in the roof and walls (we have had a couple in the ‘living areas’ of the house but they have been quickly taken care of. The first year we managed to bait, trap and kill all of the ones in the roof and disposed of the bodies. now this year we are having issues again, we are again baiting trapping and killing these rodents and as they are all in the cavities of the property i am wondering what are the landlords responsibilities? We are concerned that it is a fire risk as we can hear them in the walls chewing on the wood etc, which must also include the wiring. Suffice to say we have contents insurance but as we have an 18 mth old child we dont want to have to worry about any potential loss of the property.

    Reply

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    April 3, 2013 Peter O'Brien

    Hello,
    If you inspected the property and there were no window fittings present, and you were not advised that window fittings will be installed, and you had no other evidence provided to you indicated that window fittings will form part of the tenancy, then the Landlord does not have to provide them.

    I hope you find this inforamtion helpful.

    Reply

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    April 2, 2013 Claudia

    I am a tenant in Victoria and would like to know if it is the responsibility of the landlord to provide window coverings as I have had mixed responses to my question.

    Reply

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    February 26, 2013 Sina

    Tenants have given notice and vacated property. On inspection they have patched up sections of the walls without consent and have basically defaced the wall. my agent thinks i need to give the tenant an opportunity to rectify the problem but as far as I am concerned they made the problem and I am not going to allow them re-entry to make it possibly even worse (i.e. tenant wants to get his relative who is a handy man to pain the patched up areas) I have advised the agent that I insist on a professional painter which the tenant appears to think she does not need to engage. In view of s.78 and 79 of the RTA 97 Vic i have given notice of intention to paint the affected walls and claim costs from the tenant and if need be over and above bond. I wonder if I have to lodge a VCAT App within the 10 days or generally whether my mindset and approach is correct. Any advice would be appreciated thanks.

    Reply

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      April 3, 2013 Peter O'Brien

      Hello,

      You must provide the tenants with an opportunity to rectify any damage prior to you arranging for the repair to be done. If the tenants do not attend to this to a satisfactory standard you can then apply to VCAT for a hearing. This application to VCAT must be made within ten business days after the tenants vacate the property.

      I hope this information is useful.

      Reply

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    February 25, 2013 Peter O'Brien

    Good morning Branka,
    It is the Landlords responsibility to provide appliances that are in working order and to ensure these items remain in good working order. If the appliance needs reapair it is the Owners responsibility to arrange this repair at the Owners expense, unless the appliance needed repair because of the tenant misusing the appliance.
    The repairer will be able to provide you with advice as to what is wrong with the appliance and what caused it to need a repair.
    I hope you find this information helpful.
    Peter.

    Reply

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    February 25, 2013 Branka

    Just over a month ago I rented out my property. Prior to renting it out I’ve called a plumber who checked out and fixed all water: pipes, new boiler, toilet, kitchen et cetera. I had a few years old kitchen stove which worked perfectly.
    My agent checked all electrical appliances prior to new tenants moved in. All was working in perfect order. One month later a tenant comes to agency claiming that ‘the stove doesn’t work’. Agent said ‘the repair is on landlord.’
    The stove was new and in perfect working order. I don’t believe that it was my fault as a landlord as I have provided the appliance in absolutely good working order.
    I heard from my naighbour that they had a party and the tenant is chef by profession. The stove could have been burned out only if 4 plates were working long hours together.
    In my opinion, it is a tenant’s responsibility to repair it on his expense, move over: he has damaged a stove which was in perfect order – it doesn’t work Due to not being properly managed.
    Can I ,please, hear opinion on such a matter?

    Reply

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    February 15, 2013 Peter O'Brien

    Hello,
    Thank you for your email. Your life has been somewhat of a roller coster ride of late.

    It does sound like you need to move, even if it is just to creat an entire new chapter in your life. If you are experiencing trouble locating alternative accomodation then you may have to widen your search and try a different approach.
    – Try different search engines, like gum tree, share accomodation
    – offer a slightly higher rental as an incentive for the Landlord to choose you as the tenant
    – Maybe use this as an opportunity for a sea change/tree change!

    I wish you luck.
    Peter

    Reply

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    February 15, 2013 Maria

    Hi Michael,
    Great article, I would be so very grateful if you would email me, I am desperate & very possibly on the verge of myself & my son, who just started year 12, being made homeless. I have been a tenant in current property since Jun 2009, been a good tenant, paid rent, maintained property well (despite many breaches by owner including their refusing to replace broken gas fire for over 18months! ) a new property manager started in August last year, she had constantly harassed, threatened & bullied me since that time because I am on Periodic Lease since last one expired Jan 2012. Owner had accepted our rent all that time & in Oct it was increased by $20 p/w because I did not want to sign another 1 year lease here @ that time (largely due to numerous outstanding maintenance issues) after serving an invalid 7 day termination on me last year, then applying to court for termination, which court rejected as invalid, she then served 60day notice without reason (we are in West Australia) she has now applied to court again giving one of reasons for application as “tenant has history of complaints & refusing to vacate premises” – I have tried everything I can think of here, filed complaint with Dept of Commerce 18 Dec 2012, they basically did nothing, have not even investigated compliance issues raised yet & have closed file as agent didn’t agree to conciliation terms, they were contacted once, said no and file was closed. Community lawyers did nothing, it’s like no-one can be bothered as file is quite big (I have copies of all relevant documents) & it seems there is no-one who will even give me any advice , only thing so called Tenant’s Advocate Said was “retaliatory termination is hard to prove’ I have apied for other rentals but been refused, more than likely at least part in due to invalid breach agent raised against me & refused to remove.
    I’m sorry this is so long but I am at my wits end, the last 6 months have been a living hell, I’m a single mum, self employed & I have no family in Australia, so my situation is desperate.

    Reply

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    February 14, 2013 mhaey

    Hi,
    I got a question I am a tenant in South Australia. I reminded my agent about the A/C not working in our room during the house inspection (she already knew since we moved in so about 3months ago) I informed her that the A/C on the lounge does release hot air after awhile it being open and not to mention it isn’t big/powerful enough to cool the lounge/kitchen/dining area. 2 months after still they haven’t attended to it. Heatwave hit us and leave us no choice but to move our bed in the lounge(so my partner can sleep well he does night shift) We got our portable A/C, lounge A/C and the small A/C on top of the stove running( Even though got 3 A/C running it is still very hot inside and have to turn off the lounge A/C every now and then as it blows hot air) After 2 months and 2 weeks finally they have replace the A/C (after telling the agent that we will contact CBS) We got a 2nd hand Split system A/C installed in our room which works good. They installed a 2nd hand window type A/C in lounge (still not big enough to cool a big area) its a lot better but not worth mentioning. Now I got my power bill and it is $3000 for 2 months is my landlord liable to pay that knowing we incur that because of the broken A/C and took them a very long time to fix? I will be willing to pay the power bill “IF I FELT ITS WORTH IT BUT ITS NOT!” Any advice will be appreciated 🙂

    Reply

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      February 15, 2013 Peter O'Brien

      Hello,

      That is a very high electricity account! The Owner must provide working appliances. You should discuss the high electricity account and negotiate some compensation because it was high as a result of the air conditioner in your apartment not operating correctly for a long period of time.
      The Owner or agent may have access to past electricity accounts over the samer time of the year to compare.

      Reply

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    January 1, 2013 Rocky

    Does anyone know, (under WA law) whether tenants can install a clothesline in the front yard (yes front yard, not backyard) of a rental property (house)? We just had an anonymous letter placed in our letterbox saying the clotheline is offending the neighbours and the display of underwear is insulting to people walking by. I’ve tried the Residential Tenancies Act and the Regulations but can’t seem to find anything on this issue…

    Reply

      Michael Yardney

      January 1, 2013 Michael Yardney

      Rocky
      I don’t know the WA residential tenancies act , but I do know that you’d need the landlord’s permission and many would agree that it spoils the amenity of the building. Just like you can’t hang clothes or underwear from the balcony of apartments

      Reply

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        June 27, 2013 light487

        Is it a requirement of the landlord to provide clothes-lines if the strata body corporate has provided no such facilities and the by-law for not hang clothes within view of the road (ie on balcony)?

        Reply

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    November 5, 2012 Karma Kennedy

    Just wondering if anyone can provide link to section of NSW Residential Tenancies Act or Fair Trading fact sheet that says who are responsible for ongoing unblocking of gutters?

    Reply

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      February 15, 2013 Peter O'Brien

      Hello,
      http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/Tenants_and_home_owners/Renting_a_home.html

      I think you will find that as a general maintenance item it falls under the Landlords responsibility.

      Reply

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    October 7, 2012 Max Ding

    Just wondering, what unreasonable rights exactly did landlords used to have in the past and how have they changed? What do you think the attitudes of landlords and tenants are in the present about tenancy laws?

    Reply

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      February 15, 2013 Peter O'Brien

      Hello,
      In the present time, tenancy laws very much favour the tenant. There are some many examples of this that I would not know where to start. This is why Landlords need to engage the services of an experienced property manager with excellent negotiation skills.

      Reply

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    September 4, 2012 Lee

    Hi
    I have a quick question. We moved into a home 4 weeks ago. One evening about a week ago my son was doing homework in the study and the bulb in our reading lamp exploded shattering glass every where. Not only did some land on his laptop keys melting buttons but also onto his lap burning his thighs through his shorts. Thankfuly he wears reading glasses so some of the shattered glass bounced off his glasses. I had placed a piece of plastic runner under the office chair to protect the carpet from the wheels which protected the carpet from the hot glass near the desk but some of the glass traveled further and burnt two holes in the carpet. One about the size of a match head and the other about the size of a large pea. I was very upset as not only is this a relatively new home but I am very home proud and conscious of how I look after our rentals. I contacted our Real Estate the following day to notify them and asked if someone could attend the property to inspect the damage. A day and time was made for the Principal to visit but no one attended. I will say though they were very good and sent an electrician out to check all the wiring to make sure it wasn’t caused by a wiring problem or power surge. He told me all wiring was good and it was the reading lamp. I also contacted our Insurance Company the same day as we have contents insurance. I discussed the incident and damage to the laptop and made inquiry as to whether they would cover the carpet if the owners did not have Landlord Insurance. I was told that we should be covered as the reading lamp in question was ours. Yesterday we had a scheduled inspection (Four week) and the property manager was not aware of the incident when I showed her and took pictures and said she would discuss it with the Principal. Today I was told that we would have to replace the carpet either before or at the end of our Tenancy. As Landlords of a fairly new home ourselves I would have thought that my Landlord Insurance would consider this as Accidental Damage. I also have 4 years previous Property Management Experience so I understand how this can be a grey area. I would realy value your opinion.

    Kind regards
    Lee

    Reply

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      February 15, 2013 Peter O'Brien

      Hello Lee,

      What an terrible incident.
      We cannot comment about what type of Insuracne cover the Owner has in place. The unfortunate result is, it was your personal property that caused the damage to the Owners property….
      Thankfully no one was seriously injured.

      Reply

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    July 28, 2012 Nicky York

    Hi. We are ‘VIP’ tenants’ according to our previous Property agent!! Our current agent says we are model tenants. I am retired and my husband is long distance truck driving. We live on a semi rural property of 2/3 acre, which in turn is on a 50 acre property. We love peace and quiet. When we first arrived the garden was very bare and so we have planted trees and shrubs (with owners permission) and it now looks very nice. Trouble is our Landlord lives on the acreage and told us when we first moved in that they are very fussy and will check each time they drive past (which is daily – several times sometimes). He has arrived on our door step several times without warning, saying he wants us to get rid of this or that. Even our caravan. He has phoned my husband on several occasions asking if we are running machinery or making such and such a noise. My husband has no machinery and he received this calls when he was at work, or even when he just arrived home!! Now he is demanding that no truck or trailer is to be on the property at any time. We have a 6×4 box trailer! No cars to be parked on the grass. No caravans allowed on the property. We recently had interstate visitors staying with us for 3 nights and as it was raining we had them parked as near to