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2 posts

Wannabe Geek


#233416 15-Apr-2018 14:34
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Hi All,


Sorry for the long post but a bit of background first.


I was hoping someone might be able to clarify tenants rights.


The property we are renting was sold 18 months ago " As is,where is" and is EQ damaged and we have been here for 4 years.


At the last property inspection we were issued a 14 day notice to sort what both parties agreed were minor issues with the exception of 1


A pre existing hole in the wall that was present when we first moved in. The LL is insisting we fix it which we have refused, they did not document it on previous inspections as it was hidden and we forgot about it. We attempted to get previous reports from the last owners and were refused. The current owners did not do a property inspection until 3 months after purchase and we have consistently pointed out pre existing damage.


During the inspection we asked for trees to be trimmed, guttering cleared out and the heat pump serviced which they refused.


We sent them an e mail requesting they were done and 12 hours later were issued with a 90 day eviction notice for the stated reasons


"The relationship is breaking down"


"The property was unclean"


"We had too many pets" (2 dogs 1 cat) as allowed in the tenancy agreement.


We have since discovered they falsified the Insulation statement on the tenancy agreement by stating the property had concrete floors which they clearly know the 2 downstairs bedrooms are wooden (They previously removed boards to check for a leaking pipe)


They also said we had to replace the batteries in the smoke alarms which they replaced after the new regulations. The alarms are not legal under the legislation.


Advice?


 


 


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2808 posts

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  #1996474 15-Apr-2018 14:52
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Welcome to GZ.

 

Ultimately the relationship is turning to custard, so you are better off moving IMHO.  You absolutely can fight this of their documentation is not up to scratch and some obviously false statements have been made and other dodgy stuff going on.  Call the Tenancy Tribunal for advice.

 

Ultimately, unless there is a strong reason for you to want to stay, I suggest emailing the landlord back and ask them to:

 

- extend the notice period to 6 months or 9 months to basically give to you lots of time to move out before Christmas
- Shorten the notice period from 3 weeks to 2 weeks so you can move faster is something good comes up
- complete the requested maintenance within 6 weeks

 

and advise them that as long as the above is agreed to in writing (email should be sufficient), you will not make a formal complaint to the Tenancy Tribunal.

 

If they refuse:

 

Lodge a request with the TT to:

 

- set aside the 90 day notice (or extend it to 6 months or 9 months to give you lots of time)
- have the requested maintenance done
- have the smoke alarms replaced with the required standard
- have the landlord prove via photos that the hole was not preexisting before your tenancy
- have the landlord prove the insulation statements are correct

 

It's disappointing and surprising the previous property owner would not assist you.  I am taking you at your word that you've done nothing to antagonise the situation.  Note that if your rent is behind, all bets are off.

 

Source:  I'm a landlord of 10 years, who has had some awesome and some pretty crappy tenants.

 

Cheers
Mike





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  #1996478 15-Apr-2018 15:05
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Photos. 

 

Inside and out. Before you hire or rent anything. 

 

In the case of a house, photos of everything, every corner, ledge, wall, cupboard inside and out. Take a hundered+ as spending 20 minutes doing that before moving in can mean getting your bond back when you move out. 





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  #1996482 15-Apr-2018 15:16
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Photos take lots of photos. They will be GPS and time tagged too.

 

 

 

I do the same when picking up rental car (and returning it)

 

 


3885 posts

Uber Geek


  #1996538 15-Apr-2018 16:44

In short, the residential tenancies act defines tenants rights and obligations. If you want to move sooner than the 90 days notice says, you can give them 3 weeks notice back to them. And you can always ask if they will let you move out sooner.

Do you want to stay? Or are you happy to move? As that would decide what you should do next. Both options look like they will involve a tribunal claim.





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  #1996543 15-Apr-2018 16:54
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The property was sold 18 months ago, when did you sign the tenancy agreement with the new owner? You should have documented the hole in the wall a that point.

 

 

 

"During the inspection we asked for trees to be trimmed, guttering cleared out and the heat pump serviced which they refused."

 

These sort of requests I think are pretty unnecessary and just go to show how little people who rent a property actually want to care for it in my opinion. If the garden maintenance is part of the landlord responsibility in the tenancy agreement then I suppose they should trim the trees but cleaning guttering is so simple I cannot see why you do not do it yourself? You don't even need a ladder, you can just use a broom from the ground. A heatpump service is literally removing 4 screws and washing the filter (exterior) and sliding out and washing the filter (interior) and should be part of your cleaning regimen already.

 

What is illegal about the alarms they installed and why have the batteries run out after only 18 months?


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  #1996550 15-Apr-2018 17:03
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fingrinn:

 

Hi All,

 

 

 

Sorry for the long post but a bit of background first.

 

 

 

I was hoping someone might be able to clarify tenants rights.

 

 

 

The property we are renting was sold 18 months ago " As is,where is" and is EQ damaged and we have been here for 4 years.

 

 

 

At the last property inspection we were issued a 14 day notice to sort what both parties agreed were minor issues with the exception of 1

 

 

 

A pre existing hole in the wall that was present when we first moved in. The LL is insisting we fix it which we have refused, they did not document it on previous inspections as it was hidden and we forgot about it. We attempted to get previous reports from the last owners and were refused. The current owners did not do a property inspection until 3 months after purchase and we have consistently pointed out pre existing damage.

 

 

 

During the inspection we asked for trees to be trimmed, guttering cleared out and the heat pump serviced which they refused.

 

 

 

We sent them an e mail requesting they were done and 12 hours later were issued with a 90 day eviction notice for the stated reasons

 

 

 

"The relationship is breaking down"

 

 

 

"The property was unclean"

 

 

 

"We had too many pets" (2 dogs 1 cat) as allowed in the tenancy agreement.

 

 

 

We have since discovered they falsified the Insulation statement on the tenancy agreement by stating the property had concrete floors which they clearly know the 2 downstairs bedrooms are wooden (They previously removed boards to check for a leaking pipe)

 

 

 

They also said we had to replace the batteries in the smoke alarms which they replaced after the new regulations. The alarms are not legal under the legislation.

 

 

 

Advice?

 

 

If you can prove the hole in the wall was there when you moved in - photos would be good - that will help. 

Normally the landlord or property manager would issue with a 14 day notice requiring you to comply with any issues like too many pets or any other way in which you are in breach of the tenancy agreement. 

You can lodge an application with the Tenancy Tribunal for review of any such matters and initially they will seek to mediate a solution. But you need to ensure you're not just glossing over the things you're doing wrong and that you're also able to convincingly document the problems as you see them. For a retaliatory claim you'd have to document the events leading up to it. 

I assume you're not on a lease. So 90 days is the usual notice period and under current law they don't need to give you any reasons at all for such an end to the tenancy. It doesn't hurt to fight it out even if you lose simply because this will discourage the landlord from treating anyone else badly if the tenants always stand up for themselves. I doubt you're going to get a good reference anyway....which might make it tough after 4 years. 

Most people seem to be clueless about the law because they don't take the time to read and understand the information on the Tenancy web site. That includes landlords and tenants. 

 





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2 posts

Wannabe Geek


  #1996598 15-Apr-2018 20:22
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Just to clarify a few questions.

 

The property is 2 story and a notice was sent by the CCC to the LL asking them to cut the overgrown trees which they sent to us with "Get the tenants to do it"

 

As for the guttering it is legally the LL responsibility

 

All rent has been paid on time and in full.

 

The new tenancy agreement for 1 year was signed 8 months ago.

 

we do clean the filters on the heat pump yearly and suspect the issue with no heat is from the unit itself.

 

The previous owner managed the property through Harcourts which are the ones who refused to release property reports.

 

The smoke alarms by law " Must have batteries that last at least 8 years" which these clearly do not.

 

As far as we are aware the LL owns or manages dozens of properties.

 

Thanks all for you help, we do appreciate it.


 
 
 
 


3885 posts

Uber Geek


  #1996609 15-Apr-2018 20:46

You said that you signed a fixed term tenancy agreement for 1 year, 8 months ago. Which means that they can't give you 90 days notice, as the agreement has to run for its full term.

Can you confirm if you are definitely on a fixed term agreement? Although you would likely just get 1 extra month anyway, as only 4 months left to run on it.





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