QLD A nightmare landlord war story from 10 years ago

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by Perp, 17th Jun, 2019.

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  1. Perp

    Perp Well-Known Member

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    We moved out of our home for 6 months while it was being extensively renovated, and rented an apartment nearby. It was a large 3 BR apartment with a huge deck, and we had permission to have our 8kg dog there.

    When we were moving out, we engaged professional cleaners and carpet cleaners, including paying for flea treatment. We also knew the dog had urinated in a spot near the balcony door, which I'd shampooed up with our Bissell, but we sought out carpet cleaners who specialised in urine stain removal with blacklight and super duper chemicals etc so that it would be returned to as new condition. The carpet cleaner guaranteed we'd get all our bond back. We had already moved out on a Thursday, and the cleaner worked Friday, and carpet cleaning was scheduled for Saturday. The on-site manager agreed to let the cleaner and carpet cleaner in, and so we returned our keys when we moved out on Thursday.

    We've paid everybody and as far as we know, all goes smoothly, until a few weeks later, we get a letter saying that the landlord is claiming the whole $8,000 bond! (Over a threshold $ per week, they can ask for any bond, and that's what we had paid, which I think was 6 weeks' rent.) The claim was that the carpet in the whole apartment needed to be replaced.

    I was all 'WTF? Why didn't I hear anything from the carpet cleaner, if he couldn't remove the stain? And why does every room need to be replaced?'

    So I immediately rang the carpet cleaner, who sounded very confused as to who I was, and why I was asking him about that job - he didn't recognise my name. I explained that I'd paid for the job over the phone, and didn't meet him, and he started going: "Oh my God, oh f**k, I can't believe what's happened!" and sounding very panicky.

    I eventually established that when 'Julie' (on-site manager) met him at the apartment to let him in, she'd said to him: "Actually, we've changed our mind and we don't actually want the carpets cleaned; we just want you to write a letter saying that you tried to clean them and they were ruined, so that we can claim it on our insurance." :eek::eek::eek:

    And he did. :(

    Realising how badly he'd stuffed up, he then wrote a statutory declaration for me, outlining what had actually happened.

    Then QCAT didn't send us a letter for the hearing, though they did send me a letter for somebody else's hearing. (I hadn't put two and two together that they'd sent the wrong notice and I was missing one - I just sent it back to QCAT but didn't chase our own hearing date, presuming we were still in the queue.) So then QCAT does a hearing in our absence, and awards the landlord our $8,000 bond.

    So then I had to apply to have the matter re-opened, which was successful, and turned up at the second hearing with my stat dec from the carpet cleaner. To say that the QCAT Member was annoyed would be an understatement.

    He ordered our $8,000 bond returned.

    Even then, the landlord - a lawyer, I'm a lawyer but goddamn some are bad - refused to pay. It got to after the 30 days he was given by QCAT to repay us, and now I was looking at having to enforce the debt, because the money had been released to him.

    So I found out where he worked, and faxed the managing partner of his firm our QCAT order, and said that his employee was in violation, and asking did I really have to get the sheriffs in to get my money?

    Then it finally got paid. Such an *******.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 17th Jun, 2019
  2. Beano

    Beano Well-Known Member

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    We've paid everybody and as far as we know, all goes smoothly,
    Did all your payments for the cleaning go through ?
     
  3. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm curious to know if either the carpet cleaner or the on-site manager could have been in legal trouble if you had wanted to pursue that.

    On-site manager asked the cleaner to make a false statement to enable fraud to be committed against an insurer. Weren't they both risking big trouble. (I realise this is ten years ago, but it was still fraud back then.)
     
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  4. Michael Mitchell

    Michael Mitchell Well-Known Member Business Member

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    Wow, that's crazy!!
     
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  5. EN710

    EN710 Well-Known Member

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    This can be a scene on a tv series :eek:
    Wow!
     
  6. TMNT

    TMNT Well-Known Member

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    You we're living in a $2k per week home 10 years ago!:eek:

    Was it a castle!?:D
     
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  7. skater

    skater Well-Known Member

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    OMG! Glad it all worked out in the end.
     
  8. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    @Perp's current digs are much nicer than that slum. ;)
     
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  9. Perp

    Perp Well-Known Member

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    Yes, they had.
    Yes, it was fraud. It was that prospect that had the carpet cleaner all panicky and willing to write a stat dec owning up.
    HAHAHAHA No, it was about $1,200 per week, I think. We were renting there while our insurer repaired our home after a natural disaster, and our allowance was based on family size. We were two families living together, then - 8 people. :) Having said that, it was a brand new penthouse, so it was pretty nice!
    In my dreams...
     
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  10. willair

    willair Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Not being one to side-track your post,but just have to ask how did it work out insurance wise when you went through the 2011 Brisbane Flood's ?..
     
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  11. Perp

    Perp Well-Known Member

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    I have talked about it, so sorry for those who've heard, but happy to answer.

    The above was after 'Flood 1', which was a major storm in 2009. There was local flooding in our area because a shipping container got caught against a road crossing bridge a couple of blocks away, effectively creating a dam. :/ But the insurer was awesome in handling that flood - we were out for 6 months, but lived comfortably and got the house fixed up - to the tune of around $200K - no problems. They also processed our contents claim rapidly and without fuss - I thought they were the bee's knees.

    Jan 2011, 14 months after we moved back in, was 'the' 2011 floods. The home was condemned due to structural damage, having been immersed up to ceiling height for a couple of days, causing the slab to 'heave' and 'hump'. The same insurer claimed that the damage wasn't caused by the flood, but had happened gradually over the 40-year life of the home. Yet when they'd done $200K of repairs less than two years previously, neither the insurer nor builder had noted any structural damage.

    Further, we'd laid tiles in the kitchen after the 2009 flood - previously old lino - and needed to put down self-leveling compound to make the floor level enough for tiles. So by definition, in late 2009 the floor was level. Yet immediately after the flood, the centre of the kitchen floor was more than 7 cm higher than the edge, and the adjacent brick wall had cracked from floor to ceiling to an extent that you could see through the crack! You'd think that'd make our case a no-brainer, wouldn't you? Well, we got four structural engineering reports that said that the flood caused the damage, but the insurer continued to fight, maintaining their 'gradual deterioration' / pre-existing damage position.

    Long story a bit shorter - I took them on self-represented and ultimately settled for >$500K - but it took 2 1/2 years, a lot of stress, and $150K in costs we had to lay out before being reimbursed at settlement (engineering reports, alternative accommodation, etc.)

    When I ultimately prevailed, a couple of insurance lawyers who'd been following on twitter congratulated me on my win and told me 'you should be a lawyer'. I started studying Feb 2014 and got admitted as a lawyer in 2018. :)
     
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  12. willair

    willair Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Prep,thanks for openly posting about what happened during the 2011 floods ..

    We were in a class action for several years but I don't think any one will get anything ,and I still know several who think they will..
     
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