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Anyone gone to small claims court for damages in excess of bond?

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by JenW, 12th Feb, 2017.

  1. JenW

    JenW Well-Known Member

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    Hi all,

    We are currently considering doing the above. Damages to one of our properties came to a total of $4300 while the bond was only $1540.

    Has anyone done this? Interested in all experiences, how you went with it, etc etc. Any and all feedback welcomed! Thank you! :D
     
  2. Mac Fields

    Mac Fields Well-Known Member

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    mmm interesting. Insurance isn't an option?

    Could it be a possibility that the ex-tenants claim hardship and after the process you wouldn't get anything anyway?
     
  3. Hodgo

    Hodgo Well-Known Member

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    Do you have landlord insurance? Good luck whatever you decide to do.
     
  4. Mac Fields

    Mac Fields Well-Known Member

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    What state is the IP in? I assume the process is different in each state?
     
  5. Marg4000

    Marg4000 Well-Known Member

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    Phone the relevant court in your state and ask if they handle this sort of claim.
    Marg
     
  6. thatbum

    thatbum Well-Known Member

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    If this is in WA, then the process is nearly exactly the same as a normal bond claim. Just put it on a Form 12 instead of a Form 6.

    Let me know if you need to know anything else.
     
    Perthguy likes this.
  7. JenW

    JenW Well-Known Member

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    Thanks @thatbum, much appreciated! We are going through the normal bond dispute process first (just lodged the form 6 today, in fact) so I assume that the form 12 process occurs after the bond issue has been resolved - that is, we only seek to recover the items the bond didn't cover? Or should I have just done a form 12 for the whole amount to start with?
     
  8. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    What kinda damage?

    Insurance will classify as malicious , accidental, living standard related, etc and pay X amount with Y amount of excess accordingly.

    Court may not have any result if they don't have any means of paying.
     
  9. JenW

    JenW Well-Known Member

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    It's a mixed bag. The carport wall was hit by a car during their occupancy and had to be rebuilt. Floor had to be ripped up and replaced (carpet) as it stank of urine after cleaning - it had sunk through to the underlay. Cleaning came to $500 ish, outstanding rent and water came to $800 ish.
    We do have extensive move in/move out reports and photos etc, plus all receipts etc.

    I don't expect to get all of it back of course, but some would be nice, particularly as they are being difficult and saying they didn't agree to cleaning being taken out of the bond. That's fine, but for an indication of the state the property was left in, I've attached a photo of the soap dish in the shower.

    Shower soap dish.jpg
     
    Perthguy likes this.
  10. thatbum

    thatbum Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm you probably should have just issued a Form 12 to begin with. Is it too late to withdraw the form 6?

    You run the risk of the court thinking you're double dipping otherwise...
     
  11. JenW

    JenW Well-Known Member

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    Damn. I was just going to put in the form 12 once the bond aspect had been settled, for the balance. I'll look into withdrawing it. Thanks thatbum :)
     
  12. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    Is that dried soap on the outside of the soap dish? Or is it cracked. I cannot tell. What else was damaged - to add up to over $4k in damages?
     
  13. JenW

    JenW Well-Known Member

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    It's dried up soap. Enough to make a new cake of it :eek:

    Carport wall rebuild - $1500
    Replace ruined carpet throughout - $2800
    Cleaning - $580
    Outstanding water and rent - $820
     
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  14. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    Did they run the car into the carport wall? Insurance claim?
    Carpet - you are unlikely to get full replacement. Can you claim that on insurance?

    Do you have insurance?

    I guess the cleaning comes straight out of the bond.

    The soap dish is obviously part of the overall cleaning. I could show you photos that would make your toes curl. On the occasions we've had a house left less than ideally clean I've just rolled up my sleeves and cleaned myself. That was probably not ideal, but it is the quickest way we could get the house ready to rent again. We didn't always carry landlord insurance (couldn't always afford it, and usually didn't think we needed it).

    I wouldn't do it now, just like I won't paint another house now. And I guess even if you can claim anything on insurance, you pay the excess anyway. It is not an easy decision, claim insurance, try to get it from the tenants (over and above the bond) or just moving on.
     
  15. JenW

    JenW Well-Known Member

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    All very valid points Wylie. I appreciate your considered views :)
     
  16. Chivaun

    Chivaun Property Manager - Logan, Brisbane, Ipswich Business Member

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    I would recommend landlord insurance and see what they will cover for yourself.

    I am in QLD so not up to speed with WA Act and legislation but depending on your insurance cover you may need to take them to court first anyway to lodge an insurance claim