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Change.org petition: make tenants reimburse tribunal costs

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by D.T., 18th May, 2016.

  1. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    John Rau: Approve SACAT to make orders for the re-imbursement of costs, where the Tenant is at fault

    The current position of SACAT in relation to Residential Tenancy orders, is that SACAT members do NOT currently have the legislative jurisdiction or authority to make Residential Tenancy determinations that require/enforce a Tenant to re-imburse a Landlord for the legal expenses incurred as a result of the tenant being at fault. This position must change, and SACAT must permit orders to be made for the re-imbursement of the landlords legal costs when a tenant is at fault!!!

    At present, the landlord of a Residential Tenancy Agreement in South Australia must beare ALL Tribunal Application and representation costs that maybe incurred in having a Tenant breech of contract remedied through SACAT, including but not limited to the access of Bond monies being owed.

    The interpretation of the legislation does provide for this to occur, however SACAT have stated on numerous occasions they do not have the authority.

    Residential Tenancies Act

    78A—Compensation for expenses

    (1) If, as a direct consequence of a tenant being at fault, a landlord reasonably incurs costs or expenses in connection with the residential tenancy agreement, the landlord is entitled to compensation for the costs or expenses.

    There is currently a very genuine disadvantage and injustice to the landlord (financially) in having to outlay further expense to seek rent money already owed, or bond money for which they should be entitled to settle without even further non-refundable legal expense.

    Other civil jurisdictions within the South Australian Legal system, provide the opportunity for a judge/member to order that a party at fault be held accountable for the costs incurred by the party in connection with a failure to abide by their legal obligation.

    These changes must be affected immediately, to stop the haemorrhage of funds from the many thousands of property investors seeking very basic contract entitlements.

    The current position of SACAT in not acceptable and must change to ensure they abide by the very principles that govern their objective to promote natural justice, procedural fairness, quality, transparency, consistency and accountability.
     
  2. ellejay

    ellejay Well-Known Member

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    Good luck with that Dave. I agree with you, but the person doing the wrong thing seems to be more often than not seen as the victim in law. I've been very lucky so far but it wouldn't take too many experiences of irresponsible, non rent paying tenants and zero consequences to make me cash up and put my money elsewhere. Maybe that's what it'll take. When there's a significant drop in private rented stock things may swing back to the centre.
     
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  3. Skilled_Migrant

    Skilled_Migrant Well-Known Member

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    Happy to sign if the tenancy laws are equitable (like say in Germany):
    • Withdraw the authority from landlords/REA/PMs to blacklist. Blacklisting should be approved by the tribunal iaw presumption of innocence.
    • Deductions of landlord insurance are taken away. The insurer (cost deductible) pays for the landlord's losses, what's the overwhelming need to change the law ?
    • Negative gearing is removed. Whatever losses are incurred (if not paid by the landlord insurance) are anyway offset against the labour income or subsidized by the tax payer.
    • Rental increases to be limited to CPIs.
    • Renters have a right to longer contractual tenancies (with further lease options like commercial tenancies) rather than the current standard (1 year and followed by month to month uncertainty).
     
  4. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    Stop trolling please
     
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  5. emza

    emza Well-Known Member

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    Using a business account to get into arguments online... how well do you think that's going to go for your business? People want an argumentative property manager, do they?
     
  6. Skilled_Migrant

    Skilled_Migrant Well-Known Member

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    @Depreciator @geoffw please advise if my above post is considered trolling. Business member @D.T. has suggested that it is a troll as it expresses a point of view effecting his business interest.
     
    Last edited: 19th May, 2016
  7. thatbum

    thatbum Well-Known Member

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    Doesn't sound like a very well thought out petition...

    If tenancy jurisdictions were a 'normal costs rules' jurisdiction, there would literally have been hundreds of landlords that I would have cleaned out for thousands in legal costs when I knocked back their various crappy applications for damages and terminations.

    The various tenancy advisory services would be laughing all the way to the bank I imagine.
     
  8. Ed Barton

    Ed Barton Well-Known Member

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    A barely literate post is not trolling.
     
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  9. Nick Valsamis

    Nick Valsamis Well-Known Member

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    Well to be fair, you are commenting on property management issues where you may not fully understand how it works. As much as you are for tenant rights, let me explain some of the points below in bold.

    • Withdraw the authority from landlords/REA/PMs to blacklist. Blacklisting should be approved by the tribunal iaw presumption of innocence.
      A tenant would not be blacklisted without a valid reason. There might be the very rare mistake in which it does happen but later will be removed. The only other scenario I could imagine is because of a dispute between the tenant and PM which would only concern those parties anyway and will eventually be resolved when get their act together.
    • Deductions of landlord insurance are taken away. The insurer (cost deductible) pays for the landlord's losses, what's the overwhelming need to change the law ?
      This is different to what the landlords insurance covers, so if the landlord can charge the tenant for the associated expenses of tribunal then I am sure everyone would do this.
    • Negative gearing is removed. Whatever losses are incurred (if not paid by the landlord insurance) are anyway offset against the labour income or subsidized by the tax payer.
      So basically you want the tax payer or landlord to pay instead of the tenant at fault. From the landlords point of view, it would be ideal for the tenant to pay the associated costs.
    • Rental increases to be limited to CPIs.
      You cannot control supply and demand. If you expect this then why stop there, you may as well expect CPI caps on everything.
    • Renters have a right to longer contractual tenancies (with further lease options like commercial tenancies) rather than the current standard (1 year and followed by month to month uncertainty).
      They can do this if the landlord agrees. Normally 1 year leases allow more flexibility for both parties. There are many tenants that continue to stay on for many years after the initial year, but even if they did have to move there are other properties to rent.
     
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  10. teetotal

    teetotal Well-Known Member

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    Is it currently the vice - versa for Landlords ?
     
  11. thatbum

    thatbum Well-Known Member

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    Nope. Every tenancy jurisdiction in Australia is a no-costs one, which of course works both ways.

    Presumably if the petition was to get up, then tenants would be entitled to costs orders against landlords when they win.
     
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  12. Skilled_Migrant

    Skilled_Migrant Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for not classifying the post as a troll or barely literate

    A tenant would not be blacklisted without a valid reason. There might be the very rare mistake in which it does happen but later will be removed. The only other scenario I could imagine is because of a dispute between the tenant and PM which would only concern those parties anyway and will eventually be resolved when get their act together.
    Any particular reason that a REA without any legal qualification should have the authority to blacklist the tenant. Why is the onus of proof on the tenant and not the landlord/REA. Just google homelessness reports to understand how blacklisting is exacerbating homelessness. There are two sides to the story.
    This is different to what the landlords insurance covers, so if the landlord can charge the tenant for the associated expenses of tribunal then I am sure everyone would do this.
    We are talking about different issues. I was talking about the cost of repair/damages being covered by insurance, hence no need for litigation. If the landlord pursues litigation, even though he has other avenues to recover money, why should the tenant pay for it. In addition the cost of litigation is a deduction for managing property or the cost of doing business, which should not be transferred to the customer (tenant).
    So basically you want the tax payer or landlord to pay instead of the tenant at fault. From the landlords point of view, it would be ideal for the tenant to pay the associated costs.
    No, I am saying that the way the system currently exists, the losses (including litigation costs) are anyway subsidized by the tax payer. Therefore there is no need to transfer it to the tenant. There might be a stronger justification if the NG is taken away.
    You cannot control supply and demand. If you expect this then why stop there, you may as well expect CPI caps on everything.
    • How do commercial tenancies do it ?
    • How do other countries do it ?
    They can do this if the landlord agrees. Normally 1 year leases allow more flexibility for both parties. There are many tenants that continue to stay on for many years after the initial year, but even if they did have to move there are other properties to rent.
    It provides the same 'flexibility' to the tenants that the work-choices provided to employees. It only leads to residential uncertainty and the tenant subject to landlords/REAs whims. Why should residential tenancy be inferior to commercial tenancy ?
     
  13. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    If residential tenancies ran like commercial tenancies, then the tenant would be paying the rates, insurance, land tax, utilities infrastructure (not just usage). Yeah... I reckon tenants would like that... ;).
     
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  14. Skilled_Migrant

    Skilled_Migrant Well-Known Member

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    It need not be all or nothing. Other countries do have fairer systems.

    Edit: while you are replying, can you also please clarify if my post is a troll ?
     
    Last edited: 19th May, 2016
  15. EN710

    EN710 Well-Known Member

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  16. jprops

    jprops Well-Known Member

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    Why only "when a tenant is at fault!!!"?
     
  17. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    Not sure, I didn't write it. I'd be ok with it going both ways.
     
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  18. Skilled_Migrant

    Skilled_Migrant Well-Known Member

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  19. EN710

    EN710 Well-Known Member

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    The eyes of the beholder--> the people you talk to, so it is different depends on each member.
    I personally see it as borderline. Provocation and mocking (in general, not members specific) are not usually useful in discussion.
     
  20. Peter_Tersteeg

    Peter_Tersteeg Finance broker and strategist Business Member

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    I'd love it if I could run my resi tenancies like commercial...

    Guaranteed tenant for the next 3 years, covering all outgoings, with CPI increases already built in. Overall lower vacancy rate, fewer ongoing letting fees. If the tenant wants to move they need to continue to cover the rent and the costs until a new tenant is found. After the 3 years we'll do a market rental review.

    Commerical style leases would be unlikely to be more favourable for tenants. Keep in mind that if it's a 3 year lease, they can't simply walk away from it in a year or two if they want to. It goes both ways.


    I'd be happy to say goodbye to blacklists. If someone owes me money, allow me to register the default on their CRAA like any other creditor. I'll start asking for CRAA reports as part of the tenancy application as well.