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Contesting vcat outcomes?

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by Truly Exotic, 15th Apr, 2016.

  1. Truly Exotic

    Truly Exotic Well-Known Member

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    I'll keep it short

    6 months into lease
    Tenant complains hot water from tap doesn't work properly and there is nails in the back yard.

    We send plumber. They find problem . Fix it

    A week later they call and say it's the same problem again. Send plumber out. They refuse access. Abuse the plumber
    Plumber tries again gets refused.
    He then refuses to go out.
    Meanwhile we are vcat a week later and member tells the tennats not to pay rent until its fixed and the nails removed by us.

    We send another plumber out. He puts in a new system

    A week later they are complaining the hot water doesn't last long enough

    Send another plumber out. He says hot water system is fine and of course there isn't enough water for 6 ppl to have 30 min showers. Writes an email saying this.

    5 tribunal appearances later
    3 where member is away
    2 where tenants not show up
    6th apperqnce gets ruled in our favor because we replaced hws and had a handyman remove the nails

    2 weeks later we are tribunal again where tenant says they didnt recevie notice (untrue). They say the handyman looked scruffy and wasnt qualified to remove nails
    And there is still nails

    Ruling revoked . We agree to break lease and tennat can leave with 2 weeks notcie

    Compensation of 10 per day from day 1. Ie 3 months. And from now on they are reuqired to pay 75% rent to get the compensation. And in the mean time we have to send a plumber out and get a certificate to show its working plus a qualified nail remover to remove the nails.


    To be honest me and the agent are sick of going to tribunal and the decisions and tasks are ridiculous. Obviously they are there to help the tenant however this is borderline illegal and extortion.

    Is there a way i can make an official complaint?

    The agents words was "wtf is a qualified nail remover"

    They gave theire 2 weeks notice two months ago but havent moved out yet
     
    Last edited: 15th Apr, 2016
  2. melbournian

    melbournian Well-Known Member

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    which suburb is this?

    If they have given notice - send an eviction notice and reclaim the bond from VCAT
    i would even blacklist them if you win the tribunal hearing.

    you need to be more precise with your arguments in VCAT. (or if you feel the member is acting unfairly, you can put a complaint through/)
     
  3. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    There is a review process here: Review or appeal a VCAT decision | Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal

    As agent, I would have asked for proof of nails in backyard. Shown inspection photos to say they weren't there previously. Show evidence of attempting to send trades people.

    This is what tenants can do though - keep stringing you along til they get whatever they want which is why you need a PM that knows how to play the system too. If they're on a healthcare card I think they pay no application fee too :(

    This is definitely evidence you can provide in order to show you're attempting to fulfill your end of the bargain.

    Who decided what size system to install?

    This isn't valid evidence. Sending a notice via Australia Post or Email is as good as received.
     
  4. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    On what grounds would this be on? You can't evict during a fixed lease unless there's a breach. And even if there was, the tribunal would likely classify it as retaliatory.
     
  5. melbournian

    melbournian Well-Known Member

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    didn't the OP said the tenant gave notice and has not moved yet?. if the tenant was meant to move out and has yet to do so, is it not in your right to protect your IP and getting it vacated so it is open for rental. Nothing retaliatory it happens all the time tenant not moving out.
     
  6. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    Bit of a grey area on whether you can enforce their notice. They still have a valid contract and possession.
     
  7. melbournian

    melbournian Well-Known Member

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    why? i had a tenant in pt cook once who did not pay the rent for 1 month and refused to move. once you are in arrears by 2 weeks, then Went to VCAT, got the order and then paid $300 bucks to get the sherriff in to evict her. THis is standard process in victoria.

    There was also a case recently of a couple in strathmore who did not pay their credit card debt and had their house repossessed. and the house was bolted and sealed so they were on the street.
     
  8. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    What? That's a completely irrelevant concept. You're talking about a breach - of course you can evict for a breach. Refer post #4 above.
     
  9. melbournian

    melbournian Well-Known Member

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    hmmm if the tenant is giving notice breaking the lease for e.g. leaving at 1st April and you're still there 15th April. what would you classify that and how would go abt resolving that being u're losing rent . So u are suggesting talking to the tenant abt leaving or what other legal methods do you suggest would work? the only one i can see is Tribunal and eviction if there is refusal to leave. no different in my view on not paying rent as you're staying and not paying anyway.
     
  10. Paul@PFI

    Paul@PFI Tax Accounting + SMSF Business Member

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    Bikies can negotiate anything.

    LOL - Tenant is bitching about grubby old toe nails in the backyard and you think its metal ones.:)
     
    Scott No Mates and Propertunity like this.
  11. emza

    emza Well-Known Member

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    Is this the whole story? When the plumber went out was that all set up with the tenants ahead of time? Or did the plumber just show up?

    Seems to me that if it was all done above-board you would have ridiculous levels of evidence on your side. You'd have the emails to the tenants and the phone records and *then* they refused access... you'd win that battle.

    How is it you didn't win that battle? Is the PM doing everything they should be doing?
     
  12. thatbum

    thatbum Well-Known Member

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    Not enough information to even lodge an appeal, let alone any sort of valid complaint. Was there a specific concern that you had, or just a general gripe?
     
  13. Truly Exotic

    Truly Exotic Well-Known Member

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    ok here is as much info as possible without getting too long,

    yes we've done everything by the book, the first time the HWS was under warranty and it took about 10 days for the warranty people to come out, that im happy to offer compensation for, apparently the hot water was inconsistent,

    it seems the tenants are both at home and seem to want to make life difficult for everyone

    and as far as Im aware the mediator/person or whatever they are called are very pro tenant, which I understand.

    we have it in reports via email from the agent and from the repair company who now wont go out because the unit is now out of warranty. this is after the unit was completely replaced

    and yes nails in the backyard was not reported in the ingoing inspection nor until about 6 months after they moved in.

    what I am very annoyed and quite frankly angry about is the unrealistic and unreasonable requests the member has told the tenant to do, which I think is borderline extorsion,

    What is a qualified nail remover (these nails arent nailed into anything, they are apparently on the grass and we have already sent someone to pick them up) apparently the tenants werent happy with how they looked

    to tell the tenant not to pay any rent for 2 months and then when the unit is replaced, we ask them to tell the tenant to pay and they simply say "not our problem"

    and the member saying that we have to get another person out to do a report to say its working, is simply ludcirous

    the hws was replaced with the same sized existing unit.

    and yet we agreed to let them off their lease but they still dont vacate and we cant kick them out either, after they give notice and they stay on, (update: on the instructions i believe of the member they are now paying 50% rent as part of recouping the compensation)

    and to top it off I got a termination of management letter from the agent because they couldnt handle it. not a good way to start off the weekend


    to me this must be unjust and illegal
     
  14. Skilled_Migrant

    Skilled_Migrant Well-Known Member

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    Tenant is playing the tenancy the same way landlord plays the taxation. Aren't you deducting the landlord insurance as expenses. So, that should cover the shortfall and if not good old NG.

    It cannot get more legal than a VCAT order. The tenant is entitled to a certain level of services and in VCAT's opinion these have not been provided.

    Did the plumber provide the works completion certificate ? In Vic there is a form that you can ask the plumber to sign and lodge with VBA.

    If there are 6 people living in the house, higher capacity HWS will be required especially if it is continuous flow. Nevertheless, in your defence same capacity HWS replacement should be adequate. Really surprising that VCAT did not consider a same capacity replacement by a qualified plumber as adequate. Similarly, before and after pictures of nail removals should suffice.

    PM might be the issue here.
     
  15. Truly Exotic

    Truly Exotic Well-Known Member

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    im not a vcat expert since ive only been to once or twice,

    but the reason im extremely annoyed are the unreasoanbleness of the decisions,

    nails? the tenants are claiming it was from when I did the reno 2-3 years ago on it, since then there has been 2-3 tenants, no one has complained about it. plus you cant take photos of something thats not there, no mention by the PM at all.

    HWS capacity: its never been a problem, and has become a problem once the flood of complaints about everything came in.

    Like I said, even the PM is simply saying how ridicilous it is. I dont think the PM was the problem to be honest. but for example, to have to appear 4-5 times and to win, and then get it brought back in is ridiculous,
    telling the tenant to not pay rent is ridiculous
    and not telling them to start paying once the case was closed is ridiculous
    and the list goes on!
     
  16. Ed Barton

    Ed Barton Well-Known Member

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    I can think of a lot of ways it 'can get more legal than a VCAT order'
     
  17. Truly Exotic

    Truly Exotic Well-Known Member

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    thanks everyone

    id like to update, very frustrated and annoyed, you can understand why I have no faith in agents or VCAT

    so another and final vcat outcome

    last week we had to pay for another plumber to go and this time to test the hws for 2 hours, not the 30 mins the tenant felt wasnt enough.

    plumber went out and verfitied it all fine,

    armed with this the agent 'apparently" asked for the costs reimbursed.

    different vcat member again has ordered
    - 1 month to vacate
    - no costs awarded to me for the extra tradies going out over and over again, even the final one
    - rent to be paid at a reduced rate of about $200 when the lease is for $280, this is the rate the tenants had decided to pay based on tehir calculations of compensation
    - no compensation required to be paid by me


    on top of this the agent has said they will raise their mgmt fees from 6 to 9% and will charge for VCAT appearances for me,


    absolutely disugsted and fed up with the whole system.

    I am now investigating how to escalate and the ombudsman involvement

    so I had to pay for all the tradies going out, no costs awared to me, tenants still get to pay reduced rent,
    and I now have higher mgmt fees, and the agents excuse is they feel the condition of the houses needs some work even though its only 1 out of the 5 properties that has had any problems.

    Honestly, the vcat system feels like you are dealing with a 8yr old high on sugar, completey unreasonable, illogical and border line illegal

    absolutely fed up and annoyed
     
    Last edited: 19th May, 2016
  18. Paul@PFI

    Paul@PFI Tax Accounting + SMSF Business Member

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  19. Truly Exotic

    Truly Exotic Well-Known Member

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    agree, however everytime Ive now gone through 2 agencies because of this,

    I have to settle with a good one or else im going to run out of agents to choose from,

    also, if there is a completely injustice, I want someone to be resposible.

    slightly unfair I dont mind, a gross injustice, I will appeal
     
  20. Paul@PFI

    Paul@PFI Tax Accounting + SMSF Business Member

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    The final responsibility sits with the owner. Sounds harsh but after all its all on your shoulders. If you do well its all good for you and if its bad its on you. Luck / good fortune is also an element.
    Appealing can only occur on a question of law....Denis Denuto might be worth a call to see if can represent you.

    Finding a good tenant sounds like your key issue. A good PM to find a good tenant ? Chicken or egg....