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Illegal Granny Flat in Brisbane Council

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by Amanda80, 21st Feb, 2016.

  1. Amanda80

    Amanda80 New Member

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    Hi Everyone,
    Just need some advice please, I'm hoping this is the right place for it.

    I recently signed a lease on a granny flat in a suburb within Brisbane City Council. The landlord has done a bit of a dodgy job on the renovations in the place, the floorboards are not laid correctly and have gaps in them, and after reading the fire legislation, I'm fairly certain the smoke alarm is in the wrong spot as it's right next to a ceiling fan, and I'm pretty sure it's not hard wired either and is just a cheapie from bunnings etc. The 'driveway' at the side of his house where I walk up to enter the building is uneven and is strewn with building material, old boxes, etc. Not exactly safe, especially at night when there is no lighting up the driveway.

    My landlord did his own lease even though I suggested getting the forms from the Residential Tenancy Association. I have paid him a bond, and after several times asking him to lodge the bond with the RTA, which he originally agreed to, he hasn't done it and now ignores any texts I send him regarding it. I also have never seen an entry condition report.

    I started to get a bit sus about it all and I have a friend who suggested that maybe he doesn't have building approval, and after talking to the council, he only has approval for a 'shed with a bathroom extension'.

    I have spoken to the RTA, but I can't seem to get much help from them. They have told me that I will need to give him a Form 11 (notice to remedy breech) for the council approval, then after 7 days I can issue him with a Form 13 (notice of intention to leave) if he hasn't got the council approval within the 7 days (which we know won't happen) then I can legally end the lease after 7 days. They have also suggested that I make a complaint with them about him not lodging the bond as it could get messy if he won't give me back my bond, and I don't really want to have to go to the tribunal etc.

    My issue is with doing it this way is that I am a single woman living alone, and the landlord has keys and could technically enter the property (not legally) at any time. Also, if he parks his car in the driveway, the way it is situated he could completely block my passage to the granny flat.

    Given the above, I don't really want to be put in an awkward situation as I don't know this man. I was thinking that I could move out and send him a txt after saying that I want my bond back within 3 days or I will go to the council and make a complaint.
    If I was to do this, does anyone know if he could legally do anything, given that the granny flat is not legal?

    Any advice you could give would be much appreciated.

    Thanks for your help!
    Amanda.
     
  2. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    I like the idea of moving out and text saying "give me back my bond please or I'll report you to both the RTA and the BCC". I would also not want to stay there to "use up" the bond seeing he has keys and has already proved to be dodgy. Your safety is first priority.
     
    propernewb likes this.
  3. thatbum

    thatbum Well-Known Member

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    Amanda, you've raised quite a few different issues, but can you clarify what your ultimate goal is? Is it to move out with no penalty?

    Because many of things you've brought up might not even be required to get what you want. You should try and get some proper tenancy law advice from your local tenancy advisory service (I'm not sure who does it in QLD these days).
     
  4. neK

    neK Well-Known Member

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    So you didn't see these things when you inspected the property and signed the lease form?

    As per @thatbum 's question, what is your ultimate goal? Move out without penalty?
     
  5. JDM

    JDM Well-Known Member

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    Why did you sign a lease? All of the issues you have mentioned should have been apparent before you signed the lease so why are they such an issue now?
     
  6. Casteller

    Casteller Well-Known Member

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    I find I overlook a bunch of thing when viewing for 20 mins a place for sale/rent. A place I bought in London had a huge pillar in the middle of the lounge but I didn't notice it until after the sale since I was enamored with other things in the brief inspection. Wasn't really a problem though. You're not really going to be looking at small detail like floorboard finishing and smoke alarm positioning during inspection. Latest place I bought had a sliding door which didn't work at all (didn't notice)... usually don't have enough time to check/test everything if its a good buy and you only have a few minutes.
     
  7. jaybean

    jaybean Well-Known Member

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    I bought a place recently with the dodgiest granny flat build. It was garbage. Not sure how it got approved by the BCC but it was.
     
  8. robboat

    robboat Well-Known Member

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    As others have said, you have a number of issues........
    Sort out what you want as an end result and then aim for that outcome.

    My own opinion is that you may have to learn the hard way to check things before giving over any money to strangers.
    Key points:
    He has his own lease - not a RE standard form - what are the terms?
    No property condition report.....
    Have you got any bond or rent receipts?
    Was the driveway place a rubbish dump when you moved in?
    Even if the place is not built to code you do not want to go to a tribunal (who cannot get your money back anyway)

    Best option - per wylie - move out and demand the bond refund or you report him ( take lots of pictures) or take the loss of bond/rent and move on to another (safer & better) place soon.
    Great for your peace of mind & personal safety.

    Good luck.
     
  9. Sonamic

    Sonamic Well-Known Member

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    I have the Master Keys to all of my properties. Does that make me a dodgy landlord?
     
  10. Azazel

    Azazel Well-Known Member

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    Did you look at the property before you signed the lease?
    Is any of that a surprise?
     
  11. propernewb

    propernewb Well-Known Member

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    Amanda,

    I would ignore everyone in here trying to pin the blame on you. Just because it is written in a lease doesn't make it so - if it's illegal, it's illegal. Period.

    I would agree with what @wylie has mentioned. Your safety comes first. If you think you would be at harm by continuing to live there then I wouldn't be staying.

    Seek out help from your local tenancy union. You can contact Fair Trading about your bond. Give the ATO a call too if he decides not to pay up. Lastly, get independent legal advice.
     
  12. Azazel

    Azazel Well-Known Member

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    BCC granny flat? Approved? What's the deal with that?
     
  13. Biz

    Biz Well-Known Member

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    Can be approved but not rented to unrelated parties
     
  14. Azazel

    Azazel Well-Known Member

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    Ah yes.
    Strange set up.
     
  15. Beelzebub

    Beelzebub Well-Known Member

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    Second moving out and sending the text if you're worried about your safety. It's normal for landlords to have keys to their properties though.
     
  16. Tim86

    Tim86 Well-Known Member

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    Id risk the bond and move out and text the threat about repaying the bond or youll report him to the council and the rta.

    If he keeps your bond then count it as a costly lesson but at least youll be able to get revenge by reporting him.
     
  17. neK

    neK Well-Known Member

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    Wtf is wrong people? Blackmail? Seriously?

    Why can't people stick to their commitments, why do people look for things to screw people over when they are the one who made the mistake.

    Whatever happened to "my word is my bond"

    As for the safety part.... I'm trying to figure where the OP said their safety was at risk

    All i found was
    Really? How is that unsafe?
    How was that NOT noticeable when inspecting the property.... I'm pretty sure the OP would have walked up the same driveway.
    So unless you incapable of using the torch function on your phone after a alcohol fuelled night, I honestly fail to see how that's unsafe.

    As for the landlord having key's... umm majority of landlord hold spare keys, doesn't mean they go in and enter when they feel like it. It's just simple slander from what i read.

    Anyway why would a person sign a lease if they didn't feel comfortable with the person who was living in the front house.
     
    Last edited: 7th Mar, 2016
  18. Tim86

    Tim86 Well-Known Member

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    Because sometimes you dont know what its like living somewhere until you live there.

    The landlord isnt lodging the bond. That alone is enough of a justification to walk away from the place. Not lodging bond is illegal, and it means the landlord can keep it all on a whim.

    Sorry but Im not going to shed a tear for the bloke that complains that his tenants arent following the rules when he himself isnt.
     
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  19. Azazel

    Azazel Well-Known Member

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    Still, I wouldn't be complaining about things that were clearly there before.
    Could ask him to clean it up of course. But communication is a lost art these days.
     
    neK likes this.