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Landlord's obligation to maintain property - Victoria

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by Scott No Mates, 8th Sep, 2016.

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  1. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    In the latest judgement from Victoria the landlord was made to maintain a decrepit property even if rented out in poor condition.

    Linky
     
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  2. Skilled_Migrant

    Skilled_Migrant Well-Known Member

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    Disabled pensioner to be treated as a human being during tenancy !!!
    Isn't it something they do in Europe ? :confused:
    What an entitlement mentality....expecting a house without rats, mould, sinking, flooding or holes in the walls.
    There should be a petition (similar to Change.org petition: make tenants reimburse tribunal costs) to protect poor landlords in victoria, who will now be forced to transfer the cost of providing humane conditions to the tax payer via NG.
     
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  3. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    Reading the article, the conditions were truly terrible, largely due to being subject to flooding.

    Far beyond it just being a run down house. I can't see how it could be maintained to a suitable standard, based on the flooding.
     
  4. Owlet

    Owlet Well-Known Member

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    Responsibility is a two/three way street:
    1.Landlords should provide housing in reasonable/ good condition (of course definitions of what this means can vary)
    2. Tenants can decide that the property is not in good enough condition for them and not take it. They can wait for a better property.
    3. If managed by a PM - they can choose not to take the listing
     
  5. Sonamic

    Sonamic Well-Known Member

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    Jeez I thought I had it bad. One of my tenants refuses to maintain gardens. To the point of shrubs poking holes in some of the screens and allowing insects in. Result. Trim gardens and replace screens at my cost. And I'm ok with that, but when they've got 2 able bodied teenage sons. There's got to be some give and take. I used to trim trees back in my tenant days, but maybe I'm a dying breed.
     
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  6. JacM

    JacM VIC Buyer's Agent Business Member

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  7. Phoenix Pete

    Phoenix Pete Member

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    Only a desperate PM would take on a listing like that.
     
  8. Lil Skater

    Lil Skater Well-Known Member Business Member

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    Yeah that's a listing you wouldn't take on because it will take up too much of your time and the liability should someone injure themselves :eek:

    This article was in hot debate in a property management forum I am part of. Some said "too bad, you accepted it in that condition" and others were on the tenants side.

    I think it's a hard one to judge without being there, there needs to be some sort of regulation on the properties - but to what extent? There's been an article on Domain (I think?) about having landlords do a "test" before owning a property.

    I'm kind of halfway between. The landlords do have a responsibility to provide reasonable living conditions and maintain it to a reasonable extent, however tenants need to understand that they cannot expect the Taj Mahal just because their paying rent.
     
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  9. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    @Lil Skater - What sort of 'test'? - habitable, won't cause long term health effects, weatherproof, hygienic?
     
  10. Lil Skater

    Lil Skater Well-Known Member Business Member

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  11. Big Will

    Big Will Well-Known Member

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    I would agree there should be a test for a self managing LL but I don't see a reason for it if you are using a PM.

    The PM should be informing the LL of issues arising with the property so they are able to fix and if the LL doesn't fix the issues they can stop providing PM. However what happens if a LL is using a PM and then they no longer use the PM and instead self manage how will you track this?

    If one in five people are living in derelict properties I just don't understand why they don't move. Renters have options and if I was unhappy with the LL you move to another. It is much easier and cheaper for a tenant to move than a home owner.
     
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  12. Lil Skater

    Lil Skater Well-Known Member Business Member

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    I understand that the PM *should* be informing the landlord, the problem is there's many more average PM's than good ones. So even PM properties can be falling to bits.

    It's hard to know how this sort of thing could be policed, and surely there would be need to extend this test to PM's. Yes, you do your course - but there's no real test if you ask me, it's all open book. As long as you can read from a book you're seen as competent in the role. How does that work?

    I believe more people live in derelict homes out of necessity, but you're right - there's always options to living in a place that's falling apart.
     
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  13. Perthguy

    Perthguy Well-Known Member

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    There's also an obligation for tenants to report faults. I attended one property to fix the hot water system because the tenants father was staying at the house and could not shower because there was no hot water. I asked him how long it had not been working and he informed me that it had been a couple of months. The tenant would start a shower and if it went cold, just go outside in her dressing gown the start the heater again. I wasn't happy to hear that because it was a simple fix and could have been repaired months sooner if the tenant had bothered to report it.

    I also found out the shower wasn't draining properly and that the tenant turned off the water part of the way through the shower and stood there while the water drained before resuming her shower again. As soon as I found out about that, I organised a plumber asap to fix the problem.

    Landlords can only fix problems if tenants report them.
     
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  14. Perthguy

    Perthguy Well-Known Member

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    There are some PMs who do not pass on issues to the LL. I have seen where an angry tenant gets in contact with the LL to ask why issues are not being fixed. LL then has a go at PM... why didn't you tell me about the issues? Not a nice situation for LL or tenant.
     
  15. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    @Perthguy - however in this instance the tenant had some health issues and the owner showed a blatant disregard for the occupier.
     
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  16. Perthguy

    Perthguy Well-Known Member

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    I agree that's not right. If the tenant reported any problem, it should have been fixed.
     
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  17. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    I have seen properties in poor condition with the owners remarking that they're offering housing to the bottom of the market in nice areas - what bs. Owner could not be bothered spending 2 cents to update kitchen bathroom etc and double the rent as they didn't need the money and were waiting for the opportunity to sell for redevelopment.
     
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  18. Jennifer Duke

    Jennifer Duke Well-Known Member

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    Fair point re: using PM. I think there should be a requirement to have funds locked aside for maintenance though, that perhaps PMs have control of. In general, PM standards need to increase. The best ones are all on this forum ;) but there are a lot of terrible ones out there sadly.
     
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  19. Big Will

    Big Will Well-Known Member

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    Doing this will cost even more money than it is worth and that is if it was even approved.

    Reason being is trust accounts are already painful enough for REA throwing in Trust money for 'repairs & maintenance' will be a accounting nightmare.

    I do get where you are coming from e.g. similar to owners corp but the difference is the owners corp is taking a fee to maintain the premises (and there are fees involved for the OC agency).
     
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  20. Jennifer Duke

    Jennifer Duke Well-Known Member

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    You're probably right - a lottt of red tape involved. I guess the other option would be that a home comes with a bond from the landlord like it does from the tenant. But probably same issue...
     
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