VIC No help from VCAT for interstate landlords

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by MAP, 5th Mar, 2021.

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  1. MAP

    MAP Active Member

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    Hi all

    So I have seen in other posts that some of you are aware of tribunal jurisdiction issues. I am in NSW and VCAT is refusing to even hear my case as a landlord for no other reason mentioned than "you are not a VIC resident". I need to get tenants out because so I can sell the property. In order to do so, I must make a VCAT application... but VCAT can't help me because they I am a NSW resident.

    This is all because of some recent case and the VCAT representative acknowledged this all very silly. They said I need to speak to lawyer, which I will do in due time.

    Has anyone else faced a similar situation and know of any solutions?

    The tenants are very difficult and do not pick up the phone or answer to emails, and pay rent whenever they feel like it.

    Thanks
     
  2. ChrisDim

    ChrisDim Well-Known Member

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    I haven’t needed to go to VCAT yet for my Vic properties (I also live in NSW) - but came close last year with a tenant I wasn’t happy with - and I had nightmares thinking about it at the time. My tenant knew this loophole already as she was in the industry and kept bringing it up. Lucky me they left on their own recently

    This is a problem across all states and seems to be have been swept under the carpet.

    Why don’t you think of other incentives to get them to move on? I can think of a few “options” and I am sure there are plenty of better properties around I would think.
     
  3. MAP

    MAP Active Member

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    Thanks for the response.
    I have offered to cover their removalist costs if they move out before the rental fixed term, which is only a few months away and they just ignored it.
    I feel very stressed given that they could do anything to my property and I have no power to evict them.
     
    ChrisDim likes this.
  4. Tattler

    Tattler Well-Known Member

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    Do you use a local property manager? Surely with a local PM representing you, that would help? I have 2 IPs at VIC myself and also based at NSW, and I used local PM.
     
  5. MAP

    MAP Active Member

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    Yes I do, she is the one that had the conversations with VCAT, who said we have no other option but to speak to a lawyer.
     
  6. Tattler

    Tattler Well-Known Member

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    Does your PM spend time talking with the tenants and built up a good relationship with the tenant in the past? I've found the quality of PM makes a big difference in terms of negotiation with tenants, rather than going to VCAT.
     
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  7. Tom Rivera

    Tom Rivera Property Manager Business Member

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    @Lil Skater @Mel Morgan @D.T. @Russell Peter @Michael Mitchell

    I haven't come across this issue myself in QLD yet, fortunately, but I know it's becoming more and more of an issue interstate. Do any of you know what the solution is? Do they have to go straight to the magistrates court?
     
  8. D.T.

    D.T. Specialist Property Manager Business Member

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    In Qld they resolved this themselves by adding a line to the Act saying qcat is a court.

    WA never had the issue as they use magistrates court for the everything anyway.

    I wrote about SA 2.5 years ago on here Tribunals don't have jurisdiction over interstate landlords it was awful at first because there was a big backlog; now it’s great. We apply the normal way, they assign a better qualified member and it goes much the same as normal.

    Vic and nsw 2.5 years later still don’t have a solution last i heard.

    I know which states I’d rather be an interstate landlord in.
     
  9. MAP

    MAP Active Member

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    Yeah they do their best. But the tenants have become very difficult. Three years with no dramas and then a few months after COVID started they just stopped answering their phone, emails letters, knocks on doors. They haven't applied for the VIC rent relief and didn't even ask for a rent reduction. The unknown of what is going on is very stressful and so I want to get them out asap for the sake of my property.
     
  10. Paul@PAS

    Paul@PAS Tax, Accounting + SMSF + All things Property Tax Business Plus Member

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    If VCAT cant enforce then that means you may be outside the jurisdiction of a decision against you by VCAT as well. You may be able to forcibly evict and be non-compliant with what is the understood "law" by VCAT and there is no recourse. Seek legal advice. Thats probably what they are alluding to.;) The REA shouldnt be party to such acts either.
     
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  11. AxeLy

    AxeLy Well-Known Member

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    Hi @MAP, I am based overseas, and I am undergoing a similar situation with a bad tenant in Melbourne. For more than 5 months last year, my PM had been sending tenant breaches for rent arrears, clutter and subletting, and had applied to consumer affairs, but there was no news from vcat.

    You are correct. Unless we could prove with solid evidence that tenant is violent, destructive or trading drugs at our property, we probably have no power to evict them.


    At our wits' end, I did consider selling too. However, we still have to honour the fixed lease. We can't get the tenants out unless your buyer wants to move into the property. For this, we need to show proof of sale contract.
     
  12. Firefly99

    Firefly99 Well-Known Member

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    If you reside overseas then you are not an ‘interstate’ landlord and there should be no issue with VCAT.
     
  13. AxeLy

    AxeLy Well-Known Member

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    I see. No wonder. I had personally submitted an application to vcat this year, and was given a hearing.
     
  14. Owlet

    Owlet Well-Known Member

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    Can you "rent" a house in Vic and then apply?
     
  15. Skyhighlimit

    Skyhighlimit Well-Known Member

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    reading this sort of posts making me don’t want to be a landlord.
     
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  16. Francesco

    Francesco Well-Known Member

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    It seems the problem is restricted to Vic and NSW. As one posted, WA legislated that WCAT is a court to nullify the legal technicality of lack of jurisdiction of a tribunal over an interstate resident. Of all states, NSW should be business friendly and resolve along the same route as WA.

    Is there a more ridiculous situation to present an landlord who is an Australian citizen and resident in Australian less legal recourse than available to an alien residing overseas?
     
    Archaon likes this.
  17. meffn

    meffn Well-Known Member

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    NSW is solved; apply to NCAT as usual, if NCAT determines they have no jurisdiction, you can commence substitute proceedings in the Local Court, under similar terms as if it were in NCAT (no costs awarded, same orders can be issued, etc...)
     
  18. thatbum

    thatbum Well-Known Member

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    Uh what?

    There's no such thing as WCAT and WA didn't do anything of the sort. We've always had our tenancy matters go through the Magistrates Court of WA.
     
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  19. Phoenix Pete

    Phoenix Pete Well-Known Member

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    Yep because we here in NSW have the 'Gold Standard' of legislation... just like the 'Gold Standard' of COVID tracing and dealing with the virus... because letting off 2700 passengers in the dead of night and letting them spread the virus throughout Australia was 'Gold Standard' and then the Avalon cluster breakout in December 2020 happened and caused big impacts on Christmas and New Years... and to this date I'm pretty sure that the contact tracers HAVE NOT determined the source of the Avalon cluster.

    Sorry about getting a bit political.. just had to vent.
     
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  20. andresampras

    andresampras Member

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    Did you end up getting a lawyer involved?
    I'm in a similar situation - tenant just stopped paying full rent on time, currently owes almost $10k. They said they'd move out a while ago but now the agent can't reach them.

    VCAT has just now simply told my agent no, because I'm an interstate landlord.

    So tenant is squatting. Is a lawyer the only recourse now or is there a way to get the police to do something? I'm not even sure insurance will cover the loss of rent...