Pool Flooding, Very little property drainage

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by Peter Charlwood, 1st Mar, 2020.

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  1. Peter Charlwood

    Peter Charlwood Member

    Joined:
    29th Feb, 2020
    Posts:
    12
    Location:
    Slacks Creek
    Looking for some advice or experiences.

    I know most of you are PM or Landlords, I am a renter in QLD and I am having some issues.

    Moved in Jan 2019 Property has a pool which at the time of entry was a green pool, PM told us owner will be over to fix - no problem we move in.

    Unfortunately it takes 6 weeks, alot of water with vacuming electricity having the pump on over time and alot of personal time spent scrubbing pool and the pool still didnt look too good, a white substance on bottom was hard to get rid of owner said he was handing the pool over and is our responsibitly to maintain, the pool wasnt clean but at this point it was middle of March and summer almost gone, we hadnt been for a swim yet. We decided to have a proffesional come and clean the pool and balance costing us $240 to complete, yes wasnt happy for not having a pool when we needed it, and paying for something that should have been done prior to move in - but its done and we have a pool.

    4 days later we have a storm and discover the drainage pipe in pool area is blocked due to roots the roof gutter down pipes arent plumbed to anything and water gushes down pointing towards the pool on concrete slab and as the property is on a downward tilt and the pool area being the lowest point at the back of the property the pool became a dumping ground of dirt, sand and everything else in its path our front door area had aprox 10cm of water pooling. Yes it was a good storm, heavy down pour but also something common in SEQ

    Next day, spoke to PM face to face, told her about paying for our own pool cleaner only 4 days before and then now the place is flooded and pool is a mess and in 13 days we were having a birthday bbq and needed something done ASAP. she said leave it with me, send me an email with photos etc.

    1 week passes and we here nothing, make phone calls and send emails. We already started cleaning as we couldnt afford to loose time and thankfully as they didnt respond until 3 weeks after, short email. Owner is sending some people to get quotes, they will contact you - 3 quotes over 1 month for property drainage while this is happening and were waiting pantently we recieve our lease renewal, we had only been in the propert for 3 months and was ussuming they would fix.

    .PM or owner didnt came to have a look at the place, damage, pool and cost involved with chemical, water and electricity offer any assitance or compensstion or even fix drainage pipe. It is almost 10months and no official reply, we told PM were not paying the water bill for it, she said she will talk to the owner. Few months go by, receive water bill, we email back stating were still waiting a response from the incident, we wont be paying water bill, over the next 2 months rain keeps flooding the pool, we buy our own drainage gravel, start building thing to divert water and soil, we have it at a manageable state.

    We get an email demanding water payment, so i asked for a meeting with owner and PM to discuss payment as we now have paid for cleaning the pool twice, extra chemicals , gravel etc.

    We are now coming upto 1 year in the property, we have not got a reply or acknowledgement of what happened or anyone to fix the constant flooding that occurs. 2 weeks ago in a big storm, we lost the pool once again (worst so far) happened to be the day we recieved a breach for non payment of water charges. We replied with a breach of failing to maintain property and failing to respond to complaint.

    I filled in a form for Mediator with RTA (4weeks wsit) and then time discussing and then ultimatly QCAT apllication, so we are looking at about 3 months of process, no pool no compensation for it and in that time we can be breached again for non payment of water.

    Would anyone know if i can apply strait to QCAT under urgent? Lease is up in July and want compensation as we have slent $816 in pool chemical and $1000 per quarter electric and owe $1000 in water.

    Ultimatly we either want it all fixed no issues, pay the water and we stay.

    Or we apply to terminate lease and ask for maximum compensation, ekectric, chemical, gravel and for not having a pool for now 2 summers.

    Anyone have any advise to share? Sorry for long messsage, but it has been a year.

    Thank you

    Pete 20200213_121602.jpg
     
  2. Michael Mitchell

    Michael Mitchell Property Manager Business Member

    Joined:
    17th Sep, 2018
    Posts:
    764
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Hi Pete,

    From your story, unless you've left it out, there are key points you've missed.

    » You need to issue breach notices to the Lessor/Agent (Form 11's) for when they've breached the agreement

    » If you want to leave, this then sets that up by allowing you to issue a Form 13 With Grounds for the Lessor/Agents non-remedy of Breach

    » The old '2 wrongs don't make a right' is ever present, generally a Tenant must always maintain their obligations such as paying rent and water on time lest they open the door for negative action their way even when in dispute with the Lessor/Agent

    » You then have to submit a Form 16 to the RTA Dispute Resolution, if it's clear the Lessor/Agent won't come to the party, just ask the RTA for a Notice of Unremedied Dispute (NOUD) straight up and skip the DR session so you can proceed with a non-urgent QCAT application for compensation and state your case to the tribunal and seek an order.
     
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  3. Tools

    Tools Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    170
    Location:
    In the lounge
    Can you post some clearer pics of the pool fence - doesn't look like a compliant fence.

    Tools
     
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  4. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    20,384
    Location:
    Sydney or NSW or Australia
    Definitely not with those couple of horizontal climbing rails.
     
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  5. Tom Rivera

    Tom Rivera Property Manager Business Member

    Joined:
    1st Jul, 2015
    Posts:
    2,142
    Location:
    South East Queensland
    FYI You can check whether there's a compliance certificate publicly here:
    myQBCC

    If there wasn't one in place when you signed your initial lease- Big fines $$$$$.
    _____________________________________________________________________

    - You should be seeking compensation for your out-of-pocket expenses to clean the pool at move-in and any unnecessary cleaning costs as a result of poor maintenance (i.e. mud flooding in). Most importantly, you'll be claiming time that you have been unable to use the pool- in the Logan area, a pool usually adds about $50wk (!) to the value of a house. Make sure you are as reasonable as possible in the claim, QCAT is all about being the justified and reasonable party.

    - This is a non-urgent application. I'd strongly suggest lodging at Brisbane QCAT because Beenleigh has a 4+ month wait on URGENT applications right now, I don't even know how long for non-urgent....

    - You need to pay those water bills (unless there's a leak). There is a defined process -tenant advocates QStars (1300 744 263) would be more than happy to run you through- whereupon you can withhold rent in certain situations if the Landlord fails to rectify serious issues, but you cannot withhold payment of water bills.

    - If you suspect the property is not water compliant and have not been issued with a certificate stating as such, take a look HERE and test the house yourself (or have a plumber attend for you to test). If the property is not water efficient to the relevant requirements, they can only charge you excess consumption, not the full amount.

    - It's likely that when this all ends, you'll be moving house. You'll likely be given notice to leave without grounds, which you can challenge in QCAT, but how long do you want to live in a hostile environment?
     
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  6. Peter Charlwood

    Peter Charlwood Member

    Joined:
    29th Feb, 2020
    Posts:
    12
    Location:
    Slacks Creek
    Hi All,

    Thank you all for your knowledge and assistance. It was a huge help.

    To give an update:

    We applied for mediation with the RTA (due to Backlog this was approx 8 weeks wait time)

    We recieved a breach for non payment of water and we breached them with form 11 (Thank you Michael) giving them 7 days, they didnt respond. We sen some follow up emails informing them that we are wanting to find a new place and asked for a reference we got a stating that she will only complete one with the agent.

    We signed a new lease, and issued the notice to leave with cause for failng to remedy breach. After 5 days she replied saying she isnt accepting it as we need to breach her again and then issue another notice to leave.

    I responded immediatly, advising that I issued and we will be handing the keys in and vacating the property. I reread the tennancy act and then discovered that it would be classed an Urgent QCAT case if i had breached them twice. We left the house in a better condition then what we Moved in anf made sure everything was complete although not recieving a exit pack.

    If we didnt leave and waited for RTA, dispute process and then QCAT wait time, it will be after our lease end date.

    On the arvo of handing keys back i got a call from RTA both us and agents put in requests, went through it all and established although we didnt complete a breach form earlier does not mean we didnt breach the realestate... the form is just formatting. He said I should pay the last water bill and i told him that It is too late for that. If they accept the termination of contract and not seek damages we will not seek damages ourselves.

    2 weeks later I got a call for 3 way phone mediation and the next week and sent agent an email with documents and informing them we are seeking $3900 in damages and folder link with everything to prepare for mediation.

    2 days before mediation i got a call to ask if we can negotiate and we both agreed, i dont seek damages and they release my full bond, forgive the water bills and not pursue loss of income for lease.

    This all concluding last week!

    Thank you all once again




    We spoke to our agent letting them know
     
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  7. Peter Charlwood

    Peter Charlwood Member

    Joined:
    29th Feb, 2020
    Posts:
    12
    Location:
    Slacks Creek

    Hi Michael, I owe you a beer.

    I had never wanted to breach them, but just turned out that way.

    2 wrongs dont make a right. That is true. In my case I was only using it as leverage, otherwise I actually dont think they would have replied.

    I have now educated myelf on the tennancy act, minimum housing standards, EPA requirements and if ever in this position again, will pay for emergency repairs after a week and seek the repayment.

    Thank you once again.
     
  8. Peter Charlwood

    Peter Charlwood Member

    Joined:
    29th Feb, 2020
    Posts:
    12
    Location:
    Slacks Creek

    Hi Tom,

    I owe you a beer too,

    I spent a long time calculating what our resonable costs would be, from running pump over time, sending water waste, the extra chemical spent and included daily weather forcast outlining the loss of pool during warmer days and requestd $50 per week for 19 weeks.

    I was prepared for QCAT, thankfully we just settled it. I was confident not only about lleaing property I could have also got compensation back as well.

    But I was happy to let it all go if they were and move on.

    Thanks once again
     
  9. Peter Charlwood

    Peter Charlwood Member

    Joined:
    29th Feb, 2020
    Posts:
    12
    Location:
    Slacks Creek
    Hey Tools,

    Sorry i didnt post another pic, things got busy real quick, they had a compliane cert issued and I measured the fence as per the code and as per my understanding if it, it was compliant as per fence, however a palm tree was growing 10cm from fence and therefore it wasnt compliant. I noted it, toom photos in preparation for QCAt but didnt require it.

    But thank you for the arsenal.
     
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  10. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    10,130
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Thanks for coming back and updating the thread. It's always good to hear what happened, and sometimes we never see the people come back.

    Sounds like a good outcome. Good on you for standing up for your case.
     
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  11. Tom Rivera

    Tom Rivera Property Manager Business Member

    Joined:
    1st Jul, 2015
    Posts:
    2,142
    Location:
    South East Queensland
    Great outcome! Glad to hear it!
     
  12. Handyandy

    Handyandy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    6th Jun, 2006
    Posts:
    639
    Location:
    Sutherland
    As per Wylie thanks for updating us always useful to find out the conclusion.