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Take advantage of landlord's mistakes in rental agreement

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by htopg, 19th Oct, 2015.

  1. htopg

    htopg Well-Known Member

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    I got a friend who has rented for one and half years, $500 per week.
    He has been constantly behind in rent (5-week rents) for over a year.
    His landlord has asked him to pay up but he keeps telling the landlord all sort of excuses
    1. he had been underpaid by his employer
    2. he needed to pay insurance
    3. he needed to pay his kid's school fees
    4. he needed to pay his fuel card
    5. he needed to pay for his kid's birthday
    6. his kid was sick and needed money to see doctor
    7. blah blah blah...

    Surprisingly, his landlord gave him leniency and did not serve him any notice.
    Last month, his landlord finally served him a termination notice and asked him to leave in 14 days.

    He said that he will talk to tribunal that the landlord still owed him money.
    He showed me the rental agreement that the landlord made a mistake of ticking "per fortnight" box instead of "per week".
    That is, instead of $500/week, the rental agreement says $500 per fortnight.
    If that is the case, the landlord owes him (lots of) money.
    On the rental bond form, it says $500 per week with $2000 bond lodged.

    I am wondering that in the tribunal, what is the chance for my friend to win?

    PS. I am a landlord myself, and I hate people taking advantage of landlord's mistakes.
    I hope my friend to lose in the tribunal because
    1. I have seen his landlord and the landlord is a very caring landlord.
    2. I want justice
    3. I want my friend to grow up
     
  2. Blacky

    Blacky Well-Known Member

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    I dare say that common sense will prevail.
    The spirit of the contact will take precedence over the error. Added to that the fact that you friend has been paying rent (albeit late) at the correct rate all this time will make victory hard fought (and wrong).

    Unfortunatly the courts/tribunal will be tied up to deal with it, adds to the stress of the landlord who sounds to have been fairly reasonable for 18months and the costs for them to fight the frivolous case.

    I hope he gets thrown out on his arse.

    Blacky
     
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  3. legallyblonde

    legallyblonde Well-Known Member

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    That is a HUGE mistake! The intention of the agreement was clearly $500... So the landlord has a decent leg to stand on (thankfully).. But it could go either way.

    Fingers crossed someone knows some of some case law.
     
    htopg likes this.
  4. Ed Barton

    Ed Barton Well-Known Member

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    Devils advocate...
    Why is it clear that the intention was 500pw? The LL required more than the allowable bond be paid? The tenant has been paying erratically but is always ahead - s/he just likes to be ahead. Yes, it could go either way.
     
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  5. thatbum

    thatbum Well-Known Member

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    Yes the bond - but mostly because it sounds like 500pw was paid for the last 1.5 years.
     
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  6. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    If 500pw had been paid, it'll be implied that this is the agreed amount
     
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  7. htopg

    htopg Well-Known Member

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    minus the 5 weeks in arrears ;)
     
  8. htopg

    htopg Well-Known Member

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    If the written agreement does NOT represent what has been agreed, will "what has been agreed" prevail?
    To me, this looks like
    written agreement + retaliation vs what has been agreed + bond payment + payment pattern

    I hope there is justice. The tenant laws are normally in favour of the tenants.
     
  9. htopg

    htopg Well-Known Member

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    My friend would like you to be his lawyer ;)
     
  10. neK

    neK Well-Known Member

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    You should knock some sense into your friend... if that doesn't work, they aren't worthy to be your friend. Life is too short to have people like this pull you down (while they haven't done anything that affects you now - they may in the future).
     
    Mick Butterfield likes this.
  11. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Your friend is prepared to rip the owner off by $2500 (minimum ) - what sort of person is he,
     
  12. Phar Lap

    Phar Lap Well-Known Member

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    Gets me how these type of tenants never go to the insurance company/school/fuel supplier/kid/etc and say "oh, I had to pay rent this week"

    Tell your friend to snap out of it and face reality before karma moves into the house.
     
    Magnet likes this.
  13. htopg

    htopg Well-Known Member

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    Is there any lawyer here?
    I really want to know how the law/tribunal will treat landlord's mistakes in the rental agreement.
    My bad friend seems so confident that he will win and also get some $$$ back (because he is 34 weeks ahead in rents).
     
  14. srirang

    srirang Well-Known Member

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    Karma is a bitch - just sayin'
     
  15. keithj

    keithj Moderator Staff Member

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    The tribunal is going to ask....
    • what the advertised rent was when he first viewed the property
    • to see his receipts from the PM, particularly the bit that says 'Date Paid Up Until'... and why he ignored these dozen or so 'reminders' of what the actual rent was
    • why he paid exactly double the 'correct' amount for over a year
    • what did he think the weekly rent amount was before he realised that he had been 'overpaying'
    • why he didn't query the bond form prior to moving in that states $500pw & also paid 4 weeks bond (ie $2000)
    He is going to look pretty stupid at the tribunal unless he has extremely good answers to all the above. I would say he has less than 5% chance of getting any money back from the LL.
     
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  16. thatbum

    thatbum Well-Known Member

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    Well from what I've heard so far, it could go either way.

    I wouldn't call it an overwhelmingly strong case for the tenant, that's for sure.
     
  17. Mumbai

    Mumbai Well-Known Member

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    Why are you so concerned about your 'bad friend'? You have done your bit.
    Let him go ahead with his nonsense. Some people don't learn the easy way.
     
  18. htopg

    htopg Well-Known Member

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    Bad tenant:
    It was advertised for $500 per week.
    But the rental agreement says $500 per fortnight.

    Bad tenant:
    I noticed.
    But the rental agreement says $500 per fortnight.
    I did not say anything because I knew this rental agreement mistake might come in handy some days in future (now!).

    Bad tenant:
    Because I feel like to.
    I want to show tribunal that I am a good tenant who pays double the agreed amount ($500 per fortnight) on the rental agreement to keep the rent ahead.

    Bad tenant:
    I thought the weekly rent amount was $500.
    But the rental agreement says $500 per fortnight.
    My landlord wants me out, so I want to take some $$$ with me.

    Bad tenant:
    Because if I did not pay $2000 bond, my landlord would not have accepted my application.
    Once I moved in, then I have this rental agreement to "defend" me in the future.
    But legally, I only needed to pay $1000 bond, according to the rental agreement.

    Bad tenant:
    I will look pretty smart at the tribunal as I have found a loop hole in the rental agreement.
    The landlord shall pay for his mistakes, haha....

    ----------

    I feel chilled from my back.
    I don't even want to wish him luck at the tribunal.
    He is not my friend any more....
     
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  19. htopg

    htopg Well-Known Member

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    I am not concerned about my bad friend.
    I am concerned about the landlord who has obviously done nothing wrong to the tenant and he does not deserve to be treated like that.
    I want justice.
     
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  20. Bayview

    Bayview Well-Known Member

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    I can recommend some big guys to become the tenant's instant friend and go and visit him for a beer.