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Tenant Breaking Lease & Claiming Bond

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by Beck, 26th Jun, 2016.

  1. Beck

    Beck Member

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    Victoria
    I have been renting out a room in my home on a 6 month fixed lease. The tenants lease is up at the end of August. I have given her 90 days notice to move out, which is around 7th September. I was unsure if I was supposed to give her 60 or 90 days notice but I thought I'd give her 90 just in case, seeing as she's a 19 yr old single mum with 2 cats so it could be hard for her to find a place.

    I have a couple of questions. Seeing as I'm the one who gave notice, if she wants to move out sooner does she still have to pay rent until the lease runs out? We most likely won't be getting anyone else to rent the room as we've been put off by having to live with her. I actually want her to move out sooner so I don't really care about the loss of income. I'm more in fear of my safety and worried about my property being damaged. She's caused so much stress and we've had the police round to our place twice in only 4 months. I really just want to know what her legal requirements are so I can say that even though she should pay out the rent, if she leaves quietly without any fuss I won't make her pay it.

    How do we make a claim for part of the bond for cleaning and damaged property if she received a bond loan from Uniting Care? I've never had a tenant before so I'm not entirely sure what types of things we can claim. We need to get her carpet dry cleaned & everything thoroughly cleaned because her cats caused a flea infestation throughout the house. She damaged a blind by resting a boiling hot pan on it and melting it. She's also broken multiple cups, plates and expensive ceramic knives which I'm willing to write off.

    Any advice is much appreciated.
    Bec
     
  2. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't know the rules in Victoria for this but if I was in fear for my safety, I would be making it as easy as possible for her to leave. Depending on how fearful I was, and the chance she could do further damage or retaliate, I'd even be prepared to offer that if she leave within say two weeks, I would refund all the bond in full.

    You will have some "fixing" to do, but that pales into insignificance if you truly are fearful for your safety.

    Who else lives there with you?
     
  3. Marg4000

    Marg4000 Well-Known Member

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    If you are self managing, you really need to be very informed of rental laws in your state.

    I would suggest reading up on legislation. Presumably you lodged the bond with the correct authority.

    As said, make it easy for the tenant to leave if that is what you want.
    Marg
     
  4. Beck

    Beck Member

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    We are self-managing, there's no real point having an agent when my husband and I are living here & we're only getting $200 per week. I've searched for info on many different websites including consumer affairs but there's no clear answer that I can find.

    The bond is lodged with the bond authority. I don't know how I'm even supposed to return the bond even if I didn't want to claim anything. I'm assuming it needs to go back to Uniting Care. The bond is more an issue for when she's already found somewhere else to live anyway.

    I'm not so much fearful for my safety from her, although I do worry about what she might do if we weren't trying to keep things as civil as possible. I'm more worried about the people we've had to call the cops on breaking in. She had one friend who stole her car during the night and crashing it. Then an ex-boyfriend came into our house yesterday and wouldn't leave until he got his stuff that he thinks she stole. He ended up smashing her windscreen. I'm too scared to leave my dogs at home when I go to work so I've been taking them to my parents.

    I was going to write her a reference just to help get her out of here quickly but I'm worried about it coming back to bite me. I was only going to put things in it that technically aren't a lie, like she always pays rent on time (apart from this week), she is clean (compared to a lot of people I've lived with) and is reasonably quiet.
     
  5. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    So has she been your housemate - renting a room and sharing facilities? The consumer.vic site explains about the bond. However, I suggest calling them about the rest.

    Just tell the tenant / housemate that she only has to pay up until when she gets a new place.
     
  6. Beck

    Beck Member

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    Yeah she rents a room and has her own bathroom and almost exclusive use of the lounge but shares kitchen, laundry and dining. We split the bills equally.
     
  7. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    This situation may be treated differently, and may even fit more into the 'flat mate' advice on the consumer.vic site.

    Later edit: I just looked up consumer .vic. Your situation appears to fit into the 'boarding' category, so the same as any other landlord tenant relationship where there is a lease.
     
    Last edited: 26th Jun, 2016
  8. Lil Skater

    Lil Skater Well-Known Member Business Member

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    Bec - I'm not down 100% with boarding legislation (as I don't do it).

    In saying that though, there's some parts that are similar.

    If the bond is in her name, then you just fill in the bond form and ask her to sign it (less any deductions), if it's a loan from DHS and was lodged using the DHS bond form you have to go to VCAT to make any claim. If the bond is under another name, such as Uniting Care you'd need to get in touch with them.

    Technically yes, the tenant is to remain/pay rent until the end of their lease - however if the matter is taken to VCAT they will generally not award you anything because you have issued the NTV. If you're concerned, I would use the line so she (hopefully) thinks she's getting a good deal.

    If you're concerned for your safety (or the people she has brought to your house) I would almost suggest you play really nice, change the locks, return the bond and move on. Sounds like she's bad news and the people she knows are bad news, last thing you want is her friends to come and cause trouble with you. Different if you didn't live there..