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Tenant wants to take us to VCAT - Help pls

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by Tinaandalex, 12th Jul, 2016.

  1. Tinaandalex

    Tinaandalex Well-Known Member

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    Hi All,

    We have a troublesome situation here where we share common area of our granny flat with tenant (my husband has a work station and works there during daytime). This has been made clear in the advertisement as well as during inspection (verbal discussions) that my husband has the right to work in the living area while tenant has full use of bedroom, kitchen/dining and bathroom. This is not documented any where in the contract though that we have the right to use part of the common area.
    Now tenant accuses us of violating his privacy and invading his quiet enjoyment by having my husband working in the common area.
    What should we do now?

    thanks all
    regards,
    Tina
     
  2. thatbum

    thatbum Well-Known Member

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    Unusual setup by the sound of things. So just to clarify is this the case:

    1. You rent out a granny flat to a tenant. Presumably you live in the main house.

    2. The advertising and discussions have been that your husband has the right to use the living room of the granny flat.

    3. But the above is not in the lease as written and executed.

    4. The tenant now does not want your husband to use the granny flat living room to work anymore, and presumably wants the whole granny flat to themselves.

    ??
     
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  3. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    Take the advertising and diary of verbal discussions with you to vcat to prove what your intention is. This will give you the best chances.

    You really needed to exclude that area from the lease though, vcat will probably back the tenant because of this unfortunately :(
     
  4. DaveM

    DaveM Adelaide Buyers Agent & KFC Strategist Business Member

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    So where exactly does the tenant get to live besides a bedroom?
     
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  5. Mumbai

    Mumbai Well-Known Member

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    What do people get themselves into!
    Is it really worth it?
     
  6. Tinaandalex

    Tinaandalex Well-Known Member

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    yes thats right. tenant now wants us to stop using the common area of granny flat and asks for 3 months worth of rent as compensation.
    In the comtract we just put the granny flat as lease premise in general without exact definition
     
  7. Tinaandalex

    Tinaandalex Well-Known Member

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    bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and part of common area which is used as dining area for him
    this is well reflected in the rent $
     
  8. Elives

    Elives Well-Known Member

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    idk why any tenant would agree to those conditions. i'm living with a guy atm who works from home it's so annoying coming home and he's always there. as for vcat if it doesn't specify in the lease.. i don't like your chances. you must have some written proof. i wouldn't think an advert would be enough. as the tenant could say he didn't see it.
     
    Last edited: 12th Jul, 2016
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  9. Tinaandalex

    Tinaandalex Well-Known Member

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    Are you saying that Vcat will be bound by form (contract) not substance?
    we are thinking of backing us up by
    - copy of the advertisements incl photo of a work desk in the living area
    - comparable rental properties to demonstrate the rent $ is consistent with bedroom rent not whole unit
    - reference letter from previous tenant verifying they never had this confusion about the terms of the contract

    We need to protect our right to have ise of part of living area & refuse to pay compensation $ as requested by tenant
    What is our chance?
     
  10. Tinaandalex

    Tinaandalex Well-Known Member

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    he agreed as the rent is cheap & he has the bedroom, bathroom kitchen and part of common area for himself
    Could tenant deny all verbal communications between us?
     
  11. Elives

    Elives Well-Known Member

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    yes and vcat will most likely take the tenants side. but the tenant asking for 3 months rent is a bit rich. i don't see how he could justify it. i would think a fair out come would be to pay for moving costs and give 60 days notice. maybe pay him a few weeks rent to get him out the door.
     
  12. Tinaandalex

    Tinaandalex Well-Known Member

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    we already offered him the option to mobe out b4 contract ends but he does want it
    wanted us to pay $2k which I had know idea how he came up to.
    what would be the worst situation for us?
     
  13. JDM

    JDM Well-Known Member

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    I don't like your chances with VCAT if your tenancy agreement demises the whole of the granny flat. If the agreement was to have a shared area then this should be in the tenancy agreement otherwise you are interfering with the tenant's quiet enjoyment of the property.
     
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  14. Tinaandalex

    Tinaandalex Well-Known Member

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    sounds very nasty then.
    How could someone accept a stranger in his lease premise unless its something that hasneen agreed upon?
    I cant imagine how he's gonna word his lies?
     
  15. Elives

    Elives Well-Known Member

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    how much is the weekly rent? you say it's heavily discounted because of your husband is working in the common area. maybe take with you to vcat comparable granny flats that are rented out and what rent they achieve. also get a property manager to give you a written rent appraisal for your granny flat.

    worst case you pay him 2k
     
  16. Tinaandalex

    Tinaandalex Well-Known Member

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    the only relevant clause was 'If landlord uses the shared area landlord will have to ensure its kept in reasonable condition'

    Will the advertisements matter at all?
     
  17. Elives

    Elives Well-Known Member

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    he doesn't have to try to hard.. he'll show them the written lease.
     
  18. Tinaandalex

    Tinaandalex Well-Known Member

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    $155 all bills included as opposed to $180-200 if whole unit is let
    thx Elives, tental appraisal is good idea
     
  19. thatbum

    thatbum Well-Known Member

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    It would take a very specific set of discussions that could give the legal meaning that you want in this situation.

    Meanwhile the written lease is very clear.

    You need to understand you have a very real risk of losing. For your exact chances, well its hard to say without a lot more information - but you'd be silly if you think you have a strong case. The default position (the written lease) is against you, and you will need to be the one with the burden of proof to show something else legal exists.
     
  20. Tinaandalex

    Tinaandalex Well-Known Member

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    Thx Thatbum, your input is much appreciated.
    heres our ground:
    - rental premise: granny flat. Our understanding is the premise excludes part of the living area. This is written in the advertisements and has been agreed with tenant verbally
    - rent $ is discounted (10-15% compared to whole granny flat)
    - written reference from ex-tenant and neighbors to prove we re not dodgy people
    - diary of tenant usage of the common area to back out his claim that he's unable to use the premise diring daytime because of my husband's presence
    what else should we refer to?