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Bond dispute - tribunal experiences
8 replies to this topic
Posted 16 November 2012 - 10:29 AM
We are going through a bond dispute at present and it's heading to the tribunal.
I am wanting anyone who can share their experiences with me, and any tips/advice to help?
So far we have photographs, stat dec's from cleaners etc, and possible correspondence from the actual RE about the landlords intention and plans for our bond money.
If you can share, either here or via PM it will be greatly appreciated.
Posted 16 November 2012 - 10:41 AM
No experiences, but good luck. I'd love to know how it pans out.
Posted 16 November 2012 - 10:50 AM
This is going back a decade and relates to Queensland, however I used to work for a collections agency that went along as 'back room support' for landlords taking troublesome tenants to court. In reality, we just gave them a bit of confidence and ensured they had their bits of paper together.
Each party would self represent and would have to present their evidence. I never saw a case which was even remotely unfair. Don't allow yourself to get angry or emotional, just present the evidence, be polite and answer all questions honestly. It wasn't Judge Judy, and it wasn't high school.
The one thing I will say is 'show up on time'. Plan to get there early. There are vindictive landlords who will count on you now showing up, particularly if they know you are working or have young children. If you don't show up, a decision will be made based on the evidence that has already been submitted, and I can assure you it won't be as favourable an outcome to you.
Posted 16 November 2012 - 11:40 AM
I went to tribunal this year over repairs required to our rental property which weren't addressed. The guy in charge wax an idiot in my opinion. He had an inflated sense of self importance made stupid jokes and spoke condescending to most people. That made me feel quite uncomfortable. I came to an agreement with the real estate which the guy formalised so I didn't need him to make a decision. The man's attitude and treatment of people would actually make me think twice about taking a matter to tribunal again. Hopefully you will have a better experience.
Posted 16 November 2012 - 11:50 AM
DH and I just finished at the Tribunal in QLD as our tenant moved out of our house and refused to pay for water, broke the stove and a water tap, kept the keys so we had to get a locksmith in to change the locks. When we went through mediation the lady said oh no it seems fair for them not to pay $xxxx but we were not happy so took it further. In the courts we were found to have a case and receives the FULL bond amount & more but haven't seen a cent (apart from bond cheque) as the old tenants are meant to make arrangements to pay is so I am not holding my breath.
When we went to court we had all the paperwork including the lease, repairs and changes we HAD to do because of the tenants and all the invoices to what we had paid. We were prepared and had photos to prove our point. If you have the evidence you should be right although our old tenants had false stat decs about rubbish that had apparently been 'overlooked' by us :/ it has made me put the house through the real estate so we don't have to deal with it as I would never privately rent again.
Posted 16 November 2012 - 11:53 AM
I've twice been to tribunal over a rental bond which was kept by the landlord, but this is over a decade ago now. Once the landlord was ordered to pay it back, apart from $40 (because I hadn't removed a sticker from a mirror, which was already there when I moved in!)
The other time I couldn't get the money back as the landlord hadn't lodged it with the rental bond board, and the tribunal were not able to deal with that situation.
Posted 16 November 2012 - 02:14 PM
I think you'll be fine - if you have photo's, the bond receipt, etc with you. All you need to do is show your case.
You do not have to restore the property to pristine condition, only to that in which you received it. And you are allowed fair wear and tear - so for example - if you rented a place with brand new carpet, and stayed in the house 10 years, it would not be expected to be "as new".
But it would be expected to be unstained, no holes etc if that makes sense.
I know a few people who've been to VCAT over various issues, and all of them have said afterwards that they think VCAT sways towards the "little people" and not landlords/big business. This is from the perspective of both LL and tenants.
Good luck - come back and let us know how you go.
Don't forget the condition report, your lease, your rent receipts, your bond lodgement form, photo's etc. It is all evidence.
Maybe also take evidence you'd paid all utilities etc
The carpet cleaning, gardening, end of lease clean receipts etc.
Posted 16 November 2012 - 06:35 PM
So are staines not considered fair wear and tear even though they are barely visible?
Efs - stupid iPad auto correct
Edited by Mumma Mash, 16 November 2012 - 06:36 PM.
Posted 17 December 2012 - 03:03 PM
Thought I'd update quickly.
We managed to settle at the mediation and parted with just under 50% of the bond.
Whilst I am not overally happy (who is when they lose $700) with the result, I am glad that it is over and we can all move on and learn from this.
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