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Looking for Advice Regarding RE.

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#1 ~Supernova~

Posted 09 December 2012 - 03:41 PM

Ok will try to keep this very brief and to the point, so I don't waffle on.

In June, my mother was living with a friend of hers who could no longer afford the rent on her house. It is a huge lovely old home for pretty cheap. We agreed to take over the lease, leaving my mum on there, and adding my husband. The RE refused to do a new lease until the current one was up in December.

My mother's friend was pretty behind in rent for a while, which my mum helped her catch up. When we moved in we immediately caught up further, and kept the rent at 3 weeks in advance. We had had numerous chats with the RE, who were thrilled with our payments and upkeep of the house, indicating that the owner was interested in a longer term lease with us when it came up for renewal.

Come November, we received a notice to leave at the end of the lease period. We were pretty devastated as we loved this home like our own, but after calling the RE to enquire, were told the owners were moving back in. We totally understood this, and began looking for a new place.

We found the perfect house at the end of November, and got approved and moved. The RE had indicated the owners would probably be happy to move in earlier, so we wanted to try to get moved and settled before Christmas.

We have been paying double rent this whole time, and have rang the RE a few times to enquire as to whether we could either break the lease early, or if the owners were still interested in moving back in early. We heard, and got told, nothing. I have stressed to them numerous times we were struggling financially, expecting them to give me some idea of their initial suggestion of the owners moving back earlier...this time of year especially is making paying double rent so tough.

Sooooo...a few days ago I saw the house for rent on the internet!!! The RE is refusing to take our calls, keep saying "we are not available for calls atm". We think they intended the whole time to re rent :/  We could have found people to apply SO quickly, SO many weeks ago. The house is cheap, and LARGE. It would have been snapped up in an instant, saving us so much money. I know from when we were looking that so many families are looking atm, it was crazy. We felt grateful to get the house we did so quickly.

I am fairly certain they didn't want to renew our lease due to the problems with my mothers friend. Unfair, but I do kinda, sorta understand. They have listed the house as immaculate and fully refurbished, when it reality, on the entry report we obtained from my mothers friend, it was filthy and infested with insects and vermin. All the renovations were DIY, and not good at all. Peeling paint, horrendous paint jobs, rotting wood yadda yadda. They keep refusing to talk to us, and keep insisting the owner is moving back in. I'm really nervous they are going to try to screw us over.

Any advice? We really need that bond money back, and this real estate is known for lying and charging for stupid things, only to not even get cleaners through :S

They also have the house listed as available NOW, when we are still paying rent, and our lease expires on December 30th.

ETA: We received mail this week to say there would be two open houses this week for prospective tenants.

Edited by Mareek, 09 December 2012 - 03:47 PM.

#2 Orangedrops

Posted 09 December 2012 - 04:02 PM

They have obviously listed it as available now as you want to leave now. Do you have the incoming inspection report? Make sure everything is as it is on that and you will get your bond back. Make sure you take photos of anything that is damaged and have records of anything that has been repaired or that you have asked to be repaired.

#3 spear_maiden

Posted 09 December 2012 - 04:04 PM

First thing you need to do is print a dated copy of the rental ad asap, just in case the RE denies advertising it and you need proof for whatever.  

Second thing, call your tenants advocacy unon in your state, and discuss your concerns with them.  They'll let you know pretty quickly if the LLs/RE are doing anything against regulation.

Any communication with the RE regarding the matter, do in writing. I'm not sure a verbal agreement to the effect of the owners probably being happy to break lease will get you anywhere unfortunately.

As to the owners/RE lying about why you were given a notice to vacate:  I think it's pretty common for the reason to be given as owners wanting to take up residence of the property when they actually just want you out.  I'm not sure you have any grounds for recourse with this, unless they were vacating you to sell. Apparently, the owners need to provide some documentation (sorry can't recall it's actual name) of a sale happening and if they can't, you are able to refuse the vacate notice.  Sorry, off topic.

Maybe you could give the RE a notice to vacate?  This allows you a shorter period in which the lease will end.  Not sure what you could give as the reasonable grounds, perhaps discuss this with tenants' union.

Are you wanting the rent you've been paying since your verbal agreement back?  Or do you just want to get the lease ended and your bond back?

Sorry, I'm not really sure what else to suggest.

Good luck OP!

#4 ~Supernova~

Posted 09 December 2012 - 04:04 PM

Yes, we have the report, it is in a CONSIDERABLY better condition then the report. Ugh, I'm just upset we have been lied to...and really worried they will try to screw us over.

#5 ~Supernova~

Posted 09 December 2012 - 04:06 PM

Definitely do not expect any rent back that we have paid, just want our bond. And great suggestion about the ad, thank you!

#6 spear_maiden

Posted 09 December 2012 - 04:08 PM

Also, did the RE inform you the onus of advertising a place for rent in a break lease situation is on the tenant?  Tho, I guess you would've been waiting to hear back if they were going to agree to a break lease before you did so.

Sorry re your rental troubles at this time of year - I know how you feel.

#7 spear_maiden

Posted 09 December 2012 - 04:15 PM

You're not in Brisbane are you?  There's a notorious RE agency we had the displeasure of renting through that completely messed us over.  In the end, I stopped being polite, and started proceedings with the Tribunal.  They agreed to our vacate notice on our terms.  Even with all the breach notices we'd given them, and having documented everything they did against legislation, and us leaving the house in consdierably better condition than we found it with photos to back us up, they held onto our bond for over a month after the actual leasae ended.  So 8 weeks after they were required to give it back in full.

Some RE's are just a-holes.  The only real recourse you have is to report them to Fair Trading who record it.  Nothing ever gets done tho rant.gif .

Sorry about my rant!!  I feel for you OP.

#8 Mootmoot

Posted 09 December 2012 - 04:18 PM

Not sure what part you're looking for advice on, OP.

Bond return:  thoroughly document the state of the house when you leave in case of dispute.  Can you get the RE to come and do a check say a few days before the end of your lease period?  Then they can point out anything they have issues with and you can fix them if you think you should?  There are usually dispute resolution mechanisms in each state for bond disputes, so familiarise yourself with these ahead of time.

Double rent:  I don't think there's anything you can do here.  You signed up to a lease period.  Ok you've been told it won't be renewed for whatever reason, but the RE/ owner is under no obligation to allow you out of that period early and it's not their problem that you're chosing to pay double rent.  In Victoria, the owner moving back in can, in some circumstances, break your lease but even if the RE lied it's to do with what is happening after your tennancy so irrelevant.  Some agents will end your lease early if they find someone to take it over, and you pay advertising costs, but there's no obligation for them to do this.

Open inspections: again depends on the law in your state/ territory but usually you're required to grant reasonable access for inspections.  But you could check with the tennancies body in your state, or neighbourhood law centre.

#9 ~Supernova~

Posted 09 December 2012 - 04:30 PM

I just want advice on doing everything I can to ensure we don't get screwed over on the bond, that's all. What they have done is just...wrong. And not Brisbane, but very close.

#10 #YKG

Posted 09 December 2012 - 04:49 PM

Not sure what state your in but in Vic if the eviction reason is for the owner to occupy the property then they cant then put it up for lease for new tenants snd faces penslties along with the REA.

Check the tenancy act in your state in regards to the obligation of owner and REA when the eviction reason is for the owner to occupy.

#11 Feral*Spikey*

Posted 09 December 2012 - 06:42 PM

Quick question - who, exactly, is on the lease of the place you're leaving? I don't understand what you mean by 'taking over the lease', unless you've signed something that is essentially a new lease?

#12 Lolpigs

Posted 09 December 2012 - 07:02 PM

Re the bond, just fill in the form yourself and send it to the rental bond board on the date of the end of lease. The agency will have 2 weeks to make a claim or you get your bond back.

You are then in control, any claims based on final inspection they have to provide you a written final inspection, and provide copies of reciepts from companies doing repairs. If they fail to do this you  can dispute and just take them to the tribunal.

It does not need their signature. We had similar issues recently and did this.

Easiest way by far to get your bond back.

Edited by Lolpigs, 09 December 2012 - 07:04 PM.

#13 ~Supernova~

Posted 09 December 2012 - 07:50 PM

My mum and husband are lease holders. Excellent advice about the bond form, thank you!!

#14 ~Supernova~

Posted 09 December 2012 - 07:52 PM

I also just spoke to my uncle, who is up on all these matters legally. He advised me to write emails to the principals of the RE, which I have just done. Hopefully this all resolves peaceably.

#15 Lolpigs

Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:16 PM

No worries. We were getting all sorts of threats from ours, we just ignored them and faxed in the bond form.

They got the notice but instead of doing anything, just kept acting like they were in control, on the 14th day we had our bond back wink.gif The bond board don't care, and it's first in best dressed with the form.

If I ever rented again I would do the same thing over.

#16 spear_maiden

Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:21 PM

Wish we'd known to do this with our last place.  I'll be keeping this in mind if we ever have PITA REs again - thanks.

Hope it's resolved for you soon OP.

#17 Mumma Mash

Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:30 PM

When did you move out?

By law they have 3 days to do a exit inspection and sign off - regardless if you're breaking lease or not, if you've done the hand over (keys etc) then they HAVE to do an inspection within 3 days!!!

If I were you, I'd put in a form 4 (http://www.rta.qld.g...tal-bond-Form-4) to the RTA TONIGHT!! You don't need your RE to sign off as you are making a claim on your bond.

If you don't lodge anything within 14 days (of you moving out) the RE will automatically claim the bond in full without any of you're consent. (It's all in the legislation).

So If I were you, print out form 4 TONIGHT. Post it (express) - ring up the RTA and ask if there has been any action against you're bond (i.e a claim).

By sending in the form 4 - you are essentially making them do all the chasing (disputes) if they want it.

I would also talk to the RTA about the conversation about the owner wanting to move back in. Keep a timeline of all emails/calls and put in a dispute (form 16) against it all and state why. By law, they can't do what they're doing. And if/when it goes in front of the tribunal you could very likely get all the rent money you have been paying since moving out.

Fight for it! You have rights too!

*Just read Lolpigs post, she says it better than I original.gif

Edited by Mumma Mash, 09 December 2012 - 08:32 PM.

#18 ~Supernova~

Posted 09 December 2012 - 09:04 PM

Have just printed the form out, thanks original.gif

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