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fence in a rental...

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#1 IBakeBoys

Posted 10 April 2012 - 02:42 PM

We rent and have notified the REA on several occasions that the fence is falling down and is unsafe. Every storm throws more pailings off the fence which prompts another email which is followed by exactly nothing.

This morning I woke to find not one but 5 dogs in our yard, who had came in through one of the many fallen down bits of fence. They weren't very old but "look mean". My kids are little and my eldest especially is dead frightened of dogs so now he's refusing to go outside. I've emailed with photos today and the REA wrote back saying they don't usually deal with fences as its a civil matter.

WTF does that mean? Our LL's live overseas so its not like they can pop over on a weekend and fix it up. Isn't that one of the things REA's are there for? To handle stuff that needs doing? The fence is shared with 5 other houses and is going to be a nightmare to organise but surely that can't be my responsibility as the renter?

Any advice? TIA

#2 SeaPrincess

Posted 10 April 2012 - 02:47 PM

I would go to their office and refuse to leave until they had come to see it themselves.  If it's a shared fence, then all parties should contribute to its repair, but it's certainly not the tenant's responsibility to organise.

As a LL, this is the type of thing that would cause me to terminate my property manager if I found out about it.


#3 Guest_tigerdog_*

Posted 10 April 2012 - 02:48 PM

I'd agree with you OP, not sure myself legally but I would think that as the 'agent' of the landlord, they would be responsible.  It's their job to liaise with the landlord on maintenance issues full stop, of which this is definitely a big one.  It's also an issue of safety - you rented the house with a fenced yard, you're entitled for this to be maintained in the interests of the safety of your children.

You can apply to the civil administrative tribunal in your state to have the matter addressed or if you'd prefer to move, get advice from the tenant's union and possibly break the lease (they could take you to the tribunal then but if they're in the wrong, would they?).

Edited by tigerdog, 10 April 2012 - 02:50 PM.

#4 IBakeBoys

Posted 10 April 2012 - 03:03 PM

Yeah, seemed like a strange thing for her to say. I think she was maybe hoping I'd go talk to the neighbours about it, but I've got 4 young kids, and much better things to do than her job! The neighbours aren't going to organise it either, or if they do, they'll only do the bit they share with us, not thwe whole thing. She really has to be the one to do it I think.

We're not keen on moving out just yet, we're looking at building soon and would ideally stay here until thats all finished. But if they do go ahead and fix it I'm expecting a nice tidy rent increase letter in the mail!

She did say she'd forward to photo's to the LL so I'll give her a few days (Its a really long fence so I'm guessing it will cost a fair bit - possibly more than she's allowed to automatically authorise?) but if theres no progress by Friday I might have to chase her up again.

#5 Spring Chickadee

Posted 10 April 2012 - 03:07 PM

It's their job to liaise with the landlord on maintenance issues full stop, of which this is definitely a big one. It's also an issue of safety - you rented the house with a fenced yard, you're entitled for this to be maintained in the interests of the safety of your children.

Absolutley. As a landlord I would be very angry if my agent was giving the Tennant the cold shoulder and claiming things weren't their problem.  

#6 mamma101

Posted 10 April 2012 - 03:08 PM


If I was you i would go to the department of consumer affairs and talk to someone there about the matter. You can take them to court and I think you will find that it is their responility to make sure the fence is fixed. good luck

#7 Apageintime

Posted 10 April 2012 - 03:09 PM

I think you may just have a bad Real Estate tbh - the same thing happened to us recently and they had someone out fixing it in 24hours and had a new fence up within 2 weeks.

I thought they had to fix things affecting your safety within 24 hours?

I'd call whoever the tribunal (residental tenacies authority in QLD) is and gets ome advice maybe.

#8 Chelara

Posted 10 April 2012 - 03:36 PM

Ask for a rent reduction as your fully fenced property is not fully fenced, maybe that will help it along a bit.

#9 I'm Batman

Posted 10 April 2012 - 03:40 PM

QUOTE (mamma101 @ 10/04/2012, 03:08 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

If I was you i would go to the department of consumer affairs and talk to someone there about the matter. You can take them to court and I think you will find that it is their responility to make sure the fence is fixed. good luck


Put in a formal complaint to their boss about being brushed off. As the managing agent their responsibility is to pass along or authorise any maintenance on the property. How would the LL know the fence is broken unless they tell them?

Also, you pay for a secure yard with a fence, you should expect it to remain that way

#10 Luci

Posted 10 April 2012 - 06:33 PM

As a tenant, you are doing the right thing by notifying the agent or LL of any maintenance issues or damage to the property.  What does the agent expect you to do - pay for a new fence yourself?

I would contact the relevant tenancy tribunal in your state and find out where you stand from an official legal position before you next speak with the agent.

Good luck,

#11 mmk

Posted 10 April 2012 - 09:50 PM

I'd be asking her for clarification of how to spell her name - for the legal papers to be sent to when your kid gets bitten by a stray dog in your yard!

It's the LL's responsibility to pay for it, and it's her responsibility to either organise it or give the LL the opportunity to.  You've reported it and supplied photos, so that's where your job ends.  Do you have the LL's details direct?  If so, I'd be contacting him/her to let them know the REA's attitude...

I hope that nothing bad happens in the mean time...

#12 IBakeBoys

Posted 11 April 2012 - 01:36 PM

I called consumer affairs this morning and they were really helpful. She said that it had to be fixed within either 2 or 14 days (depending on if it counted as an urgent or non urgent repair) regardless of how long it takes to sort the neighbours out. If they can't get money from the neighbours now they still need to fix it, then can pursue the other half via council or a dispute resolution centre.

I dragged all 4 kids into the REA office this morning and spoke directly with the PM. I dropped the fact that I called consumer affairs into the conversation, nicely, I wasn't mean about it. And she is now organising quotes today!

In the mean time, it looks like we'll have to shift DS1's birthday party to a park or something. I'm not letting my boys outside till its fixed, let alone anyone elses kids. The mum or dad dog came into the yard today and started barking like a mad thing. Not a fan at all!

#13 Miss S

Posted 11 April 2012 - 01:55 PM

Its great how the words CONSUMER AFFAIRS can stick a rocket up a property manager original.gif We had the same thing a couple of years ago with our heater, I called the RE twice in week to get someone to fix it, we were in Melbourne in september with an 8 wk old baby and were basically ignored untill I mentioned those magic words and i had a tradie call me 20 mins later wink.gif

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