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Failed rental inspection

By kiwigirl - 10 May 2010 40

I’ve recently moved to Canberra and have been subjected to my first rental inspection which I “failed” for having not vacuumed my floor, having a dusty vanity in the bathroom and having a stove top that wasn’t spotless!  I stupidly forgot about the inspection and so they let themselves in while I was at work, the clincher was my ex-partner had decided to leave his cat with me the weekend before (no cats allowed in the lease even after I offered to pay an extra $10 a week they said I had to get rid of him, but they are happy for me to keep my dog) and I had not had a chance to advise/ask the agent whether I could have a cat as well. 

So, granted the cat is an issue, but I’m concerned that this “failed” inspection is going to effectively “blacklist” me for future rentals.

I work for a bank in a high level management position with a good income, have excellent references from previous landlords but am worried that I am now perceived as a bad tenant.

I’m considering breaking my fixed lease as I don’t want to be bullied by these agents for another 11 months, and I want to keep my cat and dog – any advice welcome!

What’s Your opinion?


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40 Responses to
Failed rental inspection
1
johnny_the_knife 8:35 am
10 May 10
#

From the ACT Tennants Union:

“For the purpose of inspections there is no obligation on the tenant to return the premises to perfect condition. You have every right to leave the premises in their every day state, bearing in mind your obligations under your tenancy agreement to take reasonable care of the premises and keep them reasonably clean, having regard to the normal incidents of living (cl 63(c)).”

http://www.tenantsact.org.au/Advice/access.html

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2
sloppery 8:50 am
10 May 10
#

If you are a high level manager with a good income, perhaps buy a place instead of renting.

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3
scottie_517 9:08 am
10 May 10
#

Welcome to the Canberra rental market. I failed an exit inspection with Janelle Bertram Ellis Weston due to the gas stove having “some blackening beneath the burners when you look underneath them”. The place was in -far- better state than when I received it.

The market’s so tight, agents think they can do what they want – it’s a joke.

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4
Swaggie 9:15 am
10 May 10
#

If you can’t manage the simple business of remembering an inspection or advising the presence of a cat I’d suggest a change of career from “high level management” although after the mess bankers have caused the world in the last 3 years maybe you are well suited to the position. My advice – Cut n Run

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5
ThatGuy 9:32 am
10 May 10
#

Um well having the cat is a fairly major breach of the lease. The owners could be violently allergic to cats and have intentions of moving back in eventually. It takes a crapload of cleaning to remove any last trace of cat hair.

Also, the real estate would have sent you a letter advising you of an upcoming inspection. Surely bank managers have access to little things like outlook calendars or pieces of paper and a fridge magnet. Tip for next time, leave a note for yourself saying “Clean up, hide cat”. If you can’t find a pen then stick the letter on your fridge.

Finally, if agencies don’t take a relatively hard line with routine inspections then they don’t give an impression of what state they expect the property to be left in. That being said, just do better on the next inspection. A inspection report only stays with the one property and isn’t as important as paying the rent on time and the final inspection. If you lift your game then the worst they can say is “Rent always on time, one bad inspection once but ever since then it’s been perfect.”

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6
Pandy 9:32 am
10 May 10
#

Let themselvs in?

I think you have an issue with that.

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7
p1 10:06 am
10 May 10
#

Have to say, nothing made me want to by a house more than the twenty year old estate agent making comments about the kitchen, because I hadn’t done the washing up the night before.

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8
sepi 10:16 am
10 May 10
#

Don’t worry about it – the rental inspection will be forgotten about by the time for the next one. It isn’t like they have a register of them to show other agents or anything. I would stay put – it is hard enough to find a decent house.

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9
Deano 10:23 am
10 May 10
#

“So, granted the cat is an issue, but I’m concerned that this “failed” inspection is going to effectively “blacklist” me for future rentals.”

And just what are you expecting us Rioters to do about it? Write you a reference? Picket the real estate agent?

“I’m considering breaking my fixed lease as I don’t want to be bullied by these agents for another 11 months, and I want to keep my cat and dog – any advice welcome!”

Surely:

a) if you are worried about being blacklisted for future rentals, it would make sense to hang on to this one for as long as possible.

and

b) breaking a fixed lease after the first month would be a bigger black mark against you.

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10
trix 10:26 am
10 May 10
#

Not a well-known firm beginning with I- and ending with -dependent, is it? Because that’s just in their style. As are the amazing direct debit forms with no start or end date (for a fixed-term lease), and no fixed sum. “Oh, that’s in case we need to get extra funds to repair the place when the tenancy has ended.” No, morons, that’s what the BOND is for. After 3 months of paying them cash at their offices – they refused to accept a direct credit – I found a private landlord who has been awesome.

Anyway, get rid of the cat (seriously, duh), clean up a bit and ask them to reschedule the inspection. Breaking your lease will be more of a hassle, I promise you. Also, one “failed” inspection doesn’t matter if they don’t have grounds to toss you out – obviously not – and you leave the place in good condition when you depart.

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11
Woody Mann-Caruso 10:27 am
10 May 10
#

Standard operating procedure for Canberra brownshirts – I mean, real estate agents. Oh, sorry, mustn’t lump those highly qualified and ethical individals in with mere ‘property managers’.

Over the years I’ve copped:

– ‘Dishes in sink’ – yes, my rinsed cereal bowl, which I put there while you were doing the inspection
– ‘Dust on rear of television’ – my television, mind you, not the landlord’s
– ‘Boots in laundry have dried mud on soles, boots sitting directly on tiles’- GASP NOT THE LAUNDRY TILES
– ‘Dining room cluttered – books on table, papers stacked on floor’ – excuse me for studying

I got out of the rental market in 2002. Things weren’t as tight as they are now so I had no qualms about having screaming arguments with these legumes (them screaming, me calmly pointing at relevant ‘quiet enjoyment’ clauses of the legislation and our lease), and this didn’t affect my ability to get subsequent leases.

However, in 2007 my sister in law had to leave town after being blacklisted by one agent who gave negative referee reports to other agents. Her crime was standing up for herself after receiving letters advising of additional, illegal inspections, refusing to bow down to unreasonable and unlawful rent increases, and knowing her rights when the landlord decided to sell the property. This earned her a label as a ‘difficult tenant’. When you’ve got a 1% vacancy rate (or whatever it is), it takes much less than that just to move you to second place, first loser.

YOU’LL NEVER RENT IN THIS TOWN AGAIN RESPECT MAH AUTHORITAH I HAZ A YR 10 CERTIFICATE AND DUN A COURSE

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12
troll-sniffer 10:33 am
10 May 10
#

yeah don’t worry; your crimes, though they be punishable by hanging by the neck until dead in the eyes of the agent, aren’t manifestly grevious and should not result in an adverse report in the long run. If your cat ain’t there and you’ve made an attempt to pretend you live a spotless existence for the next inspection you should find your perceived status has dropped to life with hard labour m’lord.

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13
troll-sniffer 10:38 am
10 May 10
#

But don’t expect any symapthy for the cat issue. You should be able to amicably break a lease if you pay for a new advert in Allhomes and pay rent up until the new tenant’s lease commences, and possibly a new round of leasing charges if the agent gets nasty. If you do want to keep your cat ring the agent explain the cat has been dumped on you by your ex you can’t or won’t turf it out so you need to find alternative accommodation and you wish to find out what would be involved in finding a new (catless) tenant. The agent cannot expect to deny you some leeway in such a tight rental market.

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14
Overheard 10:47 am
10 May 10
#

Good luck with finding a good one. I’m sure they exist, but in the years of renting/group-housing in this town (= many) I’ve found property managers are definitely not the sharpest knives in the drawer. Bordering on criminally negligent in some instances. (Or criminal, in the case of one I dealt with who later had to go away for a short spell when he was caught up to his elbows in the till.)

Unfortunately it’s a sellers’ market, so “I’ll take my custom elsewhere” will often be greeted with a shrug of the shoulders and a “You still here?” kind of ambivalence.

I avoid the “Real Estate Agent of the Year…. Again” like bubonic plague.

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15
Frano 10:58 am
10 May 10
#

scottie_517 said :

Welcome to the Canberra rental market. I failed an exit inspection with Janelle Bertram Ellis Weston due to the gas stove having “some blackening beneath the burners when you look underneath them”. The place was in -far- better state than when I received it.

The market’s so tight, agents think they can do what they want – it’s a joke.

Funny you should state Bertram Ellis at Weston. I rented a house through them and they were just plain NASTY! It was a few years ago when the drought was in full swing. I made a good effort on the gardens, but I am not a “Don Burke” nor were the gardens the Botanic Gardens! An old plant (ugly thing) in the front yard died, probably due to it’s age and drought, and we were told to “replace it!”. We were also threatened with, “if these roses die, you will have to replace them”.

My mother in law parked her car on the front lawn once when visting which was bad timing…as Bertram Ellis did an inspection and attacked us over that also…as if the front grass was a pristene lawn!

Every inspection was fraught with danger…but when we were moving out we were told “the garbage bin is dirty, it needs to be cleaned”. We were good tenants; clean, tidy, didn’t put holes in the wall….but we drew the line at cleaning a GARBAGE BIN! We weren’t going to waste a precious resource like water on cleaning an object that stores filth!

I have been a tenant and a landlord, so I have seen both sides. Most people are good and fair. If both sides are fair & reasonable everyone will be happy and you can have a long lasting relationship. There are some filthy tenants as well as some unfair and nasty landlords and agents. If you get a bad one (either side) move on as quickly as you can.

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