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Problems with Real Estate agents at final inspections?

By 25 May 2012 54

Hi fellow Rioters,

I had been renting or a number of years, and have recently just moved out of a property after living there for a number of years. As usual when I move out, I spent the weekend scrubbing the house from top to bottom to make sure everything was I would want it if I was moving in next.

Come inspection day, I was surprised, well quite angry actually at the attitude of the agents of the things they complained about as the property was far above reasonably clean and also in a better condition than when I moved in.

  • Complaining of water droplets in the dishwasher
  • Removing the drawers from the kitchen cabinets and complaining that there was sawdust (evidently from when the cabinets where installed) at the bottom
  • Removing the gas elements from the stovetop and complaining about stains underneith

The list had about 20 items in it, most of which I couldn’t even understand as there was no detail provided and they refused to show me at the property as they had to rush off to another appointment.

So at this point, the I will be seeing them at the ACAT mediation. Fortunately I took photos of everything at the house and also had two witnesses with me after the inspection, but I was wondering if anyone had any experience at the mediation or at the hearings?

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54 Responses to
Problems with Real Estate agents at final inspections?
urchin 10:01 am
25 May 12
#1

name the agent?

doesn’t sound like they have much of a case. you don’t have to return the home to “new” condition, it only has to be reasonably clean. from the tenant’s union website:

“As a tenant you are expected to return the property in substantially the same condition and level of cleanliness it was in at the beginning of the tenancy (as noted in the condition report), allowing for fair wear and tear (cl 64). You cannot be made to improve the property (cl 65 STT).”

you can just go ahead and apply for the return of your bond directly with the office rental bonds without the landlord/agent signing off on it… if they object then you will have to go to the tribunal but i don’t see why they would bother trying to fight it if their claims are as weak as they sound. most likely they are hoping people don’t know their rights so they can screw them out of a few hundred bucks. slimy, slimy, slimy.

Savanna100 10:02 am
25 May 12
#2

Yes, I had a similar experience with agents in Gungahlin. There are a couple of complete Property managing bitches out there. they also had completely outrageous demands.The funny thing is, I’m also a landlord and have never been able to motivate the property manager to be have like that to get my houses fixed up after shoddy tenants have departed. Makes you wonder !!!

enrique 10:06 am
25 May 12
#3

Sawdust in the back of the cabinet! Water *inside* the dishwaster! That sounds a little unreasonable and over the top from the agent. What next, water left inside the pipes, or in the cistern of the toilet?

It will be interesting to hear how it goes at ACAT, let us know/keep us posted.

mezza76 10:12 am
25 May 12
#4

Yuk. Nothing worse on a final inspection than property managers who turn into Nazi’s. While I’ve never had to go to ACAT, I think the best people to give you some advice are these guys – they’re fantastic:
http://www.tenantsact.org.au/

As an aside – I found that paying money to get the place professionally cleaned often helped stop these events. While I can understand that not everyone has the money, there is not much more satisfying a feeling than throwing a few receipts in front of a annoying property manager and saying “well, its been professionally cleaned… if you want to argue against that in ACAT than fine with me”.

From the sounds of the experience above, I think you would have a decent case. The dwelling needs to be returned to as close as its original condition subject to normal living conditions.

If you feel inclined – which real estate agent is it?

EvanJames 10:26 am
25 May 12
#5

Sounds like they just want to get the place professionally detailed so it’ll be easier to re-rent, and have you pay for it!

p1 10:55 am
25 May 12
#6

mezza76 said :

Yuk. Nothing worse on a final inspection than property managers who turn into Nazi’s. While I’ve never had to go to ACAT, I think the best people to give you some advice are these guys – they’re fantastic:
http://www.tenantsact.org.au/

As an aside – I found that paying money to get the place professionally cleaned often helped stop these events. While I can understand that not everyone has the money, there is not much more satisfying a feeling than throwing a few receipts in front of a annoying property manager and saying “well, its been professionally cleaned… if you want to argue against that in ACAT than fine with me”.

From the sounds of the experience above, I think you would have a decent case. The dwelling needs to be returned to as close as its original condition subject to normal living conditions.

If you feel inclined – which real estate agent is it?

The guy I got to proffesionally clean it had a “if it fails inspection we’ll fix it garuntee…” I assume it would argue the toss pretty hard with the agent before going back.

The level of variation in quality of property managers in the real estate industry is the hardest thing to deal with as a customer. You get one good one, then forever see how crap the bad ones are in comparison.

carnardly 11:11 am
25 May 12
#7

i have a friend whose real estate property managers at the Curtin shops didn’t even DO a final inspection…

She got the keys back and went to see the house and there were people still there… Lease finished. House unclean…. Property manager doing sweet FA about any of it…

djk 11:11 am
25 May 12
#8

When I moved out of my last rental (to my own house – hooray!) I got done for dust on the exhaust fan cover in the bathroom. (As in a little bit of dust, not like so much it was clogged and couldn’t spin or anything.)

So glad I dont have to deal with that anymore.

Bluenomi 11:13 am
25 May 12
#9

Sounds familiar, I had this issue with one agency in Canberra.

They complained about the water stains on the ceiling from when the people upstairs shower leaked that they took months to fix and were supposed to fix. It was a known issue they should have delt with.

There was dust in the .5cm gap between the top pf the dryer and the roof

The dishwasher had a few drops of water in it

The oven wasn’t clean enough (though it was cleaner than it was when we moved in and we had photos to prove it)

etc, etc.

We threw a copy of the tenancy act at them and they backed down. It did help we discovered they were attempting to cheat us and the owners out of money and somehow the owners found out ;)

fnaah 11:46 am
25 May 12
#10

Quelle surprise.

The last final inspection that I was inflicted with went very well (after I’d spent a *lot* of time, money and effort cleaning and repairing etc) – everything ticked, form signed, I thought all was well, until I got a call from the agent two hours later to say that the owners had been through with the agent and they had changed their minds about us passing the final inspection.

Property managers should be fired into the heart of the sun.

johnboy 11:50 am
25 May 12
#11

I’ve always used the agencies recommended cleaner and never had a problem. Worth every penny.

Heavs 11:57 am
25 May 12
#12

It always helps if you have filmed the place. Clean is a pretty subjective term – if you can show that it looked like ‘this’ before and ‘this’ after and they are substantially the same you will win every time. If you are relying on verbal descriptions it comes down to who is believed. Often they will split the difference.

Dilandach 12:31 pm
25 May 12
#13

Its the one thing I fear with the current place I rent.

Being blamed for something before I moved in or something that I’ve reported and hasn’t been fixed satisfactorily.

The place I rent the landlord insists on doing all the repairs himself, no matter what it is. Electrical, plumbing, random maintenance… whatever. I’ve spoken to the real estate agent that I don’t want the guy doing his own dodgy jobs on the property and they should get professionals in but of course it falls on deaf ears. So I’m half expecting when I move out eventually that I’ll be pulled up on this and this and this even though I’d reported all those things during the tenancy which were either not fixed or shoddily fixed.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 12:48 pm
25 May 12
#14

johnboy said :

I’ve always used the agencies recommended cleaner and never had a problem. Worth every penny.

Yep, great way to go, and you can point the finger at the cleaner if there’s any issues.

johnboy 12:55 pm
25 May 12
#15

My suspicion is that in some cases the property manager is taking a cut from the cleaners. But at least they won’t give you grief.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 1:06 pm
25 May 12
#16

johnboy said :

My suspicion is that in some cases the property manager is taking a cut from the cleaners. But at least they won’t give you grief.

It’s possible, but unlikely. My experience has been that property manager generally go through a few service providers before finding ones that they are satisfied with, so for them it’s about reducing hassle and time.

I’m having my house cleaned this week by a cleaner recommended by one of my property managers, it will be interesting to see how it goes.

GardeningGirl 1:20 pm
25 May 12
#17

Savanna100 said :

Yes, I had a similar experience with agents in Gungahlin. There are a couple of complete Property managing bitches out there. they also had completely outrageous demands.The funny thing is, I’m also a landlord and have never been able to motivate the property manager to be have like that to get my houses fixed up after shoddy tenants have departed. Makes you wonder !!!

Strange how you’re screwed either way. As a tenant everything has to be perfect, but if you need something fixed (dangerous wobbly stairs) it’s an uphill battle (oops, pun not intended) but as a landlord you get told missing and damaged items are “fair wear and tear” so you’re not entitled to question it.

DeskMonkey 1:47 pm
25 May 12
#18

Whilst I feel your pain (My property manager waited three weeks after I moved out to do the final inspection and then charged me to have the property cleaned afterwards. ) I’d like to put the other side of the story down too.
Some (I stress some) landlords have extremely high expectations of their tenants and this is passed down through their agent. A property manager is expected to ensure that the transition between tenants goes as smoothly as possible. If the property is not up to the standard of the owner this will create hassles for everyone. If I had a dollar for everytime I was told that the property was cleaner then when they moved in I would have a lot of pocket money. Whenever I did a check-out (final inspection) the tenant was always with me and we went through the signed inventory and condition report together. (Essential if you are moving into a rental property to obtain this report and photos)
I was lenient in some cases and not in others – it depended on the inspections throughout the property. I also went in after some tenants to clean up areas myself to reduce the arguements.
I have been to the Tribunal before on behalf of the owners for some pretty silly things and to tell the truth it was embarrassing – the Chair though realised that Property managers have to act on the owners instructions.
Before you go to the trinbunal request a meeting with the property manager at the house to go through their claims. Tell him/her that you want to do the right thing but shouldn’t be repsonsible for previous tenants or wear and tear (always a grey area). If they don’t listen go to the owner of the Agency. If you still get no where – go to the Tribunal – remember it costs money that you may not be able to get reimbursed.
When you go to the tribunal make sure you have photo and written evidence to prove your case. You should have copies of insepections throughout – so if the stove was “dirty” at every inspection then yeah, you’ll need to clean it – if it wasn’t then you should be fine.

I ALWAYS recommend using end of lease cleaners suggested by your agents because they are the ones who know the standard and will have to go back to clean it.

winter 1:52 pm
25 May 12
#19

mezza76 said :

If you feel inclined – which real estate agent is it?

Badenoch in Belconnen.

mezza76 2:01 pm
25 May 12
#20

winter said :

mezza76 said :

If you feel inclined – which real estate agent is it?

Badenoch in Belconnen.

Ta. We’re looking to move and it’s always good to know who causes more issues than most. There is some decent advice above. Hope it all works out ok for you.

zorro29 2:05 pm
25 May 12
#21

what a joke…i had agents like that when i lived in a place in melbourne so i had to take them to VCAT…unfortunately i had moved to canberra so had to submit a written claim (and not represent in person)…i think if you have photo evidence and a list of their “complaints” against what they’re claiming for, you have a reasonable case

but it’s never foolproof…just puts you off renting and it’s a shame that good tenants often get screwed over

sorry you have to go through it! it is upsetting…

Mysteryman 2:06 pm
25 May 12
#22

winter said :

mezza76 said :

If you feel inclined – which real estate agent is it?

Badenoch in Belconnen.

How did I know it would be them? They are the least professional and most annoying agency I’ve ever had to deal with.

As stated in the tennancy act, you are only required to return the house to a level consistent with the way it was provided to you, minus wear and tear. Screw them to the wall and don’t back down when it comes to mediation. Agents like this think that they can get away with behaving unreasonably towards tennats and need to be held to account for it.

Bails 2:20 pm
25 May 12
#23

winter said :

mezza76 said :

If you feel inclined – which real estate agent is it?

Badenoch in Belconnen.

Hah! We just had to deal with these guys, and had a similar thing. We gave our notice to vacate, and they supplied us with details of carpet cleaners and house cleaners. The manager then rang to confirm the information that she had sent out. We told her that we’d found a cheaper place to do the carpets, and that we would be cleaning the rest of the apartment ourselves. We were told that if we didn’t use the company that they “recommended”, we wouldn’t get any of our bond back. Also, we were reminded 5 or 6 times of Badenoch’s “incredibly high standards”, and that we were unlikely to get our bond back if we didn’t use their recommended cleaners.

I’d love to have paid someone to clean the place – it’s the worst job in the world. However, we couldn’t afford it. I resent that we jeopardised the returning of our bond for this reason.

We also had to cancel the cheaper carpet cleaning company, and were told by them that it is illegal for the real estate agent to force a specific company on a tenant.

Surprisingly there were no issues during the inspection, and we were refunded our bond in full after a brief inspection.

DJ Mac 2:48 pm
25 May 12
#24

I am positive that some real estate agents get kick backs from cleaning companies. When I was at uni I did real estate cleaning for a while. I was leaving one property, the agent said I had to use the cleaning company that I was working for. When I said I couldn’t afford it and would be doing the cleaning myself – she told me I was unlikely to get my deposit back. I did the clean – to the same standard I would have done for my employer (maybe even a bit higher), the agent found fault, refused to refund the bond. I pointed out to her that I did that work for a living and that I had photos proving the flat was in a far better state than when I moved in (I had the photos certified and dated as correct by the previous agent when I moved in) and asked her did she really want to take it to the Tribunal.

The landlady then did an inspection herself and told the agent to pull her head in. That I had even fixed the broken cupboards in the kitchen that the agent had been refusing to get fixed.

Only advice – document absolutely everything – with photos – and stand your ground. The more often they get away with it the more often they pull these stunts.

wildturkeycanoe 2:52 pm
25 May 12
#25

Yup, bad Badenoch experience myself in 2009. I’ve rented at least 8 times prior to them and once since. They were the ONLY ones I ever had to sacrifice my bond money for. That was after using their recommended carpet cleaner “who ended up staining the carpet with some kind of chemical burn” and cleaning the rest ourselves. They even complained that the garden and lawns hadn’t been cared for properly. This was after one of the most serious dry spells and water restrictions we have had to endure. It had inground sprinklers that I got fixed myself, which I then couldn’t use because of the watering rules. Religiously using hose and sprinkler couldn’t keep anyone’s lawn from a little stress that summer.
When I was returning the keys on the last day, the agent was conveniently out for lunch [at 2:30pm] and the office staff hadn’t a clue where anything was. I had to travel to our new house 2 hours away, on a Friday afternoon and couldn’t get the final details completed and signed off. They are stuck up, snobbish and I believe it to be almost criminal that they can enforce you to use a “recommended” cleaning service.
Haven’t recommended them to anyone and glad I never have to deal with them again.

Bluenomi 3:02 pm
25 May 12
#26

winter said :

mezza76 said :

If you feel inclined – which real estate agent is it?

Badenoch in Belconnen.

Why am I not surprised, that’s who I had all the problems with!

gumby34 3:06 pm
25 May 12
#27

Sorry you are having issues, thanks for letting riot know. I am about to put my house up for rent and I don’t think I would want to be a tenet for this agency and therefore I wont use then as a landlord either. I really hope you get it sorted out.

1337Hax0r 3:06 pm
25 May 12
#28

Dilandach said :

Its the one thing I fear with the current place I rent.

Being blamed for something before I moved in or something that I’ve reported and hasn’t been fixed satisfactorily.

The place I rent the landlord insists on doing all the repairs himself, no matter what it is. Electrical, plumbing, random maintenance… whatever. I’ve spoken to the real estate agent that I don’t want the guy doing his own dodgy jobs on the property and they should get professionals in but of course it falls on deaf ears. So I’m half expecting when I move out eventually that I’ll be pulled up on this and this and this even though I’d reported all those things during the tenancy which were either not fixed or shoddily fixed.

I feel much the same about the place I rent. I’ve reported stuff that has never been fixed, leaky toilet. leaky shower head, lights that don’t work, rising damp, mildew. I have been looking for a new place but dread what they’ll try to pin on me. Luckily I videoed the place before I moved in. It is something I recommend all tenants do. Then cover surfaces with clear plastic, and line the bottom of the oven with al foil. It is geeky, but keeps everything as clean as when you moved in.

Calamity 3:28 pm
25 May 12
#29

I KNEW this would be Badenoch in Belconnen! They are awful!! I would NOT encourage renting through them. I went through them years ago and they treated me so rudely on a few occasions. On inspections, they would complain about truly ridiculous things, including making snide comments about the placement of furniture within my house. They had stupid demands and a completely holier-than-thou attitude which they did not attempt to hide.

Part of our decision not to renew our lease was wanting to get away from Badenoch. Between myself and my partner we are now on the landlord side of the fence and I would NEVER consider renting through them for this reason.

End rant.

Frankie118 3:33 pm
25 May 12
#30

Do not ever rent with Badenoch Belconnen if you can help it.

They have a clause in their contracts that forbids any change to the lease (ever) without doing a full end of lease process (move out, have the place inspected, move back in, reapply for the property, and start a new lease). Tenants ACT agreed that this was unfair but there wasn’t much we could do except go to ACAT. We would have happily gone to ACAT but it was that lovely time of year when not many rentals are around so decided not to rock the boat.

I don’t want to write anything else here but all of our inspections have been rated ‘excellent’ and we have never made a late payment or caused any kind of grief and we have been treated like gum on their shoes in every instance.

We are currently looking for a new house because we are just fed up.

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