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Another rental question… “failed” final inspection

By newsreader - 22 May 2010 23

First off, I know there are posts about this but mostly seem to be about inspections while you are still within the lease.

My housemate and I recently departed a rental property at the end of the lease as the owner was moving into the property.  The end of the lease was 19 May, which was the final inspection date.  We were advised that the house and gardens would require further cleaning… I’d dispute this as they were cleaned, but fair enough, we’ll go back…

Oh no we won’t.

Owner has decided that we are not to come back to the property as he had started to move in the next day but instead would get a cleaner and gardener and we would have to pay.

Thoughts??

What’s Your opinion?


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23 Responses to
Another rental question… “failed” final inspection
miz 7:31 pm 22 May 10

Another reason why private rental sucks. And its always worse when the Owner wants to *move back in*, because they don’t understand the meaning of ‘fair wear and tear’ – they think they should be able to reap all that lovely rent without anything actually getting worn out!
Make sure you’ve still got a copy of the carpet cleaning receipt (or get a copy from the managing agency) and take the issue to the Tenancy Tribunal.

ThatGuy 7:07 pm 22 May 10

moneypenny2612 said :

That statement is a load of rubbish. And if someone at the bonds office is ripping up bond refund forms that aren’t counter-signed, he or she should be counselled about how to do their job properly.

Yes, me saying that an ORS member would rip up an application was a load of rubbish which would have been evident from the tone.

Nevertheless – lodging your application prior to attempting to resolve the issue is only going to inflame the situation. The lessor is going to be aggravated by your attempts to ‘sneakily’ claim the bond back, which in the end is how it is perceived. A simple letter from the lessor stating that there is a dispute over the state that the property was left in will start the RTT ball rolling. Each of you will have to pay a fee for the case to be heard and, given the random nature of the RTT and it’s magistrates, there is no guarantee either of you (lessor or lessee) will come out unscathed.

So worst case scenario you could end up paying the RTT fee, the lessor’s RTT fee (if they’re fast talkers) and the cleaning costs. Is it really worth it?

s-s-a 6:30 pm 22 May 10

Unsure if I’ve misunderstood Mr_Shab but lodging your refund won’t do squat. You need the signature of the lessor/agent on there before the ORS(RB) will do anything

That is categorically BS. The ORS will act on the FIRST form that they receive with respect to the Bond. I once had a private landlady sign a rental bond form on a weekend in my presence agreeing to refund all the bond. Then apparently between then and first thing Monday morning she changed her mind and lodged a form witholding $$ to have the carpets cleaned (they hadn’t been cleaned when we moved in 18m previously renting from the previous owner). Despite the fact that we later presented a form signed by both parties and dated PRIOR, the ORS held back bond. We went to mediation with her but neither party would back down, so the bond was never released to either of us and AFAIK is still in trust with the ORS.

el 6:21 pm 22 May 10

ThatGuy said :

Unsure if I’ve misunderstood Mr_Shab but lodging your refund won’t do squat. You need the signature of the lessor/agent on there before the ORS(RB) will do anything. They’ll call the lessor/agent and say “Hey buddy, someone has put in a refund of bond without your signature – did you forget to sign it or should i just tear up their application here on the spot?”.

Wow – Completely and utterly wrong. In the instances where this happens, it’s up to the agent to either contest the bond refund, possibly involving the tribunal for mediation, or agree to the full bond refund and lodge their paperwork, and both of these options need to be exercised within a certain amount of time (it’s 10 days or 2 weeks I believe). If there is no response from the agent/landlord in this time, you are automatically granted the full bond refund. This evidently happens A LOT – Get that form in right away.

Having been through this before, I believe (and at the very least this was certainly the case a few years ago) that the agent/landlord [b]must[/b] give you time to fix anything deemed unsatisfactory at a final inspection, and they sure as sh*t can’t force you to pay for a third party to do this for you without your consent. The fact that the owner moved in the next day certainly isn’t your fault, and it also isn’t your problem.

Fight this all the way. Good luck and let us know the outcome.

moneypenny2612 3:03 pm 22 May 10

ThatGuy said :

You need the signature of the lessor/agent on there before the ORS(RB) will do anything. They’ll call the lessor/agent and say “Hey buddy, someone has put in a refund of bond without your signature – did you forget to sign it or should i just tear up their application here on the spot?”.

That statement is a load of rubbish. And if someone at the bonds office is ripping up bond refund forms that aren’t counter-signed, he or she should be counselled about how to do their job properly.

http://www.ors.act.gov.au/rentalbonds/WebPages/orb9.html

On topic, ask the landlord to provide you with a quote for their preferred cleaner. If you are comfortable paying what they are quoting, then agree to it. Otherwise, keep negotiating and in the mean time lodge your bond refund claim (claim the whole lot back – put the onus on the landlord to substantiate the claim for cleaning money).

sepi 2:47 pm 22 May 10

B,ut they don’t have the right to demand a professional cleaner.

They can tell you what is not up to scratch, and you can go back and do it. If they dont’ want you in the house now they’ve moved in, tough luck, they can do it themselves.

I’ve never heard of anyone losing the bond over cleaning unless they’ve done the midnight flit and not cleaned at all.

What are they going to say to the trubunal – dusty skirting boards are worth hundreds??

johnny_the_knife 2:12 pm 22 May 10

Did the owner start moving in prior to the final inspection being completed? If so, I would argue they made the mess and it’s not your problem.

johnboy 1:37 pm 22 May 10

It’s not the quality of the job.

It’s that the unitiated can knock themselves out cleaning things no-one will ever care about.

Whereas once the approved cleaner has been paid the fight is between the owner and them, nothing to do with you.

I’d rather work ten hours in my chosen field to earn the money to pay the cleaner than spend 10 hours cleaning, still fail the inspection, and have to go back and do it again.

but that’s just me.

trevar 1:31 pm 22 May 10

johnboy said :

it’s always worth getting the approved cleaner in. they know what needs doing and what doesn’t and they’re better at it than you are.

Where do you find a professional cleaner who can do a better job than an unprofessional cleaner? I’d like to see this rare animal!

ThatGuy 1:22 pm 22 May 10

Agree with johnboy, save the time and stress and get the professionals in. It’s not really that expensive and you are guaranteed a pass. That little cleaners receipt is like gold in the rental game.

Unsure if I’ve misunderstood Mr_Shab but lodging your refund won’t do squat. You need the signature of the lessor/agent on there before the ORS(RB) will do anything. They’ll call the lessor/agent and say “Hey buddy, someone has put in a refund of bond without your signature – did you forget to sign it or should i just tear up their application here on the spot?”.

If there’s one thing I could recommend any tenant to do over anything else (except for actually paying the rent) it’s getting professional cleaners in at the end of your tenancy. Saves soooo much time and heartache and you will always miss something if you do it yourself.

Mr_Shab 11:31 am 22 May 10

Gotta disagree with you there JB. There’s no reason you can’t do as good (if not better) a job than a pro. A pro will just do it a lot quicker.

I’ve been in a similar situation. I would personally advise lodging your “return of rental bond” first thing on Monday morning then calling the landlord/agent and asking them what was inadequate about your cleaning that neccessitates getting a professional in. If it’s not up to scratch – fair enough that you should cough up; but having had a few negative experiences, it wouldn’t suprise me if someone is just trying it on.

Remember – the onus is on the landlord/agent to contest return of your bond. If they’re fair dinkum, they’ll formally contest. If they’re just trying it on, then it will probably be quietly dropped.

You might want to get the number of the Tennancy Advice Line just in case.

johnboy 11:18 am 22 May 10

it’s always worth getting the approved cleaner in. they know what needs doing and what doesn’t and they’re better at it than you are.

MrPC 11:13 am 22 May 10

He’d need to take you to the tribunal to try and dock the money from your bond if you don’t pay willingly, and there’s no guaranteed outcome for him. Chances are you’ll still get your bond back.

Of course, if you rent through an agency, the agency may blacklist you in the process.

MrPC 11:07 am 22 May 10

Call his bluff.

Blingerific 10:55 am 22 May 10

Tell them to bash it and give the Tenancy Advice Line a call to get the official goss. If they want to push it then take it to the Tribunal.

Though you could offer to choose and pay for the cleaners are and hire yourselves 🙂

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