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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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Failed rental inspection
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redally 2:55 pm 24 Sep 10

Mimiboo, I think you were a little too soft calling them just Pr**ks, they are brown shirts.
They expected me to leave the rubbish bins washed, emptied and turned upside down at my final inspection! Just when departing tenants most need the use of their bins which they payed for.
Then they forced me to pay 2 hours of cleaning for the most minor trivial cleaning I missed, they expected hospital grade cleaning even though the the last tenant(the owners daughter) left many non-trivial items dirty and full bins.
Tenancy advise has only 2 people for all of the ACT and are so overworked that I could not check out the legality of this but I shall. As mention above, the bins belong to the council not the property.

Any one in the Canberra rental market beware of this agent they are the worse tenant bullies ever!

freakwent 3:33 pm 20 May 10

When I worked in computer retail, our boss banned us from quoting to real estate agents altogether, they always acted really hostile towards us as though we were trying to rip them off all the time.

troll-sniffer 11:16 am 11 May 10

YapYapYap said :

OP. The act of entering your property uninvited probably constituted an offence. A criminal offence quite possibly. It doesn’t matter what the lease may say, as no lease can go beyond the provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act (and its ‘standard terms’), and both make it clear that any entry not authorised by you (or without an order from the Civil and Admin. Tribunal) is illegal, except to conduct emergency repairs.

All good in theory but I suspect the rental agreement would have been worded to allow access if the tenant was not home at the appointed time. That would cover the entry not authorised by you bit of the Act. If it didn’t then the agent is dopier than the tenant. And considering the tenant seems to be the type to assume that once in a place he or she can do whatever he or she likes, then that’s a pretty robust call I just made…

Hells_Bells74 9:25 am 11 May 10

Oh, and try getting a compromise on the cat. Agree laundry at night or something and out in the day if you’re not around. I dunno, otherwise it is their call ultimately. I think you may be a good candidate for giving a pet away personally, sometimes, it’s not for life 🙂

Hells_Bells74 9:18 am 11 May 10

Gosh, I was lucky when I was renting private to have a great real estate and similiar for the group houses (not that I ever directly involved myself in those).

A little place in Mawson Southlands leased us our unit in Hackett for a couple of years and the same thing happened to me one day, I forgot! I was so embarrassed, I really had not tidied up and was looking after someone’s bird and had a mouse on the sly.

When he rang me and asked what on earth was going on, I told him the bird was a guest and he said, oh that’s ok, but I was a little concerned about the mouse on the bench (it was an extremely tame mouse that I could leave the cage open and I didn’t have kids and I never used the bench for food, had food boards and it was a pretty cluey and cleanish mouse, nevermind I was strange) and that I was always so clean in the past, it just looked like we’d had a party. I was smiling, thinking, shit, no we didn’t.

All was well, nothing bad came of it and I made sure to clean extra great the next month.

Don’t sweat it, you may think they are being harsh, but imagine what they have already seen and had to put up with, even the most clean and quiet people aren’t perfect, if they wanna stress the small stuff though, that’s their waste of space, tell ’em to take it up with the tribunal if they have an issue. Blacklisting more likely for a breach of tenancy agreement as someone said, you could probably take them to court if they try it over something so petty.

Yep can see why no one wants to rent though. I’ve even had some shockers of inspectors in my govvy home. I once commented it was fairer back in my flat!

Can’t we just all get along!

Pandy 6:40 am 11 May 10

@31 There are forms and official processes you have to fill in when you make a complaint. Did you? Or was it just a call to the pimply offical repceptionist? If the former, you would have got your bond back, so I think your story is sus.

YapYapYap 1:30 am 11 May 10

OP. The act of entering your property uninvited probably constituted an offence. A criminal offence quite possibly. It doesn’t matter what the lease may say, as no lease can go beyond the provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act (and its ‘standard terms’), and both make it clear that any entry not authorised by you (or without an order from the Civil and Admin. Tribunal) is illegal, except to conduct emergency repairs.

You simply need to maintain the property in a similar condition to the you found it, taking into account normal day to day living arrangements, excepting normal wear and tear. It doesn’t need to be pristine on your departure (and no you aren’t required to clean the underside of gas burners). Agents will do you over if you’re the tenant, or if you’re the ownwr. They are not the nicest people in the world, but if they over step the mark the Office of Fair Trading likes to hear about it – an agents license can be both issued and taken away.

Overheard 11:48 pm 10 May 10

Back to the OP. Yeah, sorry, but if you accept an animal into a property that explicitly states ‘no pets’, you get what you get.

If I were the landlord or (Gawd forbid) the property manager, I’d throw a medium-sized book at you.

Overheard 11:46 pm 10 May 10

Scottie, when I was first renting in inner Belconnen, I too had a great landlord, but it was the real estate agents that soured the whole arrangement. Then I scored the quinella when the owner sold the place and ended up stiff-arming me into moving out.

A piece of high comedy ensued when, after I’d made other detailed arrangements, they came to me with not a single trace of irony and asked if I wanted to extend my lease for another year!!

I was very polite, reserved and demure as I declined.

The real sting in the tail came with the new property managers (whose trading name implies they should be wiser) made a total balls-up of the transition, and my one week of overlap in rental evaporated and actually left me homeless for a few nights.

Like I said above: much sharper knives in the drawer than these oafs.

nhand42 11:16 pm 10 May 10

When I was renting the agent put on a white glove, ran his finger across the top of the door frame, and failed the inspection immediately because there was dust. I kid you not.

This was a 30 year old house where the garage had been locked off, because the owner (who had been living there) had so much stuff he couldn’t move it all out, so he just kept his stuff on our rental property. We complained. We were ignored.

At the end of the tenancy the bastard took our bond because the natty pool had a leak. A leak we had told them about in the first week of the tenancy and they had never bothered to fix. I was too young and naive to put the complaint in writing.

Agents are scum. Buy a house and buy it privately so no money goes to agents.

scottie_517 8:43 pm 10 May 10

I think we should name and shame!

On the other hand, I am renting directly from the landlord now, who is one of the most reasonable people I’ve ever met. He’s courteous and considerate and because of this I make a particular effort to keep the place in the greatest shape possible. I don’t want to leave a nasty taste in his mouth and have him end up like “zee agents”.

Mimiboo 8:08 pm 10 May 10

And this why we have a housing shortage – nobody wants to rent especially having to put up with those nasty real estate agents when you’re a tenant. And while I’m ranting, can I just say that BADenoch are a bunch of pr**ks! So picky about every little thing when it came time to vacate the place and I kept the house immaculate (I’m the type that cleans the bathroom every 3 days!) and in tip top shape.

CoffinRX2 7:06 pm 10 May 10

I personally find Independent Property Group the best in town that I have dealt with. I rented through them for a period in 2005-06 and bought a place through them at the same time. Seamlessly dealt with them breaking my lease and moving into my new place. … when I turned that place into an investment property, they managed it for me perfectly and my tenants had no issues at all with them. … also sold that place through them and bought a house through them.

Bad property manager is the guys at Home Loan Centre, .. recently leased through them, .. offered us a new lease, we agreed and signed it, after the dead line they tried to evict us on grounds which were not legal, and we took it to ACAT and won hands down.

H1NG0 3:25 pm 10 May 10

I’m glad I no longer rent. I think LJ Hooker weren’t happy when I bought a house without informing them first. I think they take a lot of pleasure in making your moving out as difficult as possible. I never had one bad comment on my house inspections until we tried to move out. One gem was that they said the blinds were “dusty”. If you look at the blinds, that was the texture on the blinds itself, you can dust it all you want but that isn’t coming off. They also asked us to clear the crap out of the garage that was there when we moved in despite us noting it down on the condition report. There were a few other minor nit-picking things as well and was a disappointing end after caring for the place like it was our own for the previous 3 years.

It wasn’t the landlord’s doing either. We met him several times and was more than happy about the state of the place.

trevar 2:53 pm 10 May 10

I don’t think you have a problem at all, unless they’ve asked you to leave or undergo another inspection. And if it’s the latter, all you have to do is return the cat to its rightful owner (or to its Maker). You’ll get petty little comments about dust and vacuuming, but they won’t fail you. And there’s no blacklisting for failed rental inspections. You’d have to breach your contract for that.

BTW we had reason to terminate a lease on a property we rented through Rainey and Horney at Woden once, and the little girl who did the inspection kept lamenting, “oh, I can’t get you for that,” as she went through the house and saw how spotless it was (apart from the termite infestation)…

Gungahlin Al 2:10 pm 10 May 10

Self-important wannabe Hitlers. Also have such near horizons that they fail to understand that the respectable person they are treating like crap is probably planning to buy a home to get out of that grind, and will not ever touch a property that they are handling due to the treatment they have received.


Plus, they will make a point of telling people at every opportunity they get so that others refuse to deal with such disrepectful cretin-employing organisations.

You hear me Maloneys??

As P1 said.

Cameron 1:56 pm 10 May 10

You received your notice, the Real Estate agents let themselves in all the time. Each inspection letter says so, and it would be ridiculous if you had to be there for it.

That said, I’ve had inspections I’ve forgotten about too. Simply have a conversation with the agent and talk to them about the reasonable issues – you haven’t got a leg to stand on with the cat though. They’ve heard the “it’s a friends and we’re looking after it” story a million times, so whether it’s true or not they won’t believe it.

As for the failed inspection itself, address whatever their issues are or establish that they aren’t in fact issues, and pass the next one. They’re not going to blacklist you over it.

youami 1:32 pm 10 May 10

btw, I have no business or professional affiliation with Independent or the real estate industry. My previous post (if it is posted with original content) is only my opinion.

youami 1:29 pm 10 May 10

Swaggie said :

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


Like seriously, how can you forget an inspection? They give you plenty of notice, usually send you a ‘checklist’ so that things such as vacuum the floor and dust surfaces are listed as an explicit task to complete, plus if you were serious about the inspection you would have spent up until the very last day/night cleaning! Sounds to me you need a lesson in time management and maybe go back to reading the rules on tenancies.

fyi, I am both a landlord (in Sydney) and tenant (in Canberra) and can appreciate the issues on both sides. I want to know my investment as a landlord is being kept up to scratch for re-sale value and make sure that the % I pay agents to manage my property is earned. As a tenant, I want to make a good impression to the agent on behalf of the landlord to demonstrate that I am a good tenant for the property. I also want to live in my unit so why not keep it clean.

Anyway, you should explain the situation, apologise to the agent, invite them to another inspection (if they haven’t already asked for one) and show them that you can keep it tidy and to their expectations — and for goodness sake be at home!

Finally, people usually bag out agents but I just want to say that, despite some repairs taking an extraordinary long time to be fixed (air conditioning), I have nothing but praise with my real estate agent from Independent in Civic. They give at least 8 weeks notice for inspections, allow me to book a time with them for the inspection, plus they send me that inspection checklist I talked about above. Very professional and very easy!

MissChief 1:05 pm 10 May 10

Woody Mann-Caruso said “arguments with these legumes…”

hahahaha…. but aren’t they?!

Have and still deal with Property Managers from a landlord and a renter perspective and let me tell you, the only ones who are ever right are them! Direct communication between tenant and owner is far more efficient in settling matters mutually and rationally.

I personally wouldn’t worry about one bad report. The cat issue needs sorting though.

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