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Problems with Real Estate agents at final inspections?

By winter 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?

What’s Your opinion?


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54 Responses to
Problems with Real Estate agents at final inspections?
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Nadsid 7:38 pm 18 Oct 14

I have to agree with everyone-awful experience with Badenoch. I am currently in a tribunal for my bond and have complained to fair trading and human rights commission for harassment, victimisation and racism…

scorpio63 11:28 am 11 Jun 12

+1 Johnboy

claw 10:52 pm 10 Jun 12

Hi Winter
It sounds to me like you would have a strong case for going to ACAT mediation. Like many others, I’ve had to deal with rotten property managers as a tenant. I believe a some see property management as a “way in” to the real estate industry, and simply use it as a stepping stone to a more lucrative job as a sales agent (not that this is any excuse for poor behaviour). I’m now a landlord and have my property with a rental specialist, who knows the value of finding good tenants and keeping them.

I’m not familiar the ACT Tenancy Act, so the only suggestion I would make is to write to the agency and advise them of what you want, what you will do if you request is not met (i.e. go to tribunal) and give them time to respond (say 5 working days?). I used this tactic once in NSW and the property manager backed off quicksmart (and finally got some repairs done to the property).

Let us know how you go.

cantdance 9:57 pm 10 Jun 12

Thankfully I’ve never had any problems when leaving a rental property, but I have heard of so many tenants having problems.

One thing I want to mention – you DO NOT have to steam clean the carpets when you leave! You only have to do it if: you have stained the carpet (and even then you only have to have the stain professionally cleaned), or you have a pet clause.

Just because carpets were steam cleaned at the start of the tenancy, you do not have to have them steam cleaned on vacating.

I’ve rented a number of properties and I’ve never had the carpets steam cleaned. EVER. It’s the landlords responsibility – not yours.

The agent/landlord can try and threaten you with court etc but they will never win. Having an added clause in your rental agreement is invalid and unenforcable. It’s in breach of the tenancy act.

So, don’t waste your money and don’t do it. The more people who stand up to these agents who try and force tenants to do things they don’t legally have to the better.

JohnK 4:41 pm 04 Jun 12

Badenoch are well-known for treating tenant’s rental bond as a profit opportunity. Tenant money is for the taking. They figure if tenants complain or take it to the tribunal, well, they might just go on the black list -and try renting after that, ho ho.

Gungahlin_Bob 8:08 pm 30 May 12

Gooday,

Yeh, its a sales pitch, but a good one….hitting a lot of known issues on the head.
Its a part of the industry that needs some professionalism, and what you seem to have, by your description and Website, seems to be leading in that direction.

Your separation from sales is a good one, and I hope it works out for you. If I put a house up for lease, will look around for you.

Regards

Bob

gooday 12:48 pm 29 May 12

If you do end up going to ACAT perhaps request that an inspection be conducted by an independent agent (eg http://rentalpropertyinspections.com.au/) where they only do inspections so aren’t aligned with any property managers or real estate agents. The cost is between $150 and $180 from memory, but that’s better than losing the bond.

I’ve been renting in Canberra for over 10 years and got so sick of the lack of services and poor excuses provided by Agents that I started my own Agency (Distinct Property Management – http://www.distinctpm.com.au). We launched in March of this year and whilst I don’t want to make this a sales pitch, I do want to get the message out there that all agents aren’t the same.

We love our tenants, just as much as our owners because we know that a happy tenant will pay rent on time and look after a property much better than a dissatisfied one.

We offer a product called BondSafe where tenants can opt-in to pay a small premium in addition to thier rent for the duration of thier lease, and at the end of the lease we engage a professional cleaner to carry out an end of lease clean (including carpets) and if there are any problems at final inspection with the clean then the cleaners come back and fix them as they are contracted by us (not the tenant). We receive discount rates from the cleaners because we buy in bulk and we pass these discounts on to the tenants. We don’t take kickbacks or charge admin fees for this service. We know what it’s like to get to the end of a tenancy, have to pay another bond, four weeks rent, clean and move all at the same time. That’s why we offer this BondSafe solution.

At Distinct we also allow our tenants to communicate directly with the property owner through our online system – so whilst you don’t see the owners name or personal details you can leave them a message about the services you have recieved as a tenant from Distinct. We think this is the best way to hold us accountable and to be completely transparent. All maintenance requests are also processed through the online system so the request and any notes etc are visible to all parties.

We specialise in property management, we don’t have a sales department to disctract us. We want the process of renting a property to be a pleasant one for tenants and for owning an investment property to be hassle free for owners.

Sorry if that was a bit of a sales pitch, but I get frustrated because property management service has been so crap for so long in Canberra (and expensive) and no one seems to have been accountable for anything.

I’m hoping Distinct will change all of that.

Regards
Chris Scullin
Director
Distinct Property Management

winter 10:45 am 29 May 12

Monomyth said :

Out of curiosity, did they always pass you at your 6 monthly inspections? It would be better for your case if up until then every other inspection had been fine. I know they’re not as in-depth as a final inspection but there should have been some indication that there were issues up until now.

There was never a problem with the routine inspections, and that was during the over 3 years I was there.

DeskMonkey 4:00 pm 28 May 12

Frankie118 said :

@winter, I’ve just realised that no one has really helped you with your original question and we have all just had a big whinge. [\quote]
I did:
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.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 3:40 pm 28 May 12

Seems badenoch has quite a bad name around town. I’d hope this will cause them to either fix their own issues or lose a lot of business.

shazbot 3:15 pm 28 May 12

Ah yes, Badenoch Belconnen, the only property managers I’ve ever had any issues with. My young property manager, who I’d had no problems with before, was accompanied at the final inspection by another, older, pit-bull-like woman, who treated my partner and I like utter scum. I stupidly conceded to many of their requests to fix pre-existing problems (I was young, it was only my second rental, what did I know?), at the cost of several hundred dollars. The final straw came when, a few days after we finally got the inspection signed off, the young manager gave me a call to say that they now wanted us to plant a few trees (in the middle of the drought), as the owner was putting the property up for sale and wanted it to look better at that weekend’s inspection!

Suffice to say, like many others, we have been careful to keep well away from them when renting and buying, and would strongly encourage others to do the same. Much more professional, efficient and just plain polite property management, in my experience, through Elders Belconnen and First National Gungahlin, and purchasing through Mark at LJ Hooker Manuka.

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