Problems with Real Estate agents at final inspections?

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?
Nadsid 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 scorpio63 11:28 am 11 Jun 12

+1 Johnboy

claw 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 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 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 Gungahlin_Bob 8:08 pm 30 May 12


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.



gooday 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 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 – 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.

Chris Scullin
Distinct Property Management

winter 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 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 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 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.

Gungahlin_Bob Gungahlin_Bob 7:46 am 28 May 12


Don’t get me wrong, they are not what I would call a dream Property Manager, they are a little bit tough.

However, in the end, they responded to our issues, they gave correct timely notices of inspection, and in general they were fair in their dealings, including obtaining swift responses on matters from the landlords.

Sometimes its going to be how hard the landlord is on them as well. I am sure that they deal with a long term rental (e.g. a house purposely bought for renting over many years) slightly different versus a short term rental (e.g. owner that has been posted elsewhere and is only renting out for a year or two). Short term rentals seem to be more prevalent in Canberra due to the defence/public service nature where remote postings are quite common.


Generally as a renter, that’s all you can ask for.

jayskette jayskette 11:43 pm 27 May 12

Gungalin_Bob – Sadil Quinlan -Braddon (Rentals) – you can not be more WRONG! We are having so much trouble with this agency and wished we stayed with our last rental which was managed by Elders Balconnen – the best, most attentive and prompt service from their team!

Monomyth Monomyth 7:59 pm 27 May 12

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.

m_ratt m_ratt 6:01 pm 27 May 12

Mysteryman said :

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.


arescarti42 said :

The thing that really impressed me was I’d ask them questions about the place during the open house (where are the local shops, how is it heated, does it have a transact connection etc) and they consistently had NFI.


We applied for a place, waited a week and got rejected. Because of their policy of not providing a reason for rejection, we had no idea whether it was because we had a goldfish tank, the owner took a disliking to our application, or whether they would reject us for any other places we applied for.
In the end we just avoided their properties and inspections like the plague. Utterly unprofessional.

Their not necessarily the agency with the most idiotic policies however, but that’s a tale for another day.

arescarti42 arescarti42 12:15 pm 27 May 12

Oh wow, I applied for a number of rental places with Badenoch very recently, and I’m really glad they didn’t offer me any of them after reading those comments. The thing that really impressed me was I’d ask them questions about the place during the open house (where are the local shops, how is it heated, does it have a transact connection etc) and they consistently had NFI.

The other agency that really impressed me was Ray White Gungahlin, their leasing agent was frequently late to inspections and once didn’t show up at all.

Their loss in both cases, some other agency and landlord just got some awesome tenants instead.

GardeningGirl GardeningGirl 10:14 am 27 May 12

Thanks for those insights Gungahlin Bob, and I completely agree about them needing to understand the value of return business.

Known_only_as_Jack Known_only_as_Jack 7:26 pm 26 May 12

Good Day,

My father got done in one of the properties he rented. He didn’t do check through the condition report when he signed the lease (as he desperately needed a house). During the final inspection he was done for stains on the ceiling, burnt carpet, damaged bench top, damage paint, cracked shower screen, the list was very extensive.

He managed to get a hold on the previous leasers final inspection report and, low and behold, it was identical to his.

After the hearing he only needed to replace the shower screen (which the landlord could prove had been previously replaced – with standard glass (guaranteed to break on cold Canberra mornings).

Still the Condition report can be your best friend or worst enemy.

Best of Luck

Sandman Sandman 4:00 pm 26 May 12

I’ve had experiences before where the agent has pointed out their “issues” at inspection time, I’ve attended to one or 2 of them ,told her I had redone them all and she hadn’t noticed that most issues were exactly the same as last time and passed the inspection. This proved to me that they often find problems that aren’t there just to satisfy their little power trip.

Of course, most of my renting was done when I was single and in my 20’s, and if I told you that I never flirted a little bit with not-very-attractive female property managers in order to get a good deal/inspection report then I’d be lying.

Frustrated Frustrated 11:24 am 26 May 12

I dont miss the days of ‘renting’ one bit. I bought my 1st house over a decade ago now, but I still remember the many property managers my housemates and I had to endure in decades past.

They feel they have a position of power of you, and act acordingly many of them.

I am looking forward to being the landlord and turning things around.

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