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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?


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54 Responses to Problems with Real Estate agents at final inspections?
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Gungahlin_Bob 7:46 am 28 May 12

jayskette,

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.

Regards

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

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 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 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.

+1

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.

Likewise.

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 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 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 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
Jack

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 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.

Gungahlin_Bob 11:18 am 26 May 12

Just posting some thoughts and experiences….please note that they are general comments, and do not apply to all Property Managers/Real Estate Agents (in relation to rental properties).

Just so you have a background of where my comments come from. I rented in the first 10 years of my adult life. I bought a house after that, and then sold and bought another after family come along.
During those years of owning a house, I worked closely with, but not for, several different real estate agents, including knowing personally some of these people. When I moved to Canberra, I rented again for about a year, and finally bought another house.

One of the main issues with many of the Property managers is the age or experience. I have seen on many occasion over the years, property managers who have a couple of years under their belt, in some cases only just having reached 18 or 19 (having left school at 16) and still living at home, with no life experience in renting or buying a house. Whilst it varies from state to state, the necessary qualification takes between 5-8 weeks, which can even be done online, and allows them to put Property Manager next to their name. One of the issues is that this course does not provide any experience, does not provide the candidate with instant maturity and experience with dealing with people.

Another issue is the way that Property Managers view the Renters. Right from the time that they start in Real Estate, they take a view that all renters rent because they can’t afford a house or apartment which is an incorrect view, and is more prevalent in Property Managers of a young age. I have heard on many occasions the comments about renters whilst being inside the offices. Renters are also known as “lowies” which refers to low income, or “downers” which refers to down and out.

As many of us know, especially in today’s times, that many people make a choice to rent, instead of owning a house. Even my Brother who has owned a house, chooses to Rent, partly due to his job possibly requiring his relocation several times over his life time. The Landlord that got him probably could not be luckier, as he has made some major improvements to the property (in negotiation with the landlord) sharing costs, and him providing the labour for nothing. But this was his choice, and like many others it is their choice to rent, even though they could afford to buy a house.

Again to balance, some of the people that Property Managers have to deal with, may not be your ideal persons, but to taint everyone with the same brush comes down to their age and maturity. To be fair, if I was the same age, you would get jaded, and as I have seen, many of them do, and move out of the industry usually with 3-5 years or move into other roles in the industry.

I mentioned maturity before, and this is one of the issues. One of the other areas I have noticed is that for a young person who has attained Property Manager status, is feeling of “power” for the first time. This is not just an issue in the Property Industry, it is right through, including Call Centres (e.g. Supervisors), and Government Offices like Worksafe. This is not to say that young people cannot be Managers (I know it was what I was looking for when I started work), however it is done with some coaching and supervision. This is what is missing in many Real Estate offices, as the Property Manager is constantly left to their own devices. This is partly due to the margins, especially in smaller companies, and usually because the owner is working predominately on Sales or other areas of the business, in one case, working on running Training Courses (even Property Managers courses) to help keep the business afloat.

So you have a property manager of say 19-20 years dealing with 30-50 year old person with a little more life experience and quite often a lot more knowledge of the “laws” which can often lead to confrontation. This property manager feels her/his “power” is at threat, and they look for other “subjective” areas under their control, like cleaning, property maintenance to reassert their “authority”. Quite often it becomes an emotional issue for them.

Someone mentioned that they were persuaded to use the property managers cleaning firm. Again many real estate agents have a “select” group of contractors that they utilise, Whilst I have not seen evidence of it, I suspect that they get an “alleged” kickback, especially based on the way that they push these contractors. Sometimes it might not be a kickback, but more maintaining a relationship with that contractor for quick service, by providing the contractor with a constant flow of work. Likewise this pushing of a contractor also provides another power play loosely saying “use our contractor or expect us to pick your own cleaning job to pieces when it comes to inspection time”

When it finally came down to renting for me again, I went in with eyes wide open. First day in (before the furniture was moved in), I spent 3-4 hours, checking everything, writing all faults down, and finally a run of photographs. Yes it is 3-4 hours that I will never get back, but you look at the cost of the bond, and to a smaller degree, the position of power you have when your lease comes to an end.

I got professional cleaners in of my own choosing, as I did not have the time to complete cleaning myself. Needless to say at the end of my rental, 15-20 min inspection, and one main fault being some powder on the Ensuite tiles from the cleaning company, 20 secs later, signed off. Bond returned in full soon afterwards

To provide some positives based on my experiences in Canberra

McGrath – Gungahlin (Sales) – Went the extra mile and still treated us with respect when negotiating to buy

Sadil Quinlan -Braddon (Rentals) – a few minor issues, but on the whole professional. I put the few minor issues down to their dedication in looking after the Landlord which is understandable.

Just one Negative

A Flat Fee Real Estate based in Gungahlin. Whilst they have many testimonials from Sellers, I suspect that they would not get many from buyers. Naturally we all know, in the end that they work for the seller, but it does not prevent them providing some respect for the buyer. I first heard of the issues second hand, but actually experienced it recently, and I have a clear mandate to not go near them if I ever sell a property. They don’t know how close they were to losing the sale for their Seller for that property. I doesn’t take long till buyers start avoiding them, and sellers soon afterwards realising that buyers aren’t looking at their house.

Likewise the inverse, was happy with the real estate agent when I bought, and most likely the first one I approach if and when I sell. DIfference between and experienced and inexperienced Real Estate agent, they know how valuable return business is, and to treat everyone with respect. This applies to renters as well, some day, could be tomorrow, they could be interested in buying, you don’t want a black mark against your name, before you try to sell them a house.

Hope that provides some interesting insights…..

Regards
Bob

Frankie118 10:09 pm 25 May 12

@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. But I’m so glad I’m not the only one who has had problems with Badenoch – it’s nice to know it’s not all in my head!
Good luck with your mediation, and good on you for challenging it. If we have any unreasonable problems when we vacate, we are ready and willing to go to ACAT as we will no longer be pressured by a tight rental market as we were earlier in the year.

urchin 6:54 pm 25 May 12

fnaah said :

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.

if you had read up a little more you would’ve found that they aren’t allowed to do two inspections. if the agent says its ok, that is binding. i hope you didn’t get sucked into paying more. if the owner doesn’t like the agent’s evaluation the owner has to take it up with the agent, you are in teh clear.

m@ 5:12 pm 25 May 12

Some of them ‘pride’ themselves on never letting tenants get away without calling them back to clean something – seems to be a Canberra thing. Our previous agents called us back for ‘dust on the inside top surface of laundry cabinet door’ (when we moved in, the laundry cabinet was full of rubbish left by the previous tenants and the whole laundry was full of sawdust from work the owner was doing).

Real estate agents bear a superficial similarity to human beings in some respects, in fact laymen often confuse the two.

Frankie118 3:33 pm 25 May 12

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.

Calamity 3:28 pm 25 May 12

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.

1337Hax0r 3:06 pm 25 May 12

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.

gumby34 3:06 pm 25 May 12

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.

Bluenomi 3:02 pm 25 May 12

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!

wildturkeycanoe 2:52 pm 25 May 12

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.

DJ Mac 2:48 pm 25 May 12

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.

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