Body Corp excessive fees relating to secure key deactivation

Body Corp profiteering from tenants via excessive admin fees

Hi guys - a follow on from the popular 'AirBnB - 48 hour notice kick out' thread.

A friend has just vacated a property. The property requires 1x swipe card and 1x secure key in order to enter. There were two tenants on the lease and they received 2x swipe cards but only 1x secure key.

My friend requested a second secure key only to be told she would have to pay for one. She was charged $55 for this. In QLD I understand the law is 2x sets must be provided if there are 2x tenants on the lease. The PM says in Victoria this is not the case. I've tried contacting the Tenants Union of Victoria but they were not clear.

Fast forward to today.

My friend has moved out of the property and found out she lost one of the swipe cards. She also found out the 1x swipe card that she did have was disabled the day she moved out (14 days earlier than it should have been - which made moving out quite difficult).

When handing back the keys she returned 1x swipe card (one less than originally given), the original 1x secure key and the additional extra secure key she paid $55 for.

The PM / Body Corp is now demanding $65 to replace the swipe card and an additional $195 'de-activation fee' for the lost card ($270 total cost for a 'lost swipe card'). She also refuses to credit the $55 for the extra key.

The PM has also threatened to take her to VCAT over this if she doesn't sign by COB Friday (i.e. 3 days notice, which is strange considering the move out date was 39 days ago and only after us prompted has finally processed the bond claim form...)

I believe this $195 is excessive and unreasonable given the lost card has already been de-activated (it would have been done together with the original one). I have also seen some legal case information on the internet (still searching for link) where the outcome was that these Body Corp lost key charges were profiteering from tenants and banned. Key replacement costs need to reflect the actual cost. I have also noted the Body Corp 'contract' does mention $65 for a new key but nothing about the $195 de-activation fee.

FYI most searching I've done on the net shows many universities and such charging $25-50 for replacement keys (which seems about right, considering hotels will give them to you for free).

  1. In Victoria, if two people are listed on a lease, should she have received 2 sets of swipe cards and keys?
  2. Should she insist on a credit for the $55 key the tenant paid for and gave to the PM?
  3. Should she refuse to pay the $195 'de-activation' as the card was already de-activated and does not require de-activation AND the charge is excessive profiteering with precedence of being overturned in court?

Happy to go to VCAT on this one but would like to do my homework first.
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