Do I have opportunity to change VCAT decision?

I am struggling with some maintenance issue here. Tenants lodged a case to VCAT to repair the following things. My agent said the VCAT hearing placed a order to repair them by 6 June.

- vulcan wall gas heater

The heater is more than 40 years old. It was working when I rented the house to the tenants. The fan of the heater stopped working now. I called some gas company and they said they can have a look at it if I could pay $100. But I suspect I might need to pay fortune to repair a 40 years old heater and the ongoing maintenance fee might be very high.

I have installed a brand new split air condition which is cost $1400 in total.
The tenants still insist on getting vulcan gas heater fixed which I don't think it is reasonable. I don't understand why I need to pay the cost to fix the heater which was damaged by them.


- Repair the lock of Garage
I was not given a key for the garage when I bought the house. I never advertised the garage is locked when I rented it out. There is a gate in the back yard which can be locked.




- The tenants never pay rent on time. I've lodged 2 VCAT hearing to get them vacated but all failed. The case was adjourned first time when the rent were 2 weeks behind. Then they paid the rest of money. The second time the rent were 1 month behind. But they paid the full money before the VCAT hearing. Agent told me VCAT took more than 10 days to schedule a hearing even if the case was adjourned before.

I ended up paying VCAT hearing costs again and again without getting any positive outcome.

Now they started to bring up trivial things to make my life harder. I don't mind spending money to get the issues fixed if they are good tenant. But my concern is they will make more and more troubles in the future if I get the heater and lock fixed this time.


I don't think the decision made by VCAT to ask me repair the heater and garage lock is reasonable. Do you think I have an opportunity to change their decision ? What's the process ?

What's the worst case scenario for me if I cant get them fixed on time?

Any suggestion would be highly appreciated.

Thanks
 
I don't think the decision made by VCAT to ask me repair the heater and garage lock is reasonable.

One the flip side, a tenant who inspects a property offered for rental might reasonably expect that seeing a gas heater installed, that the heater actually works and that the garage lock has a key that works. :rolleyes:

These could reasonably be expected to be made good by you as a LL. Not having a key to the garage door is easily fixed - just get on and do it.

I'm not sure how you get around the 'I installed a split cycle A/C' in lieu of getting the old gas heater repaired issue. And tenants getting behind in rent is also a situation you don't need and I'd be looking to terminate their tenancy as soon as their lease runs out.....but that is another issue.

You probably need to take some advice about the heater - especially now that you have a VCAT decision. Did your PM represent you at the hearing or did you represent yourself?
 
Honestly, a split system is not a heater. In loo of repairing the heater, you would need to replace the heater with another heater. A tribunnal is unlikely to except this exchange in a cold climate, but I guess you can always try.

The garage should lock provided there is a keyhole in the door to suggest it is lockable - the tenant has reasonable expectation, just get it fixed.

As for the late payment. Definitely stay on top of that, follow proceedures and if they give you an oppertunity evict, just don't expect it to be an easy process. But the tribunnal will not be friendly to a LL they feel are trying to dodge their responsibillities in other area's, such as upkeep and maintainence of a property.
 
Thanks for your input

Thanks a lot for your responding.

The split A/C was installed before I rented the house out. The gas heater worked fine when I rented it out. But the fan stopped working now.

The PM represent me at the hearing. Do you think any benefit if I attend the hearing?


I'm not sure how you get around the 'I installed a split cycle A/C' in lieu of getting the old gas heater repaired issue. And tenants getting behind in rent is also a situation you don't need and I'd be looking to terminate their tenancy as soon as their lease runs out.....but that is another issue.

You probably need to take some advice about the heater - especially now that you have a VCAT decision. Did your PM represent you at the hearing or did you represent yourself?
 
It's OK for your PM to represent you at the hearing, provided you trust them to vigorously defend your position. I suspect they have difficulty presenting a vigorous defence on your behalf, because - like a few of us - they know that your position isn't reasonable. :eek:

The fact that the split system a/c was there before they moved in is even more reason why you should fix the gas heater; it obviously wasn't installed as a replacement for the gas heater. The tenant moved into a property with the split AND a gas heater, and they're entitled to expect them to be working.

When you say that the heater was "damaged by them", do you mean that you think they vandalised it (which seems ridiculous), or do you mean that it happened while they are living there? If the latter, that's really irrelevant. If the HWS fails, do you expect them to pay for that, too? :rolleyes:

If so, then you'd better stop buying residential property and start playing Dazz's game; then you can be a hands-off landlord and expect the tenant to do everything.

Fix/replace the gas heater, get a locksmith to make a key for the garage door (and a couple of spares), and move on. Whatever you do, do not put yourself in a position where you're in violation of a Tribunal order, or you'll really find them unsympathetic when this tenant leaves owing you a bundle of rent.
 
Thanks for your input

Many thanks to you all for your opinions. I understand I need to take landlord responsibility regardless how dodgy my tenant is. I learned I cant be too emotional when I deal with the renting property. I do need to learn how to take it as a business in a professional way. There are lots of stuff for me to learn and experience. I know it won't be a pleasant journey but I have to face the difficulty and move forward.

Thank you all!
 
- vulcan wall gas heater

The heater is more than 40 years old. It was working when I rented the house to the tenants. The fan of the heater stopped working now.
I don't understand why I need to pay the cost to fix the heater which was damaged by them.


- Repair the lock of Garage
I was not given a key for the garage when I bought the house. I never advertised the garage is locked when I rented it out.


- The tenants never pay rent on time.

If the heater is more than 40 years old, i don't view this as the tenant damaging it. Reasonable wear and tear and to no fault of the tenant did the heater stop working. Also agreeing with (Ozperp?) on this, if the a/c was there before the tenancy agreement was undertaken then it's obvious the a/c wasn't installed as a replacement.

I believe this is how VCAT would view it too.

If i purchased a property and wasn't given a key to the garage, i would immediately get a lock smith out pay the $100 or what ever it is and get the thing replaced and a few spare keys to avoid situations like this.

If a garage was mentioned in the tenancy agreement, then it is your problem to fix it because you didn't supply all keys to the tenants.

And finally, just because you have a cr@p tenant doesn't mean you can't fix things and fight at tribunal that the reason you refuse to fix parts of the property is because of the tenant not paying their part. Some times the system is unfair and doesn't work in your favour, but the tenancy will run out and you can vacate them without any more hearings and be done with their petty requests for good.
 
free gas quotes

Dear Quick Zebra,
I found lots of gas fitter/plumbers who will give you a free quote, I just did a google search 'free quote gas fitter plumber' and my suburb!
The agent tried to charge me $100 to get two quote. I sent them two plumbers to contact!
;)
Which they managed to do eventually
I hope this helps
Good Luck
 
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