From the other perspective - crazy landlord!

Ok, so maybe not crazy, but here goes.

My sister was living in a place here in Sydney with another girl, who owned the place. A normal two-bedder. They didn't know each other overly well but they went to the same school together, although in different years.

Anyway, this all started around six months ago, when my sister moved in. The small things added up (As they do) but my sister decided she was going to leave when the lease was up. Then the landlord started having this guy live in her room with her. No dramas about that. Except my sister's room has a balcony attached to it, there's also access to that balcony through the other girls bedroom.

Every morning my sister would wake up to the smell of smoke as the boyfriend would be smoking on the balcony. He didn't stop after my sister left a note about it. Instead he'd reach through my sister's security grill and shut my sister's balcony door if it was open. Which was also unnerving for my sister. And she could still smell the smoke.

Added to that, the landlord decided to start painting the kitchen. My sister was away for two months in December and they agreed the LL would paint it then and even said she could let the bf use her bedroom. But she didn't and painting started when my sister was then. There were ladders up and the kitchen was unusable.

Anyway, the relationship had become pretty hostile, although it was all under the surface. My sister decided to break lease, move out early and cited breaches by the LL. I think it was about 2-4 weeks before the lease was up.

Then we found out that the LL had never filed the bond with the bond board and my sister asked her for the Bond receipt. Isn't it a $2,500 fine if you don't do it in 7 days? So finally the girl lodged it after 4.5-5 months.

Then when my sister moved out, the LL has claimed it, although we don't know what for. At one point when my sister moved out she got a very abusive email from the LL that had a bunch of insults in it. My sister didn't respond and kept things cordial.

Anyway the LL used to work for Macquarie Bank and she has some sort of legal degree. So we're wondering what she's going to claim.

To my sister's credit, she took photos of all the kitchen painting that was a clear breach, as well as keeping copies of all the emails. She has all the evidence stacked up.

Oh and not to mention that there was no condition report when my sister moved in.

On the surface, I really can't see what this girl could have up her sleeve. Any dirty tricks you guys think we should be weary of? The conciliation is on Monday and we're all scratching our heads trying to figure out what the LL might be getting ready to throw. Besides which, couldn't she get a fine for never having filed the bond? Not having a condition report doesn't help either, I'd have though.

The ONLY thing I can think of is that my sister did have a guy she was dating stay in her room overnight a few times, is that a breach? It was never more than one night in a row and he never ate any meals there or anything, so it's not like he was living there.

Please help me out, what do you think the LL could have that we haven't thought of? What do you guys think will happen? How does conciliation work and if one party isn't happy, do you usually go to the tribunal the same day or the next day? PLEASE HELP!
 
The LL is in breach on a few counts as you have suggested....what you do need to study in full is the rental agreement and it's terms and conditions...which should have included the condition report.

Having a friend stay a few nights here and there is not a breach at all as far as I know.

Make sure that abusive email is shown at the hearing along with any other evidence you think will be a help.

Bond can't be taken away unless there is an agreement by the two parties, or it goes to the tribunal for a claim on the bond....as far as I know.

This LL sure looks dodgy to me.....legal degree ay....yeah sure....:rolleyes: So what does that entitle them to...??? To frighten and threaten your sister into submission...?

I sure hope you get the right result, as I feel you should....and will be keen to see the outcome.....good luck...you shouldn't need it but I wish it anyway...take care.
 
Landlord is clearly in the wrong for not lodging bond and condition report. (I would assume) this will go against her. Not sure if she will be fined (let's hope so :D). Make sure this is at the very top of the page in BOLD.

Get your sister to timeline everything. Keep it short, precise, business like. Maybe have her include that her boyfriend stayed over two or three times, so that it is all there and it doesn't look like she is hiding anything (not that there is anything wrong with that anyway).

Is she going to attend tribunal if the landlord takes her there? I would.

When my parents went to tribunal, we kept it short, concise and the "judge" actually took our timeline and read it (which is why you need to keep it short and concise).

Tenants were sullen and rude. We were pleasant and polite. We won :D.

Good luck to your sister.
 
Thanks so much for the idea Wylie, I just finished having dinner with my sister and she had all her documents there. My sister informed her Landlord that she was going to move out subject to breaches of 7.1, 7.2 of the Tenancy Code (whatever it's called) - namely, breach of "quiet enjoyment" by email. The Landlord accepted her termination, via email. It was later that the landlord claimed the bond, despite twice, via email commiting to giving it back. It was only filed with the bond board after my sister told her she'd talked with fairtrading, but she'd twice mentioned in emails at the beginning of the lease that she was going to do it, so she can't claim ignorance.

So now that we've got the time-line going, it's much clearer and more obvious.

I forgot to mention that my sister was away for two months where she wasn't using the place but she paid her rent the whole time. Fair enough, obviously. In that time it was agreed that the landlord was going to paint the apartment and the kitchen. My sister said the landlord's boyfriend could use her room as he was the painter, my sister's generous and didn't see a reason not to.

Nothing was done in those two months and the work started after my sister was back. So it's not like my sister is a horror tenant.

So again, thank you so much for the feedback Wylie.

Also thanks to Thorpey, I'll include the basic email with the stuff I prepare for my sister. I'm the more academic one, she's a creative graphic designer type, which probably why her landlord doesn't want to lose to someone she perceives as a lower form of life. I've met the landlord, she seems to rank the worth of people by their intellect - those people frighten me...

Oh and cheers to Ozperp who sent me a great PM, meant a lot, so thank you.

As for Dazz's feedback, I understand where you're coming from and I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that you're not implying I'm being dishonest or holding back.
 
My sister informed her Landlord that she was going to move out subject to breaches of 7.1, 7.2 of the Tenancy Code (whatever it's called) - namely, breach of "quiet enjoyment" by email. The Landlord accepted her termination, via email.
I was still concerned that your sister hadn't given the landlord the opportunity to remedy the breach, but it appears that in NSW there's no obligation to do so. :rolleyes: This page states that "If there is a breach of the tenancy agreement, a notice period of 14 days applies." So if she gave two weeks' notice, she should be on reasonably solid ground.

Where did she go to? If she moved into another share house, then it will be obvious to the decision-maker that she moved because she found living there unbearable. If, however, she moved back home rent-free, or moved in with her boyfriend, they may suspect an ulterior motive in breaking the lease, so she should be prepared to justify herself if either of these apply. ;)

Does your sister have records (eg email) of having agreed to the boyfriend/painter using her room while she was absent so that the house could be painted? Otherwise this really may not be relevant; I don't think that painting would be considered a substantial breach of "quiet enjoyment". (Though I may be mistaken.)
 
As a Landlord with my Landlord's hat on for a moment, I'm suspect that there is a Lease at all. These cosy 2 bed flats where two girls live, where one owns and one moves in.....usually don't involve water tight fully registered Leases. More of a wink and a nod and a "oh that'd be really cool" type of arrangement.


Have you actually got a fully signed up copy of the Lease ??


I would suspect the general situation that you describe more of a "boarder" or sub-Tenant.....and in our state they have far less rights that a fully blown Tenant. Don't be surprised if the legally trained Landlord has a few sledgehammer's up her sleeve....


I'd also suggest the [wafting smoke / balcony / security / I feel unsafe] type scenario thingy will go nowhere. If that is the top priority of your sister, then establishing her own unit would be the go.....and if she can't afford it but it still rates as the top priority in her and yours mind.....then that's when good, wealthy big brothers step up into the breach. ;)
 
I'm with Dazz. Much of this will probably rest on the lease and if she's legally trained she'll probably have this stitched up.

If she's bluffing and the proper procedures of lease not carried out then it would probably be to your sisters advantage.

I attended a hearing as a witness for a Landlord against a boarder in a similar situation a couple of weeks ago in the Magistrates Court, and that was thrown out as there was no lease.

The Magistrate appeared to see through the situation and favour the Landlord but could not enforce what they were seeking because of this.

And he wasn't interested in housemate 'habits' or grieviances either.
 
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I wasn't going to reply until Monday, but I feel tempted enough. I'll give more details after then.

There is a lease and there are a few big points on it that the landlord has breached. Also, my sister communicated everything with the landlord via email, just in case and so she would have it in writing. Wise choice it turns out.

There is a lease, but no condition report (I assume it's the LL responsibility to have the condition report made up). Oh, did I mention the bond wasn't filed with the bond board until AFTER my sister told her she'd spoken with fair trading? A solid 5 months late mind you.

I'll write more later, I just don't want the LL to stumble across this and start cooking up stories. It's a long shot, but I'm a little paranoid, I can't fathom why the LL would risk a $2,500 fine for not lodging the bond for the sake of max. two weeks rent. So I'll keep the aces up my sleeve for the moment, but rest assured, I'll give you the full story when the tribunal is over. I guess some people are ridiculously spiteful.

Thanks for the replies so far, just wondering if there's any advice out there on how much the tribunal goes by the letter of the law and how much it goes by what they reckon is "fair go"?
 
Thanks so much for the idea Wylie, I just finished having dinner with my sister and she had all her documents there. My sister informed her Landlord that she was going to move out subject to breaches of 7.1, 7.2 of the Tenancy Code (whatever it's called) - namely, breach of "quiet enjoyment" by email. The Landlord accepted her termination, via email. It was later that the landlord claimed the bond, despite twice, via email commiting to giving it back. It was only filed with the bond board after my sister told her she'd talked with fairtrading, but she'd twice mentioned in emails at the beginning of the lease that she was going to do it, so she can't claim ignorance.

So now that we've got the time-line going, it's much clearer and more obvious.

I forgot to mention that my sister was away for two months where she wasn't using the place but she paid her rent the whole time. Fair enough, obviously. In that time it was agreed that the landlord was going to paint the apartment and the kitchen. My sister said the landlord's boyfriend could use her room as he was the painter, my sister's generous and didn't see a reason not to.

Nothing was done in those two months and the work started after my sister was back. So it's not like my sister is a horror tenant.

So again, thank you so much for the feedback Wylie.

Also thanks to Thorpey, I'll include the basic email with the stuff I prepare for my sister. I'm the more academic one, she's a creative graphic designer type, which probably why her landlord doesn't want to lose to someone she perceives as a lower form of life. I've met the landlord, she seems to rank the worth of people by their intellect - those people frighten me...

Oh and cheers to Ozperp who sent me a great PM, meant a lot, so thank you.

As for Dazz's feedback, I understand where you're coming from and I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that you're not implying I'm being dishonest or holding back.[/QUOTE

Eh? doesn't what you are saying in the bold type, make you seem a tad hypocritical? You are the only one presuming that you are 'more academic' and your sister is a 'lower form of life'.
 
I wasn't going to reply until Monday, but I feel tempted enough. I'll give more details after then.

There is a lease and there are a few big points on it that the landlord has breached. Also, my sister communicated everything with the landlord via email, just in case and so she would have it in writing. Wise choice it turns out.
There is a lease, but no condition report (I assume it's the LL responsibility to have the condition report made up). Oh, did I mention the bond wasn't filed with the bond board until AFTER my sister told her she'd spoken with fair trading? A solid 5 months late mind you.

I'll write more later, I just don't want the LL to stumble across this and start cooking up stories. It's a long shot, but I'm a little paranoid, I can't fathom why the LL would risk a $2,500 fine for not lodging the bond for the sake of max. two weeks rent. So I'll keep the aces up my sleeve for the moment, but rest assured, I'll give you the full story when the tribunal is over. I guess some people are ridiculously spiteful.

Thanks for the replies so far, just wondering if there's any advice out there on how much the tribunal goes by the letter of the law and how much it goes by what they reckon is "fair go"?

Wouldn't you just love to share a flat with Gary's sister?

No mortgage for her, just pay rent and still think you own the place and have even more rights than the person who is paying the mortgage.

People like your sister and you, really **** me off.

Buy your own house if it is too difficult and you are too precious to pay rent!
 
Re: Jenny P, I wouldn't say it was a hypocritical assumption, I was using short-hand because I was pretty sure people aren't interested in reading the full description of me and my sister's personality types.

My view of intelligence is that it takes many forms and expressions, some people are awesome at sudoku, others are fantastic at painting, whilst others still have a gift engines. Our school systems rewards a few narrow bands of intelligence more than others. This becomes a social issue as those narrow bands tend to get a greater social reward than others. I'm not supporting that, just observing the effect it's having on this context.

As for your second post, I found it to be stunningly abusive without any call for it. You know little about me or my family and I wonder how you can assume so much about us.

I think your reaction comes from your own issues at the moment. I've been reading your thread and I truly feel for you. There's no way what's happening with your tennant is acceptable. I can't imagine living under those circumstances.

Still, that doesn't give you the right or invitation to take it out on what looks like a soft target. The only thing that will achieve is to perpetuate the cycle.

The other thing it does is discourage people from posting their personal experiences here which would defeat the purpose of a forum.

Why do you say my sister thinks she owns the place? How dare you madam, how dare you.

I truly hope that you have a positive solution to your own problems, but to draw parallels between your situation and my sister's is baseless and ridiculous. Best of luck with your situation and please do me the favour of not responding to this thread anymore.

Likewise for anyone else who has nothing to offer but straight abuse. Constructive criticism (a la Dazz's posts) are welcome.
 
Yes, we have been unable to collect on tenant damage in the past because the tenant didn't fill out a inspection report.

We fixed that. In our lease we now have a clause that states the Inspection Report is considered to be "good" unless the tenant tells us otherwise in the first 10 days of the lease.
Never lost on that point..again.
Live and most importantly...learn
 
Smart Kathryn, I don't think the LL will be claiming any damage though.

Either way, Landlord or tenant, I guess the principle is the same: read the agreement and abide by it. Although, some issues can't be put into an agreement, are very hard to define or very subjective in their interpretation.

FWIW, from what I understand my sister wasn't staying at the flat for the last two weeks she paid for, she was staying on a friend's couch. The relationship between LL and tenant had gotten pretty bad.
 
the principle is the same: read the agreement and abide by it.

Agreed - in principle, this is all one needs to do. If everyone did this, there would be no need for tribunals or even laws.


Although, some issues can't be put into an agreement, are very hard to define or very subjective in their interpretation.

Agreed - but this is where a comprehensive, all encompassing Lease running to a tome come in handy. Most Leases are mickey mouse and don't cover 20% of the issues that can arise, leaving an 80% black hole for confusion and interpretation to muddy the waters.

If your sister or yourself saw one of my leases, you would agree that every issue can be put in....but she's a weighty document and would likely scare the bejesus out of you to the point that you wouldn't sign. It has in it a term whereby it states that ;

"This is the entire agreement between the parties, and all previous correspondence / paperwork etc is now irrelevant after execution by the parties."

Little things like "yeah but, you said" and "I thought we agreed that..." don't mean jack squat.

The relationship between LL and tenant had gotten pretty bad.

This is where it all breaks down, as there are clearly two parallel's going on here. The formal signed off paperwork relationship, which covers bugger all....and then the real one, that involves smelly boyfriends, leaving the butter knife on the kitchen sink and someone not picking up their dirty knickers off the laundry floor.

The latter "relationship" is obviously the one to avoid at all costs between Landlord and Tenant.
 
Wouldn't you just love to share a flat with Gary's sister?

No mortgage for her, just pay rent and still think you own the place and have even more rights than the person who is paying the mortgage.

People like your sister and you, really **** me off.

Buy your own house if it is too difficult and you are too precious to pay rent!

Steady on there, Jenny! :eek:
 
Dazz, you hit the nail right on the head. Very well put.

That's why I don't share. I myself had a nightmarish experience of moving in to a spare room this girl had. She was totally batsh*t insane. There's a reason it only lasted eight days and I spent half of those at a girl's place who I was dating at the time.

We agreed I'd leave by the Friday, then she changed her mind and told me I would need to be gone by Tuesday. I asked for the corresponding days rent back and she hit the roof. Started swearing, becoming absusive. It was about $90 worth of rent. She accused me of causing her mental distress and saying I was a very hard person to live with, etc....

I could go into all the details but it was stuff like me asking her if she could turn the music down because my huge headphones still couldn't block it out while I sat in my room. Asking about the broadband plan, asking if there was a spare towel because I didn't have one the night I moved in. She said no to all requests and I was ok with that, didn't make an issue of it. But she said those were the reasons she was so upset.

I didn't argue with her, just said: "I'm sorry you felt that way, I wish you could have told me how you felt at the time, I had no idea you were so upset".

Oh and here's the best one of the lot, the sink was full of dirty dishes and she didn't even rinse her cereal bowl after eating. So I washed all the dishes, dried them and put them away. She asked me not to because she felt it was encroaching on her sense of independence! I tried to hint that I lose my appetite when the sink is full of nasty, foul dishes. I told her I did them for me, not for her - which was the truth.

Anyway, I let her keep the $90 and literally ran after she gave me my bond back and didn't give her a forwarding address, blocked her number on my phone. Those people are toxic. The way I saw it, paying $90 never to have to deal with her again was a total bargain.

There's still a little voice in my head that regret's not fighting it, but if I were to fight those kinds of fights, I'd never get anything else done and I'd get dragged into their pit of misery.

The only other comment I have on the size of your lease agreement is that it's not very practical if a tenant is looking at a tonne of places, it takes a while to read those kinds of documents and some just aren't very good at reading legalese.

I can already hear your fingers hammering on the keyboard so let me quickly qualify - I think the kind of lease you have is great, I reckon it saves more time in the long run as it's all there in black and white. Part of me wouldn't mind if having to concede points to you on the basis of that kind of lease because I can then say to myself: "It's my fault for not having read the lease" and then it's easier for me to say to myself: "I have to take responsibility, you live and learn, fair enough, I understand where the LL is coming from, he's probably been burnt before, I'll pay the cash and then it will be done with".

Whereas what's happening with my sister would stress me out, because there is too much room for ambiguity. So good on you for having such a thorough lease agreement, if only the government gave incentives for that, then it would save the government a lot of money in the long run in running tribunals. Or maybe not, "believing is seeing" and some tenants (and LandLords) refuse to see the black and white text that doesn't serve them and would challenge it anway.

The paperwork does cover a fair bit though, IMO but then again, I haven't seen many leases before, so I couldn't really say. On paper the bridge to the two parallels you referred to is what constitutes a breach of someone's "quiet enjoyment of the residence"? That where a weighty tome of a lease would probably help
 
Wouldn't you just love to share a flat with Gary's sister?

No mortgage for her, just pay rent and still think you own the place and have even more rights than the person who is paying the mortgage.

People like your sister and you, really **** me off.

Buy your own house if it is too difficult and you are too precious to pay rent!

My goodness. The leopard has just changed her spots.
 
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