Is a rental application approval binding on landlord in Qld?

I had a rental application approved for a property I wish to rent. Now it's a long story but basically between the approval and the signing of the lease there was about a 2 week period during which I had to connect phone/adsl/electricity. This was done with full knowledge and agreement of the Agent.

The application including a condition that application was conditional on successful ADSL connection being made.

Now after all of that and after packing up half my house, the day I was supposed to go and sign lease/pay bond etc I got a call saying the owner had changed his mind and was going to sell the property. Thank god I hadn't given notice to leave on my existing property at that point.

I was under the impression that acceptance of an application was binding until the lease was signed. However the agent specifically said NOT to pay a deposit. I'm wondering if I have a legitimate claim to compensation for the utility connections (particularly the ADSL which will incur early termination fees) given they were connected with agent approval and that it was only done on the basis of the approved application?
 
*facepalm* why didn't I think of that? I just spoke to them and they had the opinion that it was definitely a binding agreement. They weren't sure if I had recourse through the tribunal or small claims court but I'll follow that up a bit further.
 
i think youd have a good case.

Acted in reliance .........

North Brissie and u got ADSL connected, wow, cant be on the Kalangur exchange :)

ta
rolf
 
North Brissie and u got ADSL connected, wow, cant be on the Kalangur exchange :)

rolf

Hi Rolf,

long time no speak... It was Whiteside... Dead centre between Petrie and Dayboro exchange and very marginal for ADSL. I'm a web developer and therefore ADSL is mandatory so had to ensure it was available. I told the agent straight up that if I'd signed a lease without checking and couldn't get ADSL I'd be forced to break lease immediately so they agreed to wait for it.
 
I have a staffer telecommuting out of Kalangur exchange, no ports :(

Telstra wireless was next best .

Next to useless marginal GPRS coverage ( cant use a T165 handlheld in this house, that tells u how bad the signal is :( )

Client of mine who is a specialist in Radio Wave tech gave us some advice and now after much exxy coax and an elevated roof mount directional aerial we now have a girl that can sorta work from home.

Still huge lag though compared to ADSL when logging into server etc , but better than smoke signals :)

ta
rolf
 
Well the plot thickens with this one. I've made several attempts to resolve this quietly. But I'm not getting anywhere. The property went under contract a couple of days after it was listed. I called up the selling agent to see if the buyer was interested in renting it out. They told me definitely not, the buyer wants to occupy. So I told them the situation and asked if they wanted to have a word with the owner to sort it out so everyone can get on with their lives.

They said they'd get back to me but didn't hear from them for a week. I've also tried through the initial renting agent but I suspect relations between them and the owner are not very nice.

Lodged a dispute with RTA today and called the selling agent to tell them I'd done so and would be seeking either compensation or to have the 12 month lease enforced. I thought they should know because the fact that the property is subject to a legal dispute and could potentially have a 12 month lease in place was something the buyer might want to know. I'm not sure if they're going to tell the buyer or not but I'd expect they have a duty of care to disclose that.
 
Well the plot thickens with this one. I've made several attempts to resolve this quietly. But I'm not getting anywhere. The property went under contract a couple of days after it was listed. I called up the selling agent to see if the buyer was interested in renting it out. They told me definitely not, the buyer wants to occupy. So I told them the situation and asked if they wanted to have a word with the owner to sort it out so everyone can get on with their lives.

They said they'd get back to me but didn't hear from them for a week. I've also tried through the initial renting agent but I suspect relations between them and the owner are not very nice.

Lodged a dispute with RTA today and called the selling agent to tell them I'd done so and would be seeking either compensation or to have the 12 month lease enforced. I thought they should know because the fact that the property is subject to a legal dispute and could potentially have a 12 month lease in place was something the buyer might want to know. I'm not sure if they're going to tell the buyer or not but I'd expect they have a duty of care to disclose that.

You are well within your right to demand the lease. I think, given what you have said - it would in the owners best interest and the selling agents best interest to compensate you for your time, cost and inconvenience - if they don't want the sale to fall over.
 
You are well within your right to demand the lease. I think, given what you have said - it would in the owners best interest and the selling agents best interest to compensate you for your time, cost and inconvenience - if they don't want the sale to fall over.

I would think so to. That of course depends on whether they plan to tell the buyer though. They may just be trying to hold out until it's settled. Though I'd think that's pretty dumb if it is their plan.

I can't think of any way I could find out who the buyer is short of lodging a caveat. But that would cost half of what I'm seeking in compensation.
 
Bweed, it will be interesting which way the RTA will treat this. Over the years, the legislation that governs us, just keeps increasing, and getting more complex. The Property Law Act, contains a provision, that states (or at least used to) that in relation to real property, only contracts in writing are enforcable. So, does this apply to rental agreements, over real property .... mmm ... dont know. Sadly, over the years I have seen to often, the situation where people change their minds, and I wonder if at the time, do they really think about the effects on others of their decision. Circumstances do change for people, and that has a flow on effect. Good luck
 
I've spoken to two different people at the RTA and explained the story in excruciating detail. Both indicated they thought there was definately a binding agreement in place.... But interestingly both muttered quite a lot about verbal and implied contracts. One mentioned that verbal was allowable under legislation. In any case I think what's in writing will probably cover it. But the odd part about this case is probably going to be that some key issues are implied from what's in writing (and reincofrced by the actions/words of the agent) rather than explicit.
 
This has no real bearing on your situation, but people we know have a lease until early next year, and the house will be soon placed on the market. They are extremely unhappy and believe the owners knew they would be selling when the lease was signed.

I believe the owners are silly to be selling with a longish lease in place and I believe they will limit their buyers.

The tenants did mention this happened to them before and they were given an $10K sweetener to move out to allow vacant possession.

I mention this story only because the threat of "trouble" may be enough for the vendor/purchaser/agent (or all three) to decide to pay you the costs you have incurred.
 
actually I was speaking to my current agent about the situation today when she came to do an inspection (she's a very cool agent). She pointed out that that if a property is put on the market within the 1st two months of lease the tenants have the option to break lease at anytime while it's on the market with 2 weeks notice. I don't know if your friends were past the two months but it might be worth mentioning to them as an option.
 
Thanks bweed. It is more than two months, but they just don't want to leave another house that is being sold while they rent. They plan on staying for the duration of the lease. I imagine if a big enough carrot is dangled they might move again :D.
 
good thinking on their part...

I might lodge a caveat just to be sure. I think most solicitors do all the searches in the last couple of weeks before settlement so if I get it lodged tomorrow the buyers might see it and contact me to find out what the story is....
 
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Hi bweed very sorry to hear about your situation.

I agree with most posts that you have a valid contract in place.

Have you appraoched the sales agent? The property does not need to be sold subject to vacant possession. Some purchasers prefer to have an existing tenant staying on when they buy the property especially for investment purposes. This is definitely my attitude. If it's an IP, I prefer someone staying in there as it takes time to advertise and to sign on a new tenant and there is almost always a time lag. The property agent also charges first week of rent plus GST which can all add up.

You might be suprised that the potential purchaser may be happy to hear there is an existing lease and that you are prepared to stay on. Assuming the rent is at market value, I would go as far to say it would be somewhat of an incentive to the purchaser!

If you are going to take it a step further, I definitely recommend you going through the tribunal first. They are much much faster than the courts (even at Small Claims level). You'll get allocated a hearing date very quickly and be exposed to minimal costs. In Local Courts, filing fees alone can add up and you will be asked to attend Court at least once before the hearing date so they can check up on the progress of the matter - this is inconvenience you do not need, you will probably need to take time off work so there's opportunity costs as well. This has been my experience in Sydney (we have the Consumer Tenancy Trade Tribunal - they might have slightly different procedure compared to where you live).

Good luck! Hope you resolve it soon.
 
Hi JigglyPuff,

The sales agent has let slip that that buyer wants to occupy so definitely not an opportunity to simple lease from new owner. I tried that option first because I though it would be the easiest for all concerned.
 
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