Landlords opinion please

Hi to all,

Reading through this site, there is a lot of great info for everyone.

I'll keep it as breif as i can.

My wife and i rented a house in Melbourne where the lawns were virtually non existant when we moved in. Over the year and a half we were there, we planted lawn seed, planted some plants to make the property look less like a rental property and dug in two small ponds in the side yard.

The owners were ok with this and were quite happy that we were looking after their property so well. Our rent was always on time and we paid an extra months rent to give us the time to clean and ensure the property was in as good, if not a better state when we left.

The owner asked us if we could fill the ponds in as he didn't want the next tenants to maintain them. We spent the weekend doing this and the owner came over (without 24 hours notice) as he often did. (we never complained as we wanted to keep a good relationship) and was happy with the job that we did. We sowed lawn seed over the top for the grass to grow back.

When we went over the inspection report the following weekend, he was very happy with the inside of the house as we polished and cleaned everything, even had a paint sample matched to touch up wear and tear marks on walls over the year and a half.

When it came to the outside, he had changed his mind from the following weekend and asked us to lay instant lawn in all the places that we had planted plants and over the filled in ponds.

My question is, we have photos of the property when we moved in showing that the overall condition of the outside was pretty average and current photos showing the improvements including a photo of the covered ponds where the lawn seed is starting to grow. Is this right or acceptable for an owner to insist that instant lawn be laid when the agreement was to sow seed that is now currently growing?

I also wonder as i imagine that there would be some tenants who place cars or other large objects on lawn that dies over the period of the lease.

I appreciate your response.
 
Is this right or acceptable

If your real question is, can the Landlord insist you to do this or take it out of your Bond, then the answer is No, the Owner cannot insist on this......well, he could, but if they ever tried to enforce it at VCAT, the presiding member (especially compared with what they normally see) would dismiss their claim and award you your full Bond.

Well done for looking after the place in a responsible manner, as you promised you would..
 
Last edited:
Thank you for your response.

The reason i was concerned is that i feel that the owner will apply for a portion of our bond for the instant lawn from VCAT and i guess i needed a little bit of guidence in case we have to go to the tribunal over this.

I would also want to add that the owner has increased the rent by $30pw which i feel the property is worth it but is trying to get us to speed up the natural process of grass growth in order to get a replacement tenant quickly. (at our cost).
 
Last edited:
If all is as you say, then you have done the right thing. You also have photo's, so you would be well within your rights to request the entire bond.
 
I agree with the others. I don't know how it works in Victoria, but in Queensland if we want to take anything from the bond (which is not generally the case - but has happened a couple of times) we make sure that we lodge the forms before the tenants do.

That way, they have to dispute our claim and request a tribunal hearing, which costs them a small amount. They have to prove their case and do the work to chase up their bond.

If they lodge the forms first, we have to prove our case, and prove our case and do the chasing up, including requesting a hearing, and pay for it.

Of course, generally we refund fully, so we fill in the return of bond form and sign it, get the tenants to sign it and they take it to the post office to get it back that same day. Even when we have mutually agreed to take something, the tenants and we still both sign it and they get their portion back and we are sent a cheque.

Long story..... but basically what I am saying is that if the rules are the same, get the forms in first so that they have to prove their case and pay for the tribunal.

I don't think the landlord has a leg to stand on.
 
I don't personally believe that he has the right to ask you to put instant lawn, as this will be an improvement over the original condition.

You may ask him to pay for the cost of the instant lawn. But you may also suggest to him that the lawn be installed by a professional. If you did the work yourself the lawn may well die. I speak from first hand experience.

I have been in a situation where we cleaned up a property hugely by were asked to compensate for things which were originally not in good condition, but which we had improved. The PM maintained that we had caused damage bur we were able to prove from condition reports that the property wa in much better condition than when we started renting. Keeping a copy of theboruginal reports saved us. Probably the photos will save you.

As it turned out I came to deal with the same property managerany years later. Except I was no longer a tenant but a landlord. Unfortunately I don't know if he ever realised that the way he treated me as a tenant caused his business damage twenty years later.
 
I don't personally believe that he has the right to ask you to put instant lawn, as this will be an improvement over the original condition.

You may ask him to pay for the cost of the instant lawn. But you may also suggest to him that the lawn be installed by a professional. If you did the work yourself the lawn may well die. I speak from first hand experience.

I have been in a situation where we cleaned up a property hugely by were asked to compensate for things which were originally not in good condition, but which we had improved. The PM maintained that we had caused damage bur we were able to prove from condition reports that the property wa in much better condition than when we started renting. Keeping a copy of theboruginal reports saved us. Probably the photos will save you.

As it turned out I came to deal with the same property managerany years later. Except I was no longer a tenant but a landlord. Unfortunately I don't know if he ever realised that the way he treated me as a tenant caused his business damage twenty years later.
 
Thank you again,

I agree with geoffw "If you did the work yourself the lawn may well die. I speak from first hand experience." in that we have already vacated the property and from the research i have already done in regards to instant lawn, it requires constant watering for months in order to take completely and that is putting the responsibility onto the new tenants. Not to mention the current water restrictions here in Victoria.

Thank you all for your honest responses. I feel that he wants us to make the property look even better at our cost (i understand because business is business) in order to attract a higher paying tenant.

I hope he gets the higher rent. Seriously the property is worth it and really don't think he'll have a problem. the property has an in ground pool, spa and everything. But not at our expense especially when we left the property in such a good state. (he has agreed to that).
 
Top