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Help - tenants have trashed property, not paid rent and now absconded!

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Bondy | 20 Apr 2015, 01:06 PM Agree 0
Hi all,

On Thursday we were informed that our tenants had not paid rent for four weeks and when the real estate agent went to visit the property, it was trashed. It had filthy walls, maintenance work required to fix broken wardrobes, shelf, a cracked window pane, a big hole in the back outside wall, curtain rails pulled down and broken, lots of furniture left in the property and rubbish everywhere. According to the next door neighbour, the tenants left the house unlocked with the doors wide open so there was a bunch of teenagers staying there for a day or two as well, no doubt trashing the place further. The cleaning quote alone was for 22 hours of work and that was without the maintenance that needs to be done or rubbish removal. So my poor husband flew up there and spent the entire weekend cleaning the place up.

To make matters worse, we believed we had landlord insurance, but when we went to make a claim, the insurance company advised us this was not the case. So now we look like (very poor) idiots.

I am frustrated because when the lease was due for renewal, the real estate agent didn't even discuss with us, they just went and renewed it at the same rent as the previous twelve months. They apologised for this oversight at the time but I didn't feel we could do anything as obviously the tenant often has all the rights.

My question is where do we stand in terms of our rights with the real estate agent? They clearly feel bad about what has happened, but I am surprised that nothing untoward was mentioned in the last inspection report in January, and why did it take them four weeks before they even thought to go visit the property and work out the tenants had absconded before informing us? The dirt and grime has not accumulated overnight, and there were quite a few warning signals as time has gone on.

We have claimed the bond to help pay for some of the loss of rent, but we will be $1000's out of pocket for the other stuff that still needs to be fixed up, not to mention the property is currently vacant in a very bad rental market area.

If anyone has any advice on who to go to for some free legal advice, or has had experience of this, I would appreciate your thoughts!

Many thanks
  • coco | 21 Apr 2015, 02:04 PM Agree 0
    You did not state in which state the rental property is located. Most states have their own legal regime for tenants and regulating service industries like real estate agents. You are unlikely to attract a response till you identify the state as someone would need to give you different answers for each state and then there are the territories as well.
  • | 21 Apr 2015, 02:06 PM Agree 0
    Sorry, the property is in QLD. Thanks
  • Aj | 21 Apr 2015, 02:38 PM Agree 0
    Why did your insurance not cover the damage? Landlord insurance would cover the absconding unless you just had building insurance.
  • | 21 Apr 2015, 02:48 PM Agree 0
    Hi Aj, my husband made a mistake - he thought he had organised landlord insurance when in fact, he had not. So all we have is building insurance, hence we are having so many issues!
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