A few of you may have noticed over the past weeks some posts made by me in regards to having to find another rental property and this being a somewhat lengthy process due to the fact I live in Sydney.
2 weeks ago we were approved for a fairly expensive but lovely property. I received a phone call on a Wednesday to tell me we were the selected family and due to real estate agent policy, we needed to pay one week holding deposit for the property within 2 hours of the approval!! I did so via credit card as DS was sleeping. When I called to tell DP the good news, he freaked out and tried to call the agency to cancel the deposit to which he was informed that it was non refundable (which I was not told before making the deposit) but this is not the point of my issue.
I was told I would be emailed information regarding the lease and move via email shortly after the call. It never came. A week later on the Tuesday I called to query if the property required a gas connection and to ask where my email was. I was told my phone call would be returned with that information and the email would be sent within 15 minutes. That didn't happen either. Cue forward to Saturday I finally received an email with basic information about having the bond and rent in advance ready but no answer to my question.
On Sunday I returned an email asking about the time arranged for the signing of the lease as I was told 2pm this Wednesday on the phone but now the email was saying 12.30pm and a query about water connection.
I received no response until this morning (Tuesday). None of my questions were answered but instead I got a casual email stating that the existing tenants have extended their stay for a further week and that our lease signing date has been pushed back a week!
We were supposed to sign the lease TOMORROW!!
We have all taken leave from work, organized utility connections and paid deposits on removalists! DP tried to call and they were pretty nonchalant about it all basically saying 'yeah, sorry about that' but really were of no assurance or even empathy.
We are now scrambling to rearrange everything and I'm trying to get my shifts back at work. We will most likely lose our deposit for the removalist and now we are sitting in a house full of boxes and garbage bags, unsure where even half of our possessions are and our gas tanks out the back for hot water and cooking are almost empty (so may have to spend $120 on a refill!)
I have never dealt with such an unprofessional business before but besides complete outrage, I don't know what my rights are. Do we even have a leg to stand on or do we just have to bend over and take it??
I'm seriously losing my mind after 2 months of consistent stress.
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24-05-2016 11:31 #1
Can they do this?!?
24-05-2016 11:38 #2
A living nightmare!
We move a lot but I've never come across such terrible treatment and incompetence.
I hope someone on here can advise you.
24-05-2016 11:38 #3Senior Member
- Join Date
- Sep 2005
What state are you in?
In WA we have the tenants advisory board but you would have an equivalent. The way you have been treated is so unprofessional and tbh i dont know if i would want to move into a property that is managed by people like that. Find out what the agency is and call asap.I would NOT take this lying down.
24-05-2016 11:52 #4
Their lack of professionalism is pretty astounding.
Did they previously advise you of an exact date when the property would be available for you to move in to? If so, was it in writing or over the phone?
24-05-2016 11:57 #5
24-05-2016 12:07 #6
I don't know legally where you stand but living in Sydney I know exactly how the letting agents are. We've had very similar experiences with professionalism and I just assumed that was the norm. Not getting back to you, replying to emails that they blatantly didn't read as they don't answer your questions etc etc!!
There is a helpline you can ring for advice in NSW as we did when we had issues with a noisy neighbour and wanted to know our rights with regards to our contract and breaking lease etc. Have a search online or maybe ask your local library if they have any leaflets or info?
24-05-2016 12:14 #7
I am like you, very organised when it comes to a house move. I would be livid if a real estate suddenly told me that I wasn't able to move in because they were letting the other tenants stay for longer. How can they think this is not a big deal?
Yes, definitely speak to someone at Tenants NSW.
24-05-2016 12:15 #8
It's bad communication from the agent but yes holding fees are not refundable ( this is the commitment from the tenant to take the home and the landlord legally has to hold it for those 7 days, if the tenant changes their mind the landlord is out a weeks rent or possibly more if other tenants were sent away ) this should all be on your application
As far as the lease signing , technically you can go to tribunal to try say you want out as the date of the tenancy starting is not what was agreed upon but I would guess that the current tenants have decided to stay extra, maybe as their new home is not ready etc or they are being difficult ( this is very common and legally we cannot remove them without a tribunal hearing which could take weeks)
I would go into the office and ask to speak with the senior property manager, find out why the tenants are not moving and if you do want out of the lease say you have to rent elsewhere as the new date was not what was told to you originally and that you want your holding deposit back or you will have to go to tribunal ( it's a 50/50 chance on if you would actually win, depending if the current tenants are under hardship and can't move)
24-05-2016 12:56 #9
Ok I've spoken to fair trading, they were very helpful.
They have advised me that now they have broken the agreement I can have a refund of my holding deposit should I now choose not to go ahead with the tenancy.
If I lose any money elsewhere (removalists etc) I can go to the civil and administrative tribunal and ask for compensation as although I've not technically signed the lease the agreement was implied through their email to which we acted upon.
An update is that the removalists have agreed to change dates without issue and so far all other things have fallen into place also.
It looks as though we will simply be waiting an extra week without any further issue.
I don't blame the other tenants at all, they've clearly had an issue come up for them also but I DO blame the real estate agency for such poor communication and lack of professionalism. I'm just glad to not be losing any money at this stage, I've even gotten my shifts back at work (and that is unheard of!!) so something is working in our favour after this entire shamozzle.
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