Landlord Showing up with No Notice

To summarise, my landlord has shown up unannounced on three occasions, every time outside allowed hours and with no notice.
Each incident caused me to have a panic attack and cry and he just refuses to leave.
My dishwasher has been broken for 7 weeks.
My tiles had been broken for 4 years.
My tap had been broken for 2 years.
The only reason he is making repairs now is because he has just sold the place.

Can someone please give me advice on what I can claim for compensation? How much is reasonable?
I want to make him pay for all the emotional distress he has put me through and for not repairing anything. He is the worst landlord I have ever had and an awful person.
Please tell me about your experiences claiming compensation through VCAT and any advice you might have for me.


Background info:
My landlord has thrice shown up outside of legal hours (7pm, 6:40pm, 7:45am) and given me no notice he will be coming.
The first instance, several years ago, he came into my house and started criticising the state of things and accusing me of damage. As soon as he left, I had a panic attack and cried on the phone to my mum.
I complained to my real estate agent and the reason they gave me after they spoke to him was 'He's macedonian, that's how they are.'

This past thursday he showed up at 6:40pm when I was alone and in my pajamas, asking what brand my dishwasher was (it has been broken for 7 weeks now), making inane conversation and joking about how he has taken 4 years to fix my porch tiles which are falling apart. Again, I was very angry and upset and felt my privacy violated.
The following day I complained to my real estate agent's manager and was not given any empathy and not taken seriously.

Tuesday morning, I was due to start work at 8am, and he showed up at 7:45am with tilers and knocked on my door to ask for a power lead for the tile cutter. This time I told him flat out he is breaking the law and he needs to leave. I told him he can't show up without telling us and this is illegal. He laughed at me and told me he didn't care, he had to fix the tiles today (it's been 4 years), and acted like I was being silly and refused to leave until the job was done.
I went inside and had a panic attack as I cried on the phone to my boyfriend. My boyfriend was furious and asked me to pass the phone to the landlord. Despite this, he still refused to leave. As a result, I was 2 hours late for work because I refused to leave until he had gone.

My real estate agent is accepting no responsibility because he didn't tell them he was coming.

Comments

  • +16 votes

    Write to him citing the law regarding visitation and notice. If he shows up again unannounced you will not be available to accommodate his requests nor able to enter the property. If he arrives unannounced ask him to leave, he is then considered to be trespassing and advise him that if he doesn't leave you will call the police.
    If the repairs are considered urgent and/or a danger or hazard then you may have the right to have the repairs completed and issue them with an invoice (check this with the relative government agency in your state).
    Forget compensation, you aren't going to get it.
    If he has already sold the place why is he now making repairs, surely the onus for that would be on the new owner?

    • +2 votes

      He is making repairs because it is part of the sale contract before the property can settle.
      He has had 3 months to do this and the things he are repairing have been broken for years.

      • +18 votes

        Your landlord sounds horrible. I hope your new landlord is much better.

      • -11 votes

        So, you are upset that he took so long to complete the repairs and also upset that the repairs are taking place. Stress less, he will be gone soon enough if he has sold up.

        • +7 votes

          Not sure if you are serious or actually read the post (or just didn't bother trying to see ops point of view)

          Op isn't upset repairs are taking place, is upset in the manner in which landlord is attempting to gain access to the property outside of the law..

          I would just call the police next time (If there is one), if you've asked him to leave and he wont then do that.. don't know if you can chase up compensation (and/or if it's worth bothering)..

          •  

            @wozz: No, he's being serious.

            Yeah, the landlord sounds like (is) a prick. But he'll be gone soon enough and she wont have to deal with him again.

            Can she try take him to court over a few trivial things? Yeah, she can try. Will she get much compensation? Probably not. Will it be worth the legal fees, time and emotional stress? Highly doubt it.

            We need to pick and choose our battles. He's a (profanity) but he'll be gone soon. No need for her to keep him in her life longer than she has to.

        •  

          No, they're upset because the landlord is doing repairs at stupid hours without any warning.

        • -2 votes

          Some people are never happy i would just kick her out if want go law path. we some got some without ask sent an invoice for $10,000 we sue her in court and kick her out.

    •  

      I'm guessing that the new owner has requested these repairs as part of the contract of sale.

    • +1 vote

      Whether he has promised the repairs to the buyer is not your problem. If he forces entry when he does not have a right to enter you should ask him to leave and call the police if he does not leave.

      •  

        Same here. Call the police. Don't let him in. He has no right to enter your home unannounced/without an appointment. Unbelievable, and illegal. Keep a log of all these unannounced intrusions, and dont pay the rent. HE will be forced to explain himself at least then..

      • +4 votes

        Reasonable excuse - aka going to knock on at the door - the act is not stopping anyone going and knocking at a door and it goes against the landlords powers to hand deliver notice to vacate .

        https://www.consumer.vic.gov.au/housing/renting/ending-a-lea...

        Here you go the act tells people to go to the door which would cost them 20 units if your law was applied .

        http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/vic/consol_act/rta199720...

        • +5 votes

          he showed up at 7:45am with tilers and knocked on my door to ask for a power lead for the tile cutter.
          he had to fix the tiles today

          The landlord entered the property with the intention to repair tiles without giving a repair notice.

          http://www6.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/legis/vic/cons...
          RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES ACT 1997 - SECT 78
          Landlord may give tenant repair notice

          (1) A landlord may give a repair notice to a tenant if damage is caused to the rented premises because of a failure of the tenant to comply with section 61(1).

          (2) The repair notice must be in writing and must state—

          (a) the nature of the damage; and

          (b) that the damage was caused by the failure of the tenant to ensure that care was taken to avoid damaging the premises; and

          (c) if the landlord wishes the tenant to repair the damage—

          (i) that the landlord requires the tenant to repair the damage at the tenant's expense within 14 days after the giving of notice by the landlord; and

          (ii) that if the tenant has not repaired the damage in a tradesman-like manner within that period, the landlord may repair the damage at the tenant's expense; and

          (d) if the landlord wishes to repair the damage, that the landlord is undertaking the repairs and the tenant is liable for the reasonable cost of the repairs.

          • -3 votes

            @whooah1979: Yes and i agree that time he was wrong - he can still claim a technicality that it was an emergency repair but OP wont get a compensation from it he might get fined.

            But reread my post -it was about the second incident and there was no crime or breaking of any law for a landlord to go to your house to ask you a simple reasonable question about a dishwasher .

          • +1 vote

            @whooah1979: If you read the OP (yes I agree it's long) you'll see the landlord didn't enter the property. He rocked up, OP said no, he waited, then left.

            • +2 votes

              @HighAndDry:

              you'll see the landlord didn't enter the property.

              fix my porch tiles

              The rental has porch tiles which may mean that it's a freestanding house or townhouse with a front yard. If that is the case then the property starts at the boundary.

              The landlord and their agents may have entered the property unannounced and refused to leave the property after being asked to do so by the occupant.

              • +3 votes

                @whooah1979: Well no, landlord eventually left. OP could've done something while he was still there, but now? Not much recourse. And while legally the front yard and porch forms part of "the property", that's not the definition used in this context or any applicable criminal context. As an example, you wouldn't get charged with "forcible entry" just for cutting across someone's lawn. And just in case you're wondering, people are able to go onto property for reasonable purposes, like knocking on the door - which is what the landlord did.

  • +2 votes

    I would suggest to try and accommodate him a little.
    I can understand the frustration as you've been waiting for so long but at least things are getting fixed now and you'll soon have a new landlord.
    This is provided you've still got a few months left on your lease.
    If he's sold the property with vacant possession and you'll be moving out, I'd take the opportunity to show him the importance of looking after the tenants and drag out everything.

      • +33 votes

        With what exactly? The most 'serious' incident was literally years ago. This time?

        1. He rocked up and had a conversation.

        2. He rocked up wanting to do repairs, you said no, he waited and then left.

        To be blunt, and while I sympathise, your anxiety issues aren't his problem. A reasonable person wouldn't have had any issues with these interactions.

        • +6 votes

          A reasonable person would have issues with his interactions

          • +16 votes

            @mnermner: Oh please. This landlord is probably above average in terms of behaviour. Other than the first incident years ago, which OP complained to the agent about and the landlord then never repeated, this is the first time he's shown up in 4 years - once to ask about a dishwasher so he can replace it, second to ask for a power lead so he can repair tiling outside the house (so no going into the actual house).

            You know how happy most tenants would be if their landlord proactively showed up to repair issues with their property?

            Screw that most reasonable people wouldn't have issues, many reasonable tenants would even welcome it.

        • +3 votes

          maybe with breaking landlord’s covenants
          eg
          Obligations for repair and maintenance of the structure of the premises
          Providing ‘quiet enjoyment’ of the premises to the tenant
          see a lawyer OP

    • +10 votes

      If you accommodate him then he will continue to think this is acceptable.
      He is not following the laws about notice and sounds like he is aware he is breaking them and doesn't give a shit.
      The real estate should also be given notice to notify you which is not happening, I'd consider it illegal entry.

      I had a real estate agent try do a random check on the place I am in now, I was off sick and after a couple knocks at the door I heard while in bed heard someone trying to and unlocking the front door .. they were surprised when I greeted them as they opened it.
      She claimed there was an email or letter and SMSs, none of which were received and she wanted to do the inspection now as I didn't not have a choice (according to her), it was outside the normal inspection periods from earlier in the year (2-3 months after the actual inspection), I sent her away saying this is illegal entry and no notice had been given, it was not an emergency etc etc and she was angry and left.

      Complaining to the real estate I eventually got a "sorry" that was half arsed and that it was an administration error or some such.
      While it would have been caught on my security cameras (if she entered the house) I still don't need anyone randomly entering my house doing as they please.

  • +2 votes

    Ok, first of all yes he sounds like a dick. But you won't have to deal with him for much longer.

    Can I suggest you read, and learn, the relevant rental laws in your state. These are absolute gold when you want to complain to your real estate. That dishwasher should've been sorted sooner etc.

    Also, make sure all contact with your property manager is via email, always give yourself a paper trail as this is vital if things ever progress to court.

    I complained to my real estate agent and the reason they gave me after they spoke to him was 'He's macedonian, that's how they are.'

    If this was in writing, you could get someone in serious shit for making comments about race. I suspect this was by phone, which as I said, you shouldn't be doing.

    Not victim blaming here, just educating ok? Learn the laws, and email correspondence, then you can make decisions about court. If everything is verbal, you have very little chance, but if it's all in black and white you can have a field day with them!

    • -1 vote

      Thank you, I have documented my complaint emails from each occasion he has shown up when I was alone at night/in the morning. I will be filing breach of duty notices and request for repairs but it's the compensation amount I'm having trouble with… Consumer affairs have told me I'm entitled to claim it but I don't know if it's worth pursuing.

      • +5 votes

        Compensation is always difficult to claim for. Would a reasonable person have broken down crying at your landlord appearing at your doorstep…? I won't answer that one.

        You need to weigh up the additional stress of any claims, time off work to go to court, etc etc. What's your time/stress worth to you to proceed with it?

        •  

          considering how much "damage" an "unannounced" visit has caused OP, I'm not sure if the awarded compensation (if any) less legal fees and time off from work would be worth the overall mental anguish and stress.

    • +2 votes

      first of all yes he sounds like a dick.

      I'm not sure if you're saying this to be nice to OP or OP's post did a good job of showing things from her perspective, but the landlord hasn't really done anything.

      Other than the first incident years ago that hasn't been repeated, he showed up and asked OP what brand the dishwasher was and then had a short chat. No mention of entry, forced or otherwise. Then he showed up wanting to do repairs, OP said no, he insisted, but eventually also left, also no entry forced or otherwise.

      Save for OP's panic attacks which really isn't on the landlord, I'm not seeing the big deal, objectively speaking.

      • +11 votes

        As a tenant, you're entitled to peace and quiet. If an owner even wants to come in, it needs prior written approval, not to just turn up on your doorstep.

        There are rules which both parties need to abide by. Can't just cherrypick to benefit certain situations.

        And yes, general maintenance not being done until the house goes on the market is him being a shitty landlord. And the property manager should've got that dishwasher working quicker.

        • +3 votes

          Yes to the right to quiet enjoyment, but one instance, unless very extreme, won't even enter the picture.

          And tenant rights are that the landlord needs to give notice to have a right to enter - they don't need to give notice to merely show up and ask, which is what happened here. Landlords can be terrible, but this isn't it. Even the second time, the landlord didn't even want to enter the property - the tiles he wanted to repair were on the porch.

          As to general maintenance, the dishwasher was only broken for 7 weeks and OP doesn't mention even needing to use it (or asking for it to be fixed). And broken tiles are everywhere and the smallest issue I can think of.

          The biggest issue here is OP's panic attacks, but that's not the landlord's problem or fault.

          • +7 votes

            @HighAndDry: It's still a breach.. It doesn't matter if anyone random can show up and ask a question. The fact is it's the landlord .. it's unannounced, it doesn't matter what it's for … He knows better, he's being lazy and not following rules and definitely not respecting his tenants 2hich are paying host damn mortgage.

            https://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=2777257

            Even my question/concern in the link above is apparently a breach.

            Which is why my real-estate still haven't answered my email, nor acknowledged it … Even after sending multiple follow ups and me submitting a repair request (which they answered).

            •  

              @athk: It's a breach to enter the property. Landlord hasn't entered it other than the first incident years ago. Your case is totally different, involving multiple instances of the landlord camping out front and effectively stalking the place*. OP has had the landlord show up twice - once to ask about the dishwasher, and the other wanting to fix outside tiles.

              *Note that that would be a possible breach of the right to quiet enjoyment, not a breach of the landlord's obligation not to enter the premises without notice.

              • +4 votes

                @HighAndDry: Property begins at the driveway/letterbox imo. Otherwise it would be free game for an owner to walk around your front yard and backyard without any repercussion…

      • +20 votes

        Sorry, you are way off the mark here. You have issues dating back 7 years and now that the tenancy is ending soon you are bringing all this up? It's best to leave all that buried.

        But, as far as notice to enter to do general repairs, you have every right to refuse entry without notice and call the police for trespassing. Check the laws relevant in your state. This excludes emergency repairs, such as repairs to stop further damage or safety to the property. So if you want to stand up for yourself, do that.

    • +11 votes

      Do nothing and apoligise for your actions. If you are planning on renting again, you don't want to be blacklisted.

      Fk no that's not an option. Doing nothing is, but OP has nothing to apologise for and is a good way of turning an already (imo) submissive girl into a doormat.

      Everyone should stand up to stupid property managers. Most have no idea about the laws governing them and what they should/shouldn't do. By pointing out their flaws, you won't get blacklisted and they won't say anything to the next one.

      Source - me arguing at the end of my lease with my last rental about carpet repairs etc having to be done when we left. Still got a rental perfectly fine afterwards.

  •  

    As soon as he left, I had a panic attack and cried on the phone to my mum.

    Im sorry if my following question sounds harsh. This is not the first time - it's happened several times over a number of years.

    If you've had that big of a reaction each time and you were really that distressed, why haven't you left the place and moved elsewhere?

    •  

      It happened once, several years ago and my real estate assured me it wouldn't happen again, and it happened twice this past week. My anxiety gives me panic attacks and it's not something I have control of. This incident was the last resort and we will be giving notice and moving in with my inlaws.

  • +33 votes

    Compensation? Get outta here…

  •  

    i guess on the upside you now have fixed tiles, tap and dishwasher.
    But knowing landlords who try to be handymen its unlikely they did a good job.

    I would just send them a bill for the amount of money your work lost by you being late.

    if he shows up again i would leave the house, no point getting worked up over it.

  • +9 votes

    Fingers crossed you don’t get a cent

  • +2 votes

    The only reason he is making repairs now is because he has just sold the place.

    You don't make repairs AFTER you sell the place……

    • -1 vote

      The new owner has requested these repairs as part of the contract of sale. Settlement couldn't take place because he hadn't done the repairs.

  • +2 votes

    OP, you live in Victoria. Feel free to record every interaction you have with both your landlord and REA. Use recordings as evidence when you file a claim with the VCAT.

  • +3 votes

    Several years - 3 incidents. That is really not that bad … I am a landlord and to be honest, some tenants behave like they are paying hotel rates and expect the hotel service. I understand you are not a bad tennant, but on the same note 3 incidents in 7 years is also not bad.

    •  

      I don't know where you are getting seven years, it has been 4 years, and despite how many incidents there have been, he is violating my rights by showing up outside hours and without notice.

      •  

        You've got the wrong idea here - he can show up, you just don't have to let him in. You didn't, he didn't force entry, so I'm not seeing an actual issue here.

      •  

        The first instance, several years ago, he came into my house and started criticising the state of things and accusing me of damage.

    • +1 vote

      Several years - 3 incidents. That is really not that bad

      Nah, this is bad. The landlord forcing entry three times is pretty bad.

      • +9 votes

        No mention of forced entry anywhere I can see.

        • +4 votes

          By intimidating the tenant he could be seen to be forcing entry.

          As far as I am aware (in QLD at least) ANY entry to the property by owner or agent without prior notice is considered a breach of the Tenancies Act. I did the RE Cert back in 2013 and that is what was taught. My sister was a PM for about 7yrs and there was no way she would ever think of entering a property without notice.
          You do not need to enter a property to give notice as it can be posted or hand delivered to their letter box. I do believe the Qld rental laws are some of the strictest in the country so other states may be different in some things.

          • +1 vote

            @Rel63: What intimidation? All OP said is that he showed up and asked for a power lead, she said no, he asked again and refused to leave. From her other comments, she says she actually then agreed and gave him the power lead. Unless just standing there (and laughing at OP telling him he was committing a crime) is now "intimidation" there was none.

            •  

              @HighAndDry: Him showing up with no notification plus refusing to leave could reasonably be considered intimidation. The fact that she relented and agreed to give him the power lead shows she was in a sense coerced into doing what he wanted. The RE are risking their license in allowing the owner to this.

              •  

                @Rel63:

                Him showing up with no notification plus refusing to leave could reasonably be considered intimidation.

                No. Please stop enabling OP's basement level standard of being able to deal with real life. "Intimidation" has a meaning. Your comment is not it, not reasonably, not conceivably, not remotely.

  •  

    Yes he shouldn't do it but there just isn't the penalties to stop them unfortunately. You can change the lock and be in breach of your lease agreement if you don't give them the keys within x amount of time but of course you only changed them the day before they visited… Another option without is to install an alarm(but you won't be able install a permanent one without authorisation). Either a camera outside or at least a dummy one is good. I had a friend who put a motion sensed xiaomi camera in the living room which was enough to stop last minute requests for viewing the property when they weren't home after it tracked them walking around the first time they entered without the renter there and freaked them out.

  •  

    Please be aware VCAT compensation will only be for substandard living conditions and breaches of lease. Damages like mental stress will not be awarded at tribunal and will become a civil court matter. End of day its a dick move, there are specific rights of entry that the landlord is entitled to, just as you have the right too be left in peace and have correct notice of entry. There are specific landlord breach notices you can serve as a tenant and is up to you to seek your own legal advice. Remember the agent does have a fiduciary duty to the landlord, so will be unable to provide you with the advice you seek.

  • +22 votes

    Can I summarise OP and take out the emotion which seems to be misleading people a bit? There were 3 incidents mentioned:

    1. (Most egregious) landlord showed up and did an inspection without notice. OP doesn't say if she let the landlord in after he knocked, but this is bad nonetheless. It was also literally years ago and never repeated.

    2. Landlord showed up, asked what brand the dishwasher was (so he could replace it), and had a short chat. No mention of entry (with out without OP letting him).

    3. Landlord showed up asking for a power extension cord to repair tiles on the porch, OP said no, landlord insisted, waited, but then left anyway. Again no actual entry.

    Someone tell me if I missed anything, because I'm not seeing some evil monster of a landlord here. Or PM me if we're all just humouring OP and treating her with kiddie gloves due to her anxiety, because I seem to have missed the memo. But even then, encouraging her to pursue any actual formal claim that will have no chance of success is just a little irresponsible.

  • +20 votes

    You are being unreasonable, no wonder the real estate agent doesn't care.

    • +8 votes

      When has a real estate agent ever cared about a tenant?

      • +5 votes

        Much more likely to care if the tenant has actually valid complaints - for example, in the first incident years ago, OP talked to the agent, agent talked to the landlord, and the landlord never repeated that behaviour.

    • -7 votes

      Looks like real agent are more friendly with the landlord. This is not good. For example, in the past I bought a Honda civic, after a week I found a problem when driving on freeway, steering wheel kept shaking. Took it to first owner then rwc mechanic, both ignored me. Both of them were same nationality background.

      • +1 vote

        Why should they care?

      • +6 votes

        Both of them were same nationality background.

        Irrelevant.

        Looks like real agent are more friendly with the landlord.

        Agent gets paid by the landlord.

        For example, in the past I bought a Honda civic

        OP is renting a house not buying a car. Rental laws and sales laws are very different. Real estate laws are different to automotive laws.

        •  

          So you're telling me that I shouldn't have paid that speeding ticket for my house going 80km/h in a 40km/h school zone?

      • +2 votes

        I found a problem when driving on freeway, steering wheel kept shaking

        I watch a lot of Air Crash Investigation.

        Steering wheel shake indicates you are about to stall.

      •  

        steering wheel shaking while braking at high speeds probably warped rotors, not safety issue. can spend $$ for new rotors but wont make the car stop faster or be any safer.

      •  

        hey i had the same issue with my steering wheel (but my steering wheel wasn't [insert nationality]). not sure what they did, but i took it to the official dealer mechanic and they seem to have fixed it.

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