Tenant Charged for Service Call out Fee (As No Fault Found)

Long time lurker, first time poster.

We are tenants on an apartment. We noticed a smell coming from the dishwasher that wouldn't go away through deodorising and other means. I informed the rental agency who sent round a service man, they claimed there was nothing wrong with it (but no advise about the smell). We disagreed but said we would try other ways to get rid of the smell.

Two months later, we have now received a bill of $110 for the service charge as no fault was found. Anyone else experienced this. I spoke to RTA in QLD who said I can dispute via form 16, however I would expect the tenant rarely succeeds in these cases.

Never experienced this in 15+ years, has anyone else been charged for call outs as a tenant?

Thanks for feedback. I own an investment property, so totally get the whole someone has to pay and it shouldn't be the owner if no fault. Maybe it comes down to what I actually said - email below. I just presumed the agency handyman would come round to inspect (he was already fixing a window seal for us).

"We continue to have troubles with our dishwasher. As mentioned to xxx at the quarterly inspection, our dishwasher has been foul smelling from day 1. We have cleaned the filter and bought off the shelf dishwasher cleaner, however it continues to toxify the apartment whenever opened. Please can we find a solution to this"


  • +9 votes

    I must resist.

    • +2 votes

      Do it…

      … someone will do it, may as well be you…


      Happy for the brutal responses - I've read the standard replies to these forum topics. Not gunna dispute, just wondered if common place.

      • +4 votes

        Yes, it is. I know of a tenant that wanted service man come around because oven "wasn't working". Turns out tenant had turned off oven at circuit breaker before going on holiday and had forgotten to re-turn it on when arriving back home. Service peeps don't work for free!

  • +3 votes

    All you need to say is you never said there was a fault, you said there was a smell, which was not acknowledged nor was anything done about it , so how can you pay for something when you never claimed it was the case in the first place.


    I mean it seems reasonable. He came out, said there was no problem. He performed a service didn't he?

    It's probably not draining properly and the water is building up with washing particles. Clean out the drain in the bottom.

  • +3 votes

    you should capture the smell (air) in a bag and send to the agent, and say that was the problem.

    If the problem isn't there anymore, you can fart into the bag.

  • +5 votes

    I'm not sure, I'm actually a bit more open to OP plight, did you actually ask for a service person to come in? It sounds like you only told them 'there was a smell from the dishwasher that you wanted fixed' you never asked for a service person, and never said you needed a service person to fix it, maybe the fix needed a professional cleaner not a service person, but agent didn't know enough to call the right person.

    All you asked for, from the agent was to do something for the smell, they sent the wrong person round for the job? At least thats how I'm seeing it, to be honest I can kind of see both ways, because from an agent side its probably like they get told a fault, they send a professional over, and professional says there is no fault and now they're left with wasted time and money, but that may not be the case because a repair person will only see repair faults, not smells.

    I kind of lean on tenants side here, assuming it went down as I understand it, though I can kind of see how it can be argued both ways.

  • +1 vote

    It's all about being fair and reasonable. What would you do if this is your own prpperty?

    On the Agent's part, they had responded to your complaint. There are Agents who may not respond.

    On your part, if you can demonstrate that you have done everything that mitigate the loss of the Owners, you can dispute.

    Having said that, from my years of experience in the kitchen, I'd say smells are largely result of cleanliness, or the lack thereof.


      This comment has it. It’s all about being reasonable. How reasonable is it for you to insist that they should foot the bill entirely themselves? How reasonable is it for you to be charged it?
      If possible, keep things amicable (especially considering you’re going to be renting there for quite some more time) see if you can work out some kind of middle ground given that call out fees when requested are a grey area under legislation (so no one has a leg to stand on), and generate some options.
      Footing the bill half-half sounds more desirable than going down the road of dispute resolution over $110. And the conciliator would probably emphasise the same thing as well - work out a compromise that everyone can at least live with.
      Also, dispute res timeframes are 4-6 weeks with the RTA. And 4-6months with QCAT. I’d rather cop a $55 loss.

  • +3 votes

    as far as I know If there is a problem with it the fee is the landlords, but for no fault then the tenant has to pay for the callout.

  • -1 vote

    Real estate agents will forward bills to the tenant all the time in the hopes that they might pay them anyway. I had an agent try to forward the quarterly water bill to us, and each quarter had to remind him that the lease said water was included.


    I would reply to the REA that you asked for a solution, not for a call-out.

    Does it continue to smell?

  • +1 vote

    Foul smelling could mean anything. Does it smell like “drains”, does it smell like something’s died in the vicinity, does it smell like mould, maybe try to be a bit more specific to identify.

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