Rental Agents Trying to Scam after End of Lease

So during my end of lease inspection, the Rental agent sent me on an errand to get a ladder to remove a paper I had taped on a light that was distracting me in the living room.

During this time he conducted the inspection and after I got the paper removed, I asked him if there were any issues with the apartment. He only listed 2-3 issues and the guy's tone seemed really shady to me during it all.

So I tried to be vigilant and send him an email to confirm all the outstanding issues in the apartment.

To that email, he mentioned a lot of other issues like a light bulb which needs to be replaced, some marks on the walls that were there before I started living on the premises etc. I had the condition report with me and we could have sorted it out there itself but clearly this seems like a sly move from him to deduct bond amount.

What could I do in case if he deducts a big amount from my bond?

Comments

  • +16

    Dispute it

  • +9

    Basically show them that the issues were present there before if you have a copy of the condition report, and absolve yourself of any responsibility. I've had real estate agents basically bring up every issue that was present on the previous condition report and try to squeeze money for them, they generally don't even look at it unless you bring it up.

    Light bulbs are generally tenant issues (unless they're in a position not safe to reach or an unconventional type not easily replaced).

    The RE/Landlord cannot finalise the refund of your bond until you have agreed that the amount is fair, and if both parties don't agree then you go through VCAT.

    I would be putting up a strong email with proof from the condition report that many of those issues were longstanding and not your responsibility.

    • +1

      Thanks. I emailed him the photos of the previous Ingoing report and told him the marks were already there. Also, something like the bulb, if he would have let me know then itself if would have been easier for me to replace it. The scumbag only let me know in an email and not when I was at the inspection. Can I file a complaint for this behavior? Now he hasnt replied to my email.

      Trying to be nice to people has its limits. I should have spoken to him like the scumbag he was.

      • +1

        It would be totally reasonable to offer to change the bulbs yourself, if they're wanting to charge an unreasonable amount for it.

        • +1

          Yes, if he had let me know during the inspection itself I would have done it in half an hour. But sending me on an errand to remove the stupid paper then acting busy and leaving with the keys show how cunning how the agent was and seems like he is an expert at such tactics.

          • +1

            @vv285: You will have to wear the light bulb. You could have easily spotted and fixed it prior to inspection.

            For next time never let them do an end of lease without you as things get exaggerated (smudge of grease on oven door turns in kitchen is filthy). See if you can remediate the minor cleaning issues as you go with them.

            • @thatonethere: It was a bulb of the cooktop range hood. It had two on it and one of them might have just worn out and I never noticed it.

              I have dealt with really nice landlords who were really nice to me after I took good care of their properties but this agency is full of thugs.

              • +2

                @vv285: Please name and shame so the community can avoid that agent (person)

                • +1

                  @ozbaragan: The agents name is Eddy Chong Zhang and PIA is the agency. Some of their recent reviews tell the same story!

                  • +1

                    @vv285: It seems to be a pretty common PIA tactic. They tried it on me when we left our PIA rental as well. Disputed everything and they backed down pretty quickly.

  • +8

    Just put in a claim to the rental bond people for your bond back.

    Do this today.

    • So I dont have to wait for the landlord to let me know how much bond I can claim back? The apartment was in Parramatta, NSW.

      • +1

        Don't know about NSW. You never said that. I am quoting VIC.

        Why not ring your tenants agency?

        • You cannot do that in Vic. It will be rejected. It has to be submitted by the RE

          • +1

            @Belgarath:

            You cannot do that in Vic. It will be rejected. It has to be submitted by the RE

            Wrong. Not anymore.

            • +1

              @zeggie: You might be able to apply for it but good luck. Been there done that and it was subject to the RE providing further details. Been in the same position before with a dodgy REA.

              • +8

                @Belgarath:

                Been there done that and it was subject to the RE providing further details

                The legislation changed in 2018 for VICand also changed in NSW.

                A tenant can now file for bond return. Not just a Landlord.
                A tenant no longer requires landlord consent.
                A landlord cannot "object" to bond return. They need to file in a Tribunal.

                So essentially everything you have said is wrong.

      • +4

        So I dont have to wait for the landlord to let me know how much bond I can claim back?

        No - in fact, you should submit the bond return form a day before you move out. This put the onus on the landlond to take you to xCAT to claim anything from the bond.

    • +3

      Absolutely submit this today to NSW Fair Trading, make sure you do it before they do. I had issues with a NSW agent last year just not submitting it so did it myself. They have 14 days to respond I believe, and I think its more effort for them to contest it since they will need to make a claim to NCAT, therefore probably won't bother.

    • +1

      (Relevant to NSW) I've always taken the bond refund form with me to the outgoing inspection. 90% of the time the agent signs it on the spot, and can go in and avoid the 14-day waiting period. In the instances where the agent doesn't want to sign on the spot, it gets submitted without their signature, and they can dispute it.

      So far 0 have disputed.

  • +7

    Real estate agents are scum. And they are at their absolute worst when it's time for the end of lease inspection.
    Do not let them take a bloody cent from your bond.

    Last time i moved out of a rental, the owner sent around a crew of workers (on my second last day there, so still in the progress of cleaning/moving) and ilegally dismantled my steel poled car port, without my knowledge or consent, then tried to take $300 out of my bond for the time the guys spent breaking the law taking my stuff down.
    I called the real estate agent and they just immeditately sided with the law-breaking owners. Had to go down there and sort them out in person.
    What a f**king joke.
    I made sure to get my full bond back from those pricks.

    • +1

      I will try my best to get my whole bond back. Thank god, I am done with renting!

  • +9

    The property does not have to be returned in identical condition. Reasonable wear and tear is part of leasing a property. Agents and landlords who expect no change during a lease are just exploiting ignorant tenants to pay for routine depreciation and maintenance.

    • +1

      This exactly. So many people do not seem to understand it and then dont know they have rights in fighting the real estates (bullcrud) condition assessement.

  • +4

    Tell him you'll see him at the tribunal, he won't want to do that and then you get your bond back. A light globe, lol.

  • +10

    You should submit the bond claim form now, like today, asap.
    In NSW, you can submit the bond claim form yourself without the landlord/agent's signature if there is a dispute. The landlord will then have 14 days to respond.

    https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/apply-get-your-re...

  • Put your bond claim/refund form in first - then the PM has to dispute you, not the other way around - but you are responsible for light globes

    • Yes, I can understand that. But it was one of two bulbs of the range hood which was really difficult to spot for me. I guess it slowly faded and worn out and I never saw the difference.

      Shouldn't it have been the agents duty at the time of inspection to let me know about it? I would have easily fixed it if he had been professional enough to do that.

  • He only listed 2-3 issues and the guy's tone seemed really shady to me during it all.

    Probably keeps for the agency instead of passing onto the landlord too.

    • Exactly! Have been both a tenant and a landlord and you really wonder how much knowledge and information agents keep to themselves. One thing to be sure of is agents put themselves and their agencies first, well before the tenant and landlord.

      • I've seen some outrageous delivery fees, such as a $199 bar fridge delivered for $99 when you could buy one at appliances online for $250 and have it delivered.

  • +1

    You have nothing to worry about if you have photos/condition reports as evidence.

    If they try to make you pay for items in the house, always ask them for original receipts of the purchase, so that you can figure out the true value and date, then you can apply depreciation and only pay the depreciated value. In my experience though, they have always let me go without paying because they couldn't produce the receipts. p.s. of course I did not damage the item (e.g. towel rail), it was just old and fell off by itself…

    For cleaning, I find it easier to pay a 100% bond back guarantee cleaning team to deal with it, usually ~$200, because my agents have always come back and claimed that the properties were not clean enough despite professional cleaning. In that case, just direct them to the cleaning team, I don't know how the cleaning team responded but it has always been resolved without the cleaning team doing any extra cleaning.

    Re the lightbulb, question him why it wasn't mentioned at the end of lease inspection. Were you aware that the lightbulb was broken? If not, it might have broken any time after you moved out or after the lease ended?

    • After I questioned him he hasn't replied to my email so far. I hired a similar cleaning team that was suggested by the agent himself. They all keep scratching each others backs here.

      • That's how dodgy agents are. I had similar experience with dodgy agents before. From then on, at end of lease, I always insist they sign the condition report and bond claim form on the spot after doing the final inspection with them and submit the form myself. If they make any excuses and don't want to sign, I'd email over my bond claim form right away to fair trading without waiting for them. No point waiting around for them to do the right thing.

        • This was my first ever end of lease inspection here, so I was not aware of how everything would go. The agent also mislead me by not letting me know about all the issues that need to be taken care of. Next time if I rent I will definitely make sure of not trusting these agents.

  • if the rangehood lights are LED they should be good for 30000+ hours so therefore landlords problem if they break before this time

  • UPDATE: So after I filed for all of my Rental bond back from NSW Bond Claims, I get an email from him saying he will be claiming only 25$ from the bond for replacing the range hood light bulb which costs like 5$ max. I was also being held accountable for the marks left on the walls which the earlier tenant left but after a strongly worded email with screenshots of the Ingoing report, the agent backed down.

    He could have easily told me about the bulb at the time of the inspection but scumbag didn't let me know about it on purpose. Anyway, I will not contest it since it's not worth my time.

  • FINAL UPDATE I simply ignored the agents email after I had sent the bond claim email to NSW Bond Claims. I got the full amount credited to my account today. Perfect timing for more OzB shopping for me :D :D