Finished Our Rent - Landlord Is Now Wanting Some Crazy Repairs Done

Our lease finished off 2 days ago (NSW). We are now 9 hours away. Our landlord did an inspection yesterday and said that a number of things need to be cleaned/fixed, some of these are fair enough, some of them were breaking when we moved in and some of them make no sense….

My question isn’t about that though, but how many days do we have to fix these? She’s telling us to reply to her by tomorrow afternoon whether we are going to drive back to NSW or if we want her to deduct the costs from our bond.

It’s utterly stupid as one of the things she said is that we broke the garage roller door and she specifically said that the damage to the garage door corresponds to the damage to our car (excuse me, how do you know what damage there is to our car? Besides I dont remember driving into the bloody garage door….)

Any advice would be appreciated because this is my first rental


Thank you for your advice, some more helpful than others.

I've gotten all the help I need

closed Comments

  • +24

    Pics or didn't happen.

      • +22

        There's two sides to every story.
        Having been with Ozbargain fo 6 years i think it's a reasonable and expected request

        Pictures are worth a thousand words.

        • +27

          Apologies, I misunderstood your comment “pics or it didn’t happen”.
          I thought you were just being a smart ass but you were actually saying that I should request pics from her or else it didn’t happen…

          That’s how I’ve decided to proceed with this issue. Thanks again and apologies

          • -2

            @Runite Oar: Let's put it this way, your reaction was overblown. You could've interpretted this in three ways:
            -Drakesy is telling you that they need to provide proof for their claims.
            -Drakesy is wanting you to upload photos so he can judge
            -Drakesy is your landlord and he is arguing that you are wrong and prove it.

    • +11

      Similar story here, I just finished up a lease for a commercial property and real estate agent is being an ass making me repair for things that was already present when I first got the keys. LUCKILY, the lawyer (also high school friend) nagged the crap out of me to take pics of the warehouse on the days of recieving the keys and it was all timestamped (on the iphone).

      Took me a whole day going thru my usb/old phones because i could not find it for a while and when i did, I just shoved those pics right at the real estate agent and they have not replied me since.

      • +25

        RE agents are so scummy

        • +4

          I just can't believe REA can be scummy to Centrelink of all places :\

      • +7

        Buy your friend a beer!🍺

      • +5

        What's up for debate? If you did the work and noted down these issues on the entry report, it's almost black and white.
        I'm a landlord and it's funny how every tenant tries to claim the issue was there when they moved in but if it's not stated on the entry report it means nothing, especially to landlords like me who don't manage the properties directly and don't exactly know what state the property was in when they moved in. Entry report is the only version of truth.

        • +1

          Entry report is the only version of truth.

          Only a complete version. I can Imagine the REA is very non-challante on entry, Repeating the "Don't worry, Don't worry" song.

          • @cameldownunder: It's up to both the tenant and the landlord (property manager if acting on behalf of the landlord) to note down defects and sign off on the document if they agree with what has been noted down. It's not rocket science.
            If you think either party will pick up on everything (intentionally or through honest omission), you are setting yourself up for trouble.

            When I rented a few years ago, I took my own high resolution photos of all defects that I could see and noted down every single detail. The quality of photos taken by REA are often horrible to the point of almost being useless when trying to determine if minor defects were there or not

            • @dji1111111: Exactly, if the tenant does not do his homework ( note down the defects ), then there are no defects. And whatever is broker is blamed on the tenant. So it is in the interest of the REA to be superficial as possible, so the owner ( the one that pays the REA ) gets to renovate parts when tenant leaves.

              • @cameldownunder: Written with a very heavy undertone of a swipe at landlords. Never in my entire life have I renovated something funded by tenants. That would be a pipe dream. You along with most people seem to confuse the entry report as something that should be produced by the landlords side for you to sign off on. That couldn't be further from the truth. It's a joint document that both parties should have input into and ultimately agree on what's written in it.

    • +3

      Our real estate agent charged us $180 to wash away soap suds that were in the shower because we over cleaned it…. there was no suds it was a lie to take money out of the bond… they always do it.

  • +60

    Ignore the landlord, go here and claim your bond back: https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/apply-get-your-re...

    The landlord will then have 14 days to take you to the tribunal if they want to claim any part of the bond.

    • +13

      100% this. The landlord will have the burden of proof at tribunal, have to waste a day (or more if you don't turn up the first time), or pay their property manager to turn up.

      Most of the time those little 'extras' they try to charge you for will disappear just so that you sign for the reasonable items to be deducted.

      My property manager got a lovely surprise when the bond board sent them notice of my claim for the full bond return.

    • +7

      OP clearly states

      some of these are fair enough, some of them were breaking when we moved in …

      Why is this answer encouraged? It is simply telling to abuse the system in favour of the burden someone has to go through the process and potentially get away with the responsibilities caused by their actions.

      • +5

        Eh, fair wear and tear

      • +3

        It’s a pretty normal response. If the RE agent/landlord has soured the relationship by trying to nickel and dime them for repairs which a) probably won’t be made and b) weren’t the fault of the tenant, then it’s a very human reaction to respond in kind by refusing to accept culpability for even those things which you are responsible for.

        • +5

          REAs are lazy buggers who have usually dont even know what's going on with a property they manage. Having said that people damage and break things all the time. The reverse of what you are saying is "if the tenant has soured the relationship by breaking things and not wanting to pay for them", and to me that actually sounds worse. Event tenants that are Greta in lease don't want to pay for fixtures they broke after only 12 months renting. It goes both ways, and as such we need to work from facts.

          Of course I will probably be down voted because tenants likely outnumber landlords here 5 to 1 at least

          • @Jackson: I struggled a little to follow your comment, sorry. I don’t think it’s good for people to be reactionary like that, it’s just a natural reaction. I actually think it’s bad to behave like that.

            • -2

              @CommuterPolluter: You mention them being nickle and dimed, but they are likely nickle and diming the landlord. When someone breaks 4 or 5 things 2 months into a lease and doesn't tell you, it's a major inconvenience, especially if it's a nice property. When you show people to the next tenant and go on about how beautiful and low maintenance things are, then they see broken clips, taps and drawers etc, they have a low opinion of the landlord.

              Last time I had to speak to fair trading about checking some rules, I asked the lady if I was being at all unreasonable and she said "no, I speak to thousands of people and truthfully we find that the owners are the most reasonable, the agents are a mixed bag and the tenants we speak to are usually being unreasonable, they don't want to spend a dollar even if it's their fault. This was news to me, I know renters get often ignored or worse shafted, but that was what she said and I am inclined to believe her.

        • +1

          Talk to an experienced property manager and you’ll understand the extent some tenants go to evade these matters. They totally game the system knowing it’s too much of a hassle for agents and landlords to go through. At that point its a matter of if its worth going through all that trouble despite the tenants are at wrong.

      • +3

        It's not abusing the system, it's using the system exactly as it was designed.

        Tenant submits claim for refund, then landlord submits claim for any legitimate deductions. Tenant has opportunity to escalate a complaint if they believe the deductions are unfair.

        No abuse, no trickery.

        • -1

          It sure is there for a reason and no argument on that for when situation is right, but you’ve clearly missed the tone of that comment

          Ignore the landlord, go here and claim your bond back

          and

          100% this. The landlord will have the burden of proof at tribunal, have to waste a day (or more if you don't turn up the first time), or pay their property manager to turn up.

          is telling that hey OP forget what you owe for damages, there is a magic form where if you submit it you have a chance to evade because of the arduous process from landlord’s side.

          • @nsuinteger: No. It's telling the OP to claim their bond back, the landlords next steps are up to them.

            If they have a valid claim/proof they will refute, no different to the ingoing report argument above from landlords, you can't have it both ways.

    • Whats the VIctorian equivalent to this for claiming security deposits for a commericial lease?

  • +19

    Does it mention any of these things are on the property condition report from when you moved in?
    Fair wear and tear is acceptable, damage is not. If the garage was damaged when you moved in, it should have been noted on the report of pictures should show the damage.
    It's a bit like hiring a rental car, you need to check over the report and make sure everything is noted on there if you're not happy with it (obviously too late in the piece now).

    There's some good information on Fair Trading

  • +34

    The landlord does not have to give you the opportunity to fix them. The responsibility is for you to ensure all damage is repaired, house is clean when you vacate the property.

    • Thank you for actually reading the question. People seem to think I'm being lazy when all I was asking is do I need to drive there in a few days or should I ask my friend to go there asap.

  • +21

    Never let the landlord do the final inspection without you. I guess you realise that now.

    • +14

      Always complete a move in inspection and keep a signed copy with photos

      Always complete a move out inspection with either landlord or REA

  • How did OP hit a stationary garage door lol

    • +30

      While in a non-stationary car?

    • +4

      Besides I dont remember driving into the bloody garage door….

      Maybe OP had a few

    • +4

      It was a funny angle!

      Tyrone when you reverse things come from behind!

      • +3

        Control that dog!

      • Jake Paul agrees.

    • My bro-in-law drove his brand new VE SS ute through the garage door, because he thought it was in reverse, but was in drive.

      • Pics or didn't happen.

        • +1

          This was 10 years ago , my potato phone is probably dead

  • +9

    My question isn’t about that though, but how many days do we have to fix these? She’s telling us to reply to her by tomorrow afternoon whether we are going to drive back to NSW or if we want her to deduct the costs from our bond.

    It is a fair request from the agent, they want to know if you're going to fix it and when.

    Put it this way, you are not paying rent anymore and they can't rent it till these things are fixed. So can't wait around for 2 weeks for you to come back.

    You need to head back ASAP and clean/repair what is valid on the report or let them bill you for it out of your bond.

    As for things broken when you moved in, point them to the inspection report that reflected that.

    • +4

      and they can't rent it till these things are fixed

      lmao a wall could have fallen down and the agent/landlord would still be pushing to get a tenant in ASAP

  • +4

    The landlord is required to give you time to fix/clean any issue. If you decline then the RE cleaners will come in and any costs will be taken from your bond, very silly to move so far away without a final walkthrough and sign off. Lesson learned.

    • +2

      Under what rule is the landlord required to provide time for fix/clean? If the OP agrees to keep paying rent until they have done those fix/cleans, then that is true.

    • +2

      The landlord is required to give you time to fix/clean any issue.

      After move out? I don't think this is true at all.

      As a tenant your opportunity to fix and clean things up is before you vacate the property.

    • +1

      If the tenant hands keys in early and gets the Property manager to do an early inspection they can go back.
      If they hand them in on the last day the Landlord doesn't have to let you back in they want to rent it out as soon as possible so are more likely to hire proffesionals

  • +9

    Just ask for your bond back through the RBO, let them challenge it at NCAT if they can be bothered, then they must provide solid evidence for every single thing they're claiming

  • +2

    For the reasonable requests can you ask friends or family to go in and do it so you don’t have to drive back? Of course reward said friends with a nice thank you present or some $. For the unreasonable stuff contest it, but your request won’t be taken seriously if you don’t at least clean up to a reasonable degree.

    • This is what I ended up doing.

  • Was this rented through a real estate?

  • +1

    I'd also like to know if you got a professional end of lease clean

  • -2

    If you are 9 hours away, it's not worth going back. If you did not have a professional exit clean then tell them you will arrange this, it is usually just a few hundred dollars. It is your responsibility to steam clean the carpets etc. Most other things are usually wear and tear.

    • +10

      It is definitely NOT the tenant's responsibility to steam clean the carpets. Please take the time to research things before you make blanket statements that are just your opinion/understanding of it (what may apply in your state may not be applicable everywhere).
      ie for NSW this is the applicable ruling

      Section 19(2) of the Act says: “Terms having the following effects must not be included in a residential tenancy agreement:

      a. that the tenant must have the carpet professionally cleaned, or pay the cost of such cleaning, at the end of the tenancy [unless the cleaning is required because animals have been kept on the premises during the tenancy],

      • You have to return the property to the condition it was in when you moved in (minus wear and tear). If the carpets were steam cleaned before you moved in it is reasonable to expect you to steam clean them on your exit. You don't necessarily need to do it professionally but you can hire a machine from Woolies and do it yourself

        • +1

          No you don’t. RE scumbags even request professional steam cleaning receipts if you try using a WW carpet cleaner. It’s unenforceable but people cop it so they do it.

          • -1

            @CommuterPolluter: If the carpets are dirty when they inspect it they'll tell you to come back and make it as clean as it was in the initial condition report

            • +1

              @Quantumcat: No, you are wrong. I’ve had rental contracts which specifically request steam cleaning, and RE agents who request receipts from steam cleaning services. I was recently knocked back for having had the carpet extraction cleaned because it wasn’t steam cleaned. I was requested to get it redone purely because it wasn’t steam-based. This is despite not providing evidence of the premises being steam cleaned prior to moving in. This is contrary to Victorian rental laws.

              • @CommuterPolluter: Weren't you arguing that tenants couldn't be made to get carpets professionally stream cleaned? Now you seem to be arguing the opposite

                • -1

                  @Quantumcat: As I said in my first comment, it’s (legally) unenforceable but scumbag REAs will put it in the contract and request it nonetheless.

                  • @CommuterPolluter: All I said is that they can insist on the carpet being steam cleaned if it was steam cleaned before you moved in, returning it to the state it was in when you leased it. Your quote said they can't mandate it being professionally cleaned. I agree. But they can still ask for it to be steam cleaned to return it to the same condition, which you can do by hiring a machine from Woolies. Your quote does not say they can't. Your quote only mentions professional cleaning.

  • +7

    I think it is pretty simple:
    a) if the garage door is damaged and you have not mentioned that on your entry condition report - then it is your responsibility to fix that
    b) every other damage (not wear/tear) is considered in a similar way, just by comparing to the entry report
    c) leaving the city without completing a move out inspection is a bit irresponsible

    • The garage door issue was fixed as I had a video showing the damage.

      But I agree with point c and have learnt from my mistake.

  • +2

    How old is the place? How long have you been there? Are prior damage recorded on original report?
    They should have inspected before lease expired, giving you time to rectify any issues.
    If you feel they are playing games "which they do" and bluffing you into giving them your Bond - don't fall for it.

    DO NOT have them suddenly know of a "person" who can do the cleaning/repair - its them (a cousin) and they slap on exorbitant inflated prices.

    LOOK— LISTEN CAREFULLY….. document everything. write it down, and TAKE PHOTOS.

    You bluff back and cite you are willing to have an ARBITRATOR decide (Tribunal)… don't be scared, these Tribunals are essentially on YOUR SIDE. It is simply your case against the real estate.

    Contact NCAT, or Dep of Fair Trading for advice. It is a simple process, and don't forget, you are fighting for possibly hundreds of dollars and your GOOD NAME as the RE can place you on a BLACK LIST.

  • Just tell her deduct it from your bond. Less hassle, your 9 hours away and your looking forward to a new part on life.

    Get the real estate to provide you with their trades and you want receipts.

    Next time get an inspection before leaving with your boxes packed, even if you have to stay 1 or 2 nights with family or in a motel.

  • or if we want her to deduct the costs from our bond.

    REA's can't just "deduct it from your bond". They don't hold it. They have to submit an application to access it.

    It’s utterly stupid as one of the things she said is that we broke the garage roller door and she specifically said that the damage to the garage door corresponds to the damage to our car

    Your garage door or common? If common, tell her to jump off a cliff. Regardless, ask for proof.

    I had a REA say they'd need to repaint the entire apartment because of scuffing and marks on the walls (this is the shitty TopLace building in Canterbury) after I left. I flat out just replied on the phone "nah mate not going to happeN" and never heard back.

    REA will try to get money out of you but just say no and watch them go away.

    • Issue is they aren't using a REA.

  • You say some of it is fair enough and imply others were wear and tear. The easy route for landlords is to pay for EVERYTHING from your bond. The reality is that this is unreasonable. You can offer to have some of your bond cover the problems or you can go to arbitration. Most likely you will lose some in arbitration so the maths is offer half of what you say is reasonable and then in arbitration offer what you think is fair. Works most of the time. The offer should always be lower than you want to pay because they will use that as a starting point. I’m guessing that even if you drive the two hours back and did what they asked they would still not be satisfied - garage door being an example.

    • Sorry but what's arbitration?

  • +15

    The amount of people on here who have a twisted view of landlords is crazy. I'm sure If you rented out your computer to someone and they returned it with missing keys, dent damage and other obvious user damage, you would hunt the renter down for a repair or replacement of the computer. But when it comes to a unit or house, it seems damaging stuff (either accidentally or deliberately) or not returning it in reasonable condition is fair game. We all aren't out to screw the tenants over, and in my experience it's been several different tenant's who have screwed me over. Non payment of rent, damage to equipment due to misuse, damage and repairs greater than bond, people living in unit not registered on tenancy agreement, are all issue's I've faced from so called angel tenants. And before the usual apologist bring out the line about "it being an investment and all investments come with risk", jump up and down, yes I have landlord insurance, but that's a annual cost I have to have, because it seems that tenants can't be trusted to do the right thing. Apart from insurance premiums going up after each claim, the time and effort required to claim is never considered in the equation. As anybody who has dealt with any insurance company knows, it's not just a simple phone call and fill this form in, and they sign a blank cheque for your troubles and allow you to rectify the problem quickly.

    • +5

      100% agree with this. Classic example for me was when my tenant contacted the property manager saying the dishwasher is broken and water won't drain. Property manager asks me whether I want a contractor to attend to the problem. I tell her no and got her to ask the tenant whether they cleaned the filter. A few days later, I follow up and surprise surprise, the issue is resolved. People are lazy morons and if it's not their property, most simply won't give a damn.

      • +5

        Says somebody with a twisted view of tenants. Looks like the pendulum swings both ways.

        • +2

          True. It's a disgusting industry where it is the norm to try and take all the tenants bond when they end the lease even when they are clearly not at fault. A RE tried to make me hire a cleaner to clean the black mould above the AC even when I showed them timestamped photos to prove they were already there when I moved in. Then the LL tried to deduct money out of my bond because I got a bench top repaired with resin when I specifically asked them via email if this was an adequate repair as I knew something like this could happen. The LL eventually pulled the dispute but it is a PITA as they always like to play hardball forcing you to gather documentation and I bet there are many like me who have experienced similar situations but didn't have the knowledge to know how to fight back.

        • -1

          A lot of tenants are like that unfortunately. It's still a mystery that I've never in my entire life broke a toilet seat but tenants continue to break the toilet seat and asks me to replace it.

        • -1

          I mean he literally gave a valid example of tenant stupidity.

    • +1

      You sound like a “not all men” apologist. We get it, you’re not one of them. Whatever. Enough landlords treat bond as the final month of rent that it ruins the image for the rest of them.

    • So I'm going to copy paste this answer because a lot people were interested in the post.

      I'm sorry if I came off as lazy. The house was cleaned before we left. The issues raised in terms of cleanliness were:
      * lawn needed to be whipper snippered
      * bugs in light fixture
      * 1 bulb replacement

      In my opinion these are all things they could've done themselves and then charged us rather than us having to get a friend to go there and do it, or hire a cleaner. Regardless I didn't complain about that. My biggest complaint was regarding things that were already broken in the house or in the process of breaking. My question was how long do I have to fix these.

  • +1

    As others said, refer to your inspection report from when you moved in. Any damage listed on their is not your responsibility, if it aint on there then it is up to you to fix or pay to have fixed. Wear and tear is one thing and acceptable, damage is completely unacceptable. Some REA/Landlords will try for more than is fair, but then many tenants try to get away with damage they have a responsibility to fix, That is why inspection reports exist to remove any doubt about who is responsible for the damage.

    • Thank you for the advice.

  • Hypothetical question which may not be related to OP specific case (NSW).. if something in the property works well but old when tenant moved in and accepted in the condition report, but then broken down the line.. will the tenant be liable? Or they can argue that the thing is past its lifespan (how this is even determined though?) ?

    Does the landlord have right to get the tenant to repair or replace regardless its age as it was working when the tenant moved in?

    • It depends how and why it is broken and what it is. Many things can be old but perfectly servicable. For instance if you break a shower door you will be considered liable whether it is 10 day or 40 years old. Some carpets and curtains etc that do deteriorate over time can be a different matter entirely depending on the damage.

    • Easy (most of the time).
      If we are talking about an oven or dishwasher breaking down, it would be fair to expect the owner to have it repaired especially if there is no sign of damage or misuse.
      Physically damaging something like a door or a wall, that would be on the tenant regardless of how old it is (but depends on other factors).

      How old something is matters when the tenant damages something then they should be liable for the remaining age of the thing. Example: they pay 10% of the cost of a new carpet it is 10 years old or something.

  • +5

    Things that are irellevant:

    [X] OP's current distance from previous rental

    • +1

      Relevant when they are asking for advice here. Irrelevant to the landlord.

  • +2

    Fair warning, plenty of landlords on Ozbargain, they will say you have to clean and fix things, even if there is tear and wear and if the law says the place has to be reasonable clean (not spotless clean!!!).

    Apply for your bond back and let the landlord take you to the court if he/she can prove.

    • +1

      Stingy landlords on a bargain website? Surely not!

    • Apparently people have jumped to conclusion that I've been lazy and left the house unclean. Everyone is ignoring the fact that ive asked how long do I have to clean it…. Not do I need to clean it…

      • I have been where you are. I agreed to compensate the landlord for things i left behind and had to be disposed (which was outside the house). When he wanted money for cleaning I said no. He argued. I said no, take me to court. He said he would but then backed out.

        Also you said you been there 6 years. Landlord is probably disgrunted you are leaving. My ex landlord made a song and dance on big favour he did to let me rent his place for over 7 years.

        • Wow, he let you give him money. what a saint.

  • +4

    Sounds like you were very unprepared, you also knew there was stuff you should have done and now you've been pinged on them agree, but don't want to do it or pay for it to be done.
    Any pre-existing damage should be on a condition report and is usually acknowledged during periodic inspections.
    Wear and tear is acceptable to an extent unless you're trying to take the p!ss.

    It's amazing (and disappointing) how many people don't clean rentals when leaving thinking its fine and the next person can deal with it.
    I've had to clean quite a few rentals I've moved in to over the years before even unpacking a single thing due to the previous person doing a really poor job.
    Again, photos and send it to the RE when moving in so they don't hit me for it when I leave.

    You've also not shown or explained the "crazy repairs" they're requesting either, sounds like you're just a sh!t tennant who has bailed and wants all their cash back without doing anything.

    (disclaimer for those who will assume, I am not nor have I ever been a LL!)

    • +1

      So I'm going to copy paste this answer because a lot people were interested in the post.

      I'm sorry if I came off as lazy. The house was cleaned before we left. The issues raised in terms of cleanliness were:
      * lawn needed to be whipper snippered
      * bugs in light fixture
      * 1 bulb replacement

      In my opinion these are all things they could've done themselves and then charged us rather than us having to get a friend to go there and do it, or hire a cleaner. Regardless I didn't complain about that. My biggest complaint was regarding things that were already broken in the house or in the process of breaking. My question was how long do I have to fix these.

  • -1

    Landlords inspection after moving out is like an old horny man looking for sexy young girls.
    They will do whatever they can to rip you off.
    I've been through it and its fking infuriating when you clearly know that all they want is your cash

  • If not damage prior. you are to paid for damage. same rule apply to any rental. why should special rule apply to properties

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