Friday, 30 August 2013

Legal Loophole in Tenancy

Last year, I wrote a series of articles titled - Fighting the System! I traced the experiences of a tenant as he went into battle with the real estate agent, the landlord, and the tribunal (VCAT in this instance). A neighbour has written in anonymously with concerns  about the deplorable state of the property and the unethical conduct of both the landlord and managing agent. I applaud her sense of community in coming forward with her concerns.

Since Dawne Hedges purchased the property around mid-2006 and started renting it out through Danielle Hunter at the Professionals, Wantirna South, VIC, there has been a high turnover of tenants, due to either being evicted by the agent when repairs have been requested or the tenants voluntarily give notice to vacate the property due to the frustration of repairs not being carried out.
The place is run down, not fit for human habitation and on the verge of collapsing - the property is tired and should be knocked down. It is filled with vermin such as rats and possums, leaks, rising damp, the stumps are giving way, electrical/fire risks etc. Dawne repeatedly uses the excuse of wanting to develop the property when she wants to evict her tenants if they make a request for repairs to the property.  The agent and Dawne are corrupt. In the past when they used to hold open inspections, they would cancel scheduled inspections if it was raining because they didn't want prospective tenants to see the numerous leaks inside and outside of the property. To this day, you can still see the leak from the front of the property, above the front door - this leak is still not fixed and yet, in late September 2012 she had a new tenant occupy the property with absolutely no repairs carried out. The block is still not developed either which is the old and tired excuse she has used in the past with previous tenants when they begin to exercise their rights as a tenant. It is approximately seven years since she purchased the property, so where are these units, when are they going to be built?
After Matt left around August 2012, it appeared that she had trouble renting out the property for a couple of months due to existing repairs not being carried out and the poor condition of the property. I suspect the current rent she is collecting on the property is around $330 - $350 per week. No sensible person inspecting the property around August/September 2012 bothered to make an application to rent the property due to the appalling condition. Dawne Hedges is nothing but a greedy, insensitive landlord who does what she can avoid her legal responsibilities as a landlord.
Danelle Hunter is also someone who should have her real estate license revoked due to her incompetence, deceit and abuse of power. The current tenant has been told that his lease will only be a twelve month one because again, Dawne Hedges wants to develop the block.  She uses this excuse on all her tenants in the event that they begin to make repair requests, she can then use this reason (which does not appear to be based in reality) to evict them. I have, over the years repeatedly observed the pattern of one set of tenants vacating the premises and no repairs being carried out prior to the next tenants occupying the property.  Previous tenants have made mention that they begun developing respiratory health complaints after occupying the property due to the rising dampness, mould and moisture in the floorboards, walls and ceilings. At one point, tradesmen were brought in to fix the electricals but the power had to be shut down for one week due to the risk of electrocution and fire!
When Danelle advertises the property on the internet, seeking new tenants they don't mention the address or show an image of the house, just an old picture of the kitchen. They only have private inspections of the property with the agent and prospective tenant, rather than group ones like they used to have  Saturday mornings between 10:00am and 1:00pm. The agent advertises the property as low key as possible in an effort to deceive the future tenant. The agent also plays down the condition of the house at the time of the house inspection and claims that the repairs will be attended too once the person moves in and has signed the lease but no, the repairs never get done and leases don't get renewed once the tenant has made repair requests.
I do not advise ANYONE to rent 20 Orange Grove, Bayswater, Victoria, 3153, or rent through Danielle Hunter of the Professionals Real Estate Agent, Wantirna South, Victoria.
The system is based on the notion that it resolves disputes between individuals. But really, the law of tenancy (or the law of the home as I like to think of it) concerns the entire community. The system facilitates the exploitation of tenants because the malfeasance of landlords and agents is not tracked. It is a waste of public resources for tribunals to adjudicate the same problems again and again with no actual resolution. It’s time this loophole was closed.

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