We had our tenancy tribunal hearing today and it was a resounding win to the good guys. I want to say ‘stunning victory’ but that’s just the tabloid inside me talking. Initially Evil Agent tried to get $997 off us to replace the carpet, that gambit failed. Then they tried for $290 – which is what we went to the tribunal for today.
First up was the issue of a damaged garage door, EA claimed we damaged it and they wanted $170 for repairs. Well, Judge Judy started asking questions and we responded that we didn’t put anything on the condition report because the garage wasn’t part of the rental agreement. This had her snapping at EA in seconds; as it wasn’t part of the agreement it wasn’t in her jurisdiction to hear the complaint. EA tried to claim it was connected to the house so it should be covered. Judge Judy was having none of it and point blank asked her “was the garage part of the rental agreement?”. “Ah, no” was EA’s meek response. “Well I’m not hearing it.” and that was that.
Next was a front door that needed repainting. EA actually fibbed in the tribunal and said it had been freshly painted before we moved in (it hadn’t, we moved in the day after the previous tenant moved out, they didn’t even have time to steam clean the carpets). Judge Judy asked us what we had to say. We said we didn’t damage the door but if she was to find it did need repainting then we wanted the amount depreciated. “That’s fair.” said Judge Judy and awarded EA $95 instead of the $120 requested.
So out of a possible $290 up for grabs today we scored about $200. EA ended up with less than 10% of their first claim and it will have cost the land lord more in application and representation fees than she will end up getting from us.
We come away with moral and financial victories and a new found sense of confidence that the justice system works when your honest and stand up for yourself.
Our landlord came away with a bill not covered by her ‘win’ today.
Life, for this sunny afternoon, is good.
We realised tonight just how much the agent shot the landlord in the foot.
When they added the front door to the list of things they wanted to keep our bond for we offered to settle for the $170, just to be done with the ordeal.
This was rejected by the agent.
So, instead of being $170, or a roller door, in front our land lord lost that, received $95 instead, had to pay $31 to VCAT to have the case heard and we are told between $100 and $200 to have the agent attend the tribunal on her behalf.
At best she’s gone from $170 up to $36 down, maybe $136 down.
She still has to pay an extra $25 to have the front the door painted (now down $61 at best case) and a further $170 to have the roller door that we didn’t damage fixed.
Is it any wonder we can’t stop smiling.