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rikyuu

The property rental system really stinks!

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well, we've got 2 applications in, provided an introduction letter and lots of background information on us. Fingers crossed!

 

About 2 months ago I emailed our current agency and asked if itwas likely that our rental contract would be renewed at the end of the year, as we were really keen to stay and had been good tenants. About 2 days later, we got a letter giving us 3 months notice to move out as it wasn't being renewed.

Ironically, I phoned our current agency yesterday to finalise the moving out arrangements. You'll never guess what they said......

"Oh, you don't have to move out, the landlady has changed her mind". I'm like WTH, when/how did that happen. Turns out she wanted us out for tax reasons, but now doesn't. Don't know when they were going to tell us or if they forgot or something. I told them we'd already started applying and to politely shuv it! Sound like they screwed up and forgot to tell us she'd changed her mind. I just hope they don't now try and keep our deposit to compensate the landlady for screwing up.


READ FIRST: please note that my posts are my own personal opinions based on my experiences. These are MY OPINIONS pure and simple, NOT a statement of fact.

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Guest MM2Melb

Things in the UK are not so great for tenants! I have rented in Melbourne and Edinburgh and despite being a great tenant have had to deal with problems in both places. In Melbourne I had to move out when the landlord decided to sell and although I was about to move overseas in two months (so couldn't get a new lease) he was not prepared to wait or let me live there while he sold. I took it to VCAT and won but ultimately moved out when another house came up for the time because I was scared of the guy. In Edinburgh I had moved into one house and three months later got three months notice to move out. It turned out that the landlords used it as a festival let. They had given permission and taken double bond so that I could keep my dog there so obviously it wasn't seen by me as a short term let, they just felt comfortable playing tricks, and ultimately because of that I ended up having to rehome my dog :( The agent said they didn't know about the festival let (which I tend to believe) but the owners felt so comfortable with what they were doing that they wrote me a sneaky letter offering a private let again in the house after the festival period was over. No thanks!! The very next place in Edinburgh I had to move out as the landlord decided to sell and was insisting that we move exactly on the notice period to the day ie about 3 weeks before the end of the school term. It would have been so disruptive that I decided to stick it out (paying rent) and wait for the formal process to start through the courts (which obviously given the short timescale it didn't). Ultimately I think that renting in itself is an insecure position and whatever country you are in it isn't great (maybe continental Europe is a bit better). At least in Australia you do have formal tenancy protection through VCAT or equivalent. That said, we do plan to rent in Australia when we go over at the end of this year, at least initially, because like another poster said, right now the affordability for renting (though bad) is just so much better than buying.

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I also feel like a squeezed renter!! The house I'm renting in Canberra is 3 bed for $500 a week and we've spent the weekend scrubbing it because the property owner wants to make an inspection alongside the real estate agent.

 

The market it here is crazy, to buy the same house I'd need a $100K deposit and a $500k mortgage @ $850K a week!!!! For the same money I could rent a house in Canberra's poshest suburbs...

 

$500 a week less 6% interest on the $100k deposit gives an effective rent of around $385 a week, against $850 a week mortgage plus buying and maintenance costs to buy it. Sounds like you're paying around a third of the price renting as opposed to buying. The other side of the coin.

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we do plan to rent in Australia when we go over at the end of this year, at least initially, because like another poster said, right now the affordability for renting (though bad) is just so much better than buying.

 

Disregarding factors like living near good schools for children, purely from a financial perspective, this is a no-brainer in the current market.

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well, we've got 2 applications in, provided an introduction letter and lots of background information on us. Fingers crossed!

 

About 2 months ago I emailed our current agency and asked if itwas likely that our rental contract would be renewed at the end of the year, as we were really keen to stay and had been good tenants. About 2 days later, we got a letter giving us 3 months notice to move out as it wasn't being renewed.

Ironically, I phoned our current agency yesterday to finalise the moving out arrangements. You'll never guess what they said......

"Oh, you don't have to move out, the landlady has changed her mind". I'm like WTH, when/how did that happen. Turns out she wanted us out for tax reasons, but now doesn't. Don't know when they were going to tell us or if they forgot or something. I told them we'd already started applying and to politely shuv it! Sound like they screwed up and forgot to tell us she'd changed her mind. I just hope they don't now try and keep our deposit to compensate the landlady for screwing up.

 

shouldn't have posted this here instead of starting a new thread.....

 

after worrying about having to move out of our current property, my wife received a phone call today saying we'd been offered one we applied for. I thought great, it's 2 story, good location, double garage with an extra car port on the side which are both drive through into a huge back garden. Ideal for us an the kids.

 

Just by chance, my wife asked the agency if it was ok to confirm in the morning after she spoke to me, and please could they send us an email with the offer.

 

Great we thought......until we got the email........."by the way, the landlord is going to build a fence to fence off the car port and the back garden"..........which more than halves the land and takes away the car port. What the hell? What planet are these people on? :mad::mad: We put all this effort into applying for it, waited 3 days for the offer, then they offer it and tell us it's being chopped in half. My wife even asked the agency when she viewed whether all the land is with it (it was huge) and she was told yes. I'm lost for words, it's just unbelievable. The guys really take the p....:mad::mad:. If we didn't ask for the email, were they just going to turn up and start fencing off half the property?!! Do I now need to ensure it's in the contract for future properties that the landlord must not take part of the property and fence it off whilst we are renting there?!!!

 

 

Another property agent has been waiting 5 days for the landlord to reply to our application, despite us phoning every day. Yet they say you can't apply for more than one at once and can't apply too much in advance as they want you in straight away. How can you do that when it may take over a week to get a reply to a single application?


READ FIRST: please note that my posts are my own personal opinions based on my experiences. These are MY OPINIONS pure and simple, NOT a statement of fact.

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Is he fencing it off to build another unit at the back or is he just fencing it in the usual Aussie way these days, people have all open at the front then fence off the back yard.

 

If he is just going to fence off the back yard as per the Aussie norm perhaps he will not do it if you ask him, landlords do like to save money.


Petals

:ssign15:taking no prisoners :wink:

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Is he fencing it off to build another unit at the back or is he just fencing it in the usual Aussie way these days, people have all open at the front then fence off the back yard.

 

If he is just going to fence off the back yard as per the Aussie norm perhaps he will not do it if you ask him, landlords do like to save money.

 

He's taking the car port and literally more than half the back garden to store stuff, so we declined. We've been waiting 4 days on the other property, we finally found out the landlord is away on holiday, the agency didn't bother telling us, just let us keep ringing every day. They now told us not to phone any more, they will call us when he get back. So given up on those two, out looking at more this weekend. This is why you've got no hope if you just apply for one at a time. These 2 have fallen through, not because of the competition, but because the agencies are beyond useless.


READ FIRST: please note that my posts are my own personal opinions based on my experiences. These are MY OPINIONS pure and simple, NOT a statement of fact.

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He's taking the car port and literally more than half the back garden to store stuff, so we declined. We've been waiting 4 days on the other property, we finally found out the landlord is away on holiday, the agency didn't bother telling us, just let us keep ringing every day. They now told us not to phone any more, they will call us when he get back. So given up on those two, out looking at more this weekend. This is why you've got no hope if you just apply for one at a time. These 2 have fallen through, not because of the competition, but because the agencies are beyond useless.

 

I totally agree and it makes me very angry, the agencies are just woeful. What really gets me going is the fact that tenants pay rent do they not and they deserve better. I could go on and on about it. It never used to be this way its something that has crept in over the years. Years ago when we were renting they never had inspections, you looked at the place, got accepted and moved in. Now its as though they are doing you a favour instead of the other way round.

 

Trouble is its the modern world of people want no risk they want to take money but no risk in getting it, i e some will not rent to people with children, animals the list goes on. Not supposed to but there are ways and means.

 

Hope you find something soon, there is a house for you out there. When we were building this house we got a rental privately from an advert in a local rag. He was a great landlord too. No agent involved.


Petals

:ssign15:taking no prisoners :wink:

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As long as there's a shortage of rental acccomodation the owners will continue to have the upper hand.

 

I hate to show my owner's bias but I can almost guarantee that any problems in my block will be caused by renters.

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If my agency was as bad as some of these here I would want to know about it; I pay them $700 to advertise it, plus internet fees, plus they take 8% commission every week, so it's in our best interest to find out whether they're doing a good job as well. Personally I'd piff the ones here and find someone worth the money

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If my agency was as bad as some of these here I would want to know about it; I pay them $700 to advertise it, plus internet fees, plus they take 8% commission every week, so it's in our best interest to find out whether they're doing a good job as well. Personally I'd piff the ones here and find someone worth the money

 

A lot of landlords do not have agents for this reason.

 

A lot of agents employ staff who lack people skills and they should pay a bit more and get good staff


Petals

:ssign15:taking no prisoners :wink:

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If my agency was as bad as some of these here I would want to know about it; I pay them $700 to advertise it, plus internet fees, plus they take 8% commission every week, so it's in our best interest to find out whether they're doing a good job as well. Personally I'd piff the ones here and find someone worth the money

 

I'm not sure what state you're in (apparently they have different laws) but the original poster said

 

"But no, it's written on every application, that you must accept the rental if it is offered, so you can't apply for more than one at a time."

 

Is this true in your state, and if it is, can you tell your agent to ignore it?

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Guest MADTOM

I totally agree..

 

This time in Melbourne we had a month to find somewhere. All the rental companies wanted someone straight away this is very awkward if you don't want to leave all last minute and maybe miss the boat.

Most inspections are between 5-6pm very awkward during rush hour as it limits you to just 1 propery to view as it's virtually impossible to get to more than one place.

10/15 minutes does not give you time to really think whether you want to live in a house for 12 + months.

We did find somewher but really only cos we were the only ones to turn up for the viewing - others were probably more savvy and realised it was overpiced! :arghh:

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I'm not sure what state you're in (apparently they have different laws) but the original poster said

 

"But no, it's written on every application, that you must accept the rental if it is offered, so you can't apply for more than one at a time."

 

Is this true in your state, and if it is, can you tell your agent to ignore it?

 

In Queensland there is no law whatsoever which says that. The words of the Residential Tenancies Authority on the matter are:

"What happens if the tenant or lessor/agent decide against entering into an agreement after the acceptance of the application has been communicated?

The enforceability of an agreement or a claim for compensation depends entirely on the nature (terms) of the application document and whether it created a binding agreement to enter into a tenancy"

 

So effectively, the rental agency has written it into a clause in the application that makes it binding - though the RTA does advise to get the document checked to make sure it is absolutely legally binding. They do it to stop people from making applications on every building they see as a matter of convenience to them, not because the law says they have to.

 

With my agent, after an application is made, they phone me up to see if I want to accept the applicant. if I do, they then phone the applicant to see if they still want it, as after I sign the application form the whole thing is still binding. So they can apply for more than one place because the agent checks to see if they're still interested prior to finalising it. I guess they do that because in Mackay vacancy rates are about 0.1% and you really have no choice in finding a place.

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Guest LeonHady
A lot of landlords do not have agents for this reason.

 

A lot of agents employ staff who lack people skills and they should pay a bit more and get good staff

Couldn't agree more - at some places we've gone to they've almost huffed when we asked to look at the state of the cupboards/wardrobes; that agent's preference was for us to peek our heads in for 2 seconds then disappear.

 

Have viewed 20 or so properties and have yet to meet one agent that knew much about the place they were showing us; it's always 'actually this is Sarah's property, she normally deals with it...ummm'

 

And the 'inspection' slots are so herd-like - I know someone recently who said they were so scared someone else would get their application in first she paid considerably more (10%) of the asking price to ensure she got it - is this common?

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It does seem to be common have read on here that people have paid over and above and in advance, however I would try not to, the property would have to be pretty exceptional to do that.

 

Hi Leon, as I said in a previous post have a look in the local newspapers, Leader Newspapers they are all on line and you can find the paper for the area you are interested in.

 

Also look at the Trading Post on line this also may have some rentals in it.

 

My son when he moved to Yarrawonga put an ad in the local paper asking for a rental as the houses he was shown were woeful. Anyway someone got in touch, he got a fab unit fully furnished and a cheap rent. Worked out fantastic.

 

Sometimes we have to look outside the square.

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Petals

:ssign15:taking no prisoners :wink:

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Guest LeonHady

Thanks, Petals.

 

That was all round the Albert Park area, now I'm gonna simply look in Point Cook / Sanctuary Lakes - will be working in Point Cook so I guess it makes the most sense. Prices round there seem to pretty stable, 4-600ish.

 

Hope I find a more pleasant agent!

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thanks petals - top tip

Cal


Job offer April 2011, Reccie July 2011, 457 submitted 21/09/2011, my medical only 14/10/11, medical submitted 21/10/11 (IT issues), referred 21/10/11, approved 27/10/11, landed 24/4/12, PR submitted (decision ready) June 2012, PR granted August 2013

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Utterly depressing - how did the rental market get like this?? When I rented in Melbourne (albeit 10 years ago), I would pick up the keys for the properties after handing over my drivers licence as ID and was allocated an hour to view the (empty) properties. When I left my rental, we scrubbed the place so it was gleaming and got our full deposit back plus a nice phone call from the agent to thank us for leaving the place so clean!! So, with the allocated viewings, does every man and his dog collectively have 15 minutes to look around the property and then shove a wad of cash at the agent to try and procure the letting? What about private landlords? Do they exist? Any good?

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Guest VickyMel
....

Another property agent has been waiting 5 days for the landlord to reply to our application, despite us phoning every day. Yet they say you can't apply for more than one at once and can't apply too much in advance as they want you in straight away. How can you do that when it may take over a week to get a reply to a single application?

 

Sounds appauling - its bad enough trying to find somewhere to begin with

 

Just to say we are in Melbourne and after putting in 1 application and waiting a bit we then put in 3 more and by the end of it were accepted for 2 at the same time and having been made to hang on ourselves we didn't mind making them hang on a little as we preferred one of the second option.

We never had any come back from the first agent.

 

If they cannot agree straight away they surely cannot expect you to hang on and not apply elsewhere.

 

 

I am dreading leaving as when we moved in the place was listed as pretty much spotless - I took photos and wrote lists of all the problems and filth in places. I assumed they had made an error and that when they got my llist they would be round to check as it was so different :no:.

However I am beginning to wonder if however spotless I try to make it whether the general agents attitude will be charge them for as much as you can - then state it is perfect for the next person so that you can charge again...

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I've only just got myself setup with internet here in Melbourne so would have liked to have posted earlier, but anyway better late than never, but having read all the posts here's a few things for people to know, as sometimes things look stupid, but there's a reason for it. Right here goes;

 

1) the person who first posted. 3 months notice may seem strange to you but in the state of Victoria for a LL to bring to an end a fixed term tenancy which is a) over 6 months duration and b) is not their principal place of residence they are under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 required to give 90 days notice." That may well be the case in other States.

 

2) Again definitely in Victoria but not sure elsewhere, Tenant's by law don't have to allow the LL/agent in until the last 14 days of the tenancy for viewings if it is simply a fixed term tenancy coming to an end (there are of course exceptions ie selling mid-tenancy), so your ability to not look around properties in these circumstances is the law dictating this and not the LL/agent. Plus put the shoe on the other foot. In the UK its often 2 months in advance of your vacate date, so surely 14 days is better for you as a tenant moving out, no? 14 days of visitors instead of potentially 2 months!

 

3) I sympathise with people having to put up with this 100pts ID system (speaking from experience), but its only difficult as a new arrival as you don't have much Aus relevant ID. Down the line you can often use random proofs as frivolous as your medicare card to get you towards that 100pts. It only gets easier.

 

4) The system of "open house inspection" is something that thrives on busy markets. It creates an artificially busy and thus competitive market place, much like the auction system. The switch from individual appointment to open for inspection is in response to a strong market for the Landlord. Put simply the agent might show a property 5 times in one week, but on separate days of the week, and if for instance the person offered who looked around 1st the Landlord would not have created the most competitve market place. Put those 5 people in to a "show down" so to speak, and all of a sudden you can create a fiercer and more competitive environment and not only get to be really choosy about the background of the tenant, but ensure you get top dollar. It also makes for better time management for the agent (see point 6 below)

 

5) Don't lose sight of the fact that the "LANDLORD" is the client who is paying the agency, and not the tenant. Their duty is first and foremost to the Landlord, and their duties to the tenant are secondary.

 

6) The reason agents in Aus are crud is partly not their fault. In the UK agencies (I refer to London here, not sure about elsewhere in the UK) have negotiators/consultants who do the leasing etc all the way up to the move in of the tenant but then these agencies have whats called a "PROPERTY MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT" who take over from there (if the agent is managing). The leasing agent therefore does not have to worry themselves about things going wrong in the property as there is someone who's sole job is to be this point of contact for you the tenant. Now the fundamental issue in Aus, is the negotiator/consultant equivalent here are actually called "Property Managers", so they're essentially doing everything! It's therefore no surprise that agents who are required to not only conduct all the pre-let work involved in putting a tenant in a property are then also required as part of their day to day job to be the point of contact for things going wrong in the property. What a nightmare!

 

7) The person who posted about being lead to believe a car port was part of the rented premises but then said a fence was being put up to remove part of this. Well if the agent told you the car port was part of the land, then under Victorian state law this would amount to mis-representation by the agent, and the tenant could take this matter further. The Landlord might also end up sueing the agent lol. So double whammy.

 

8) Just on the nightmare of a Landlord suddenly deciding to sell mid-tenancy, yes sadly in Aus the law allows that the agent/LL can access for viewing purposes. In the UK it's at the tenant's discretion, but do note in Aus that the Tenancy Agreement that you entered in to with the original LL is still a legally binding document, even now there is a completely new owner. That new LL is bound by the same terms of the contract. Nothing that can be done about the viewings side of things though I'm afraid.

 

9) Go easy on the investment companies who buy up properties, as don't forget with the GFC there are a lot less private Landlord's buying up properties for investment purposes due to a lack of buy to let mortgages and them no longer having any money! So if it wasn't for the investment companies still being able to hang on to these assets or acquire new ones, stock issues would be even worse!

 

Hope that has helped clear up a few things!:smile:

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:(

Its a nightmare..

 

We had to move out fo our first rental which we had for 18mths as they sold it. But during that time we had people comming and going with only 24hrs notice whenever they liked, for months!. It was horrid and I felt I had no rights at all. With 4 kids and the house needed constantly being spotless and people comming through all the time, I was so stressed out whilst trying to find another proerty.

 

When we were frist thinking of selling our UK property they informed me that we could Not have viewings, during the rental period, unless it was in the last few weeks of the agreement and then it had to be with the renters permission.

 

We also found that many companies didnt even ring us back regarding viewing times and there was a whole bunch of people which came to a viewing which was supposed to be just us..

 

Its so depressing trying to get a rental.

 

It was much easier getting another one with the same company we were already with, as others , just were not interested.

 

 

 

 

Just read this and thought you might like to adopt this approach if you ever find yourself in a similar situation.

Firstly never ask the agents if they can show people at certain times, my experience was once they know what you would prefer they go out of their way to be difficult.

Secondly its not your house, you don't care if it sells or not so you definitely DO NOT have to keep it spotless.

When "prospective purchasers", more likely time wasters, nosy neighbors etc etc, are due to arrive have the place a total mess, beds unmade, dirty plates on the table, underwear laying on the floor. Have a few friends round for a Barbi and for extra effect make sure they've had a few beers and are a bit loud. And finally the piece de resistance, go onto, you tube and have Derick and Clive "A bloke came up to me", or anything by Teeside Tin Tin playing loud enough for everyone to hear.

We did this and I promise you, that was the first and last showing they ever did while we lived in the house. They obviously thought we were complete bogans, but who gives a stuff. The result we wanted was achieved without a word being spoken. There's more than one way to skin a cat as my old Nan used to say.

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LOL :)

 

They once asked us if 5pm was OK, I said no as it was in the middle of feeding the kids. They told me, well we only have to give 24 hrs notice, so see you at 5pm.

 

I still fed the kids and carried on that night I was so pissed! They looked very uncomfortable looking around whilst the kids were trying to eat and asking why they were comming around, when they were trying eating...

 

 

 

We had already agreed to open days on a weekend to prevent the constant appointments, so was NOT happy.

 

 

 

Just read this and thought you might like to adopt this approach if you ever find yourself in a similar situation.

Firstly never ask the agents if they can show people at certain times, my experience was once they know what you would prefer they go out of their way to be difficult.

Secondly its not your house, you don't care if it sells or not so you definitely DO NOT have to keep it spotless.

When "prospective purchasers", more likely time wasters, nosy neighbors etc etc, are due to arrive have the place a total mess, beds unmade, dirty plates on the table, underwear laying on the floor. Have a few friends round for a Barbi and for extra effect make sure they've had a few beers and are a bit loud. And finally the piece de resistance, go onto, you tube and have Derick and Clive "A bloke came up to me", or anything by Teeside Tin Tin playing loud enough for everyone to hear.

We did this and I promise you, that was the first and last showing they ever did while we lived in the house. They obviously thought we were complete bogans, but who gives a stuff. The result we wanted was achieved without a word being spoken. There's more than one way to skin a cat as my old Nan used to say.

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Sounds appauling - its bad enough trying to find somewhere to begin with

 

Just to say we are in Melbourne and after putting in 1 application and waiting a bit we then put in 3 more and by the end of it were accepted for 2 at the same time and having been made to hang on ourselves we didn't mind making them hang on a little as we preferred one of the second option.

We never had any come back from the first agent.

 

If they cannot agree straight away they surely cannot expect you to hang on and not apply elsewhere.

 

 

I am dreading leaving as when we moved in the place was listed as pretty much spotless - I took photos and wrote lists of all the problems and filth in places. I assumed they had made an error and that when they got my llist they would be round to check as it was so different :no:.

However I am beginning to wonder if however spotless I try to make it whether the general agents attitude will be charge them for as much as you can - then state it is perfect for the next person so that you can charge again...

 

I know what you mean about dreading leaving the place. Ours was a new build, but was covered in dust and building debris and had various faults which we had to chase up for weeks to get resolved. I noted most of them down on the inspection list and sent it to the agent, who never checked it themselves. I even found the builders check list in the cupboard with only a few items completed. We basically did the building inspection for them (gaps in window frames, broken work surfaces, doors not fitting/closing, garage door leaking, TV ariel not connected etc etc.). As we near our vacating date they've sent us a list (in addition to what was signed on the contract) of how we must leave the house under threat of either losing our bond or having to wait 2 months to get it back. It includes things like the house has to be spotless, including all the windows and garage floor. For a start, there were covered in dirt when we moved in and to be honest, how can you live in a place for a year and return it spotless? It's no longer new, it's used and things become imperfect with use. How can we get every last discoloration off the cooker and every last tiny finger print or mark off the white coloured walls?!! They even specify that all tiling grout and bath sealant must be spotless. Do we have to regrout the bath room? The mold spots have gone into the sealant (because they used cheap stuff), do I have to reseal the bath? This is all just utter rubbish anyway as how can they introduce new stipulations as a random addition to the original contract? Could you return a car to the dealer that you'd driven for a year as new?

I feel like replying and stating that if my bond is kept longer that necessary, or unnecessarily, then I will charge interest at 20% per day. If they charge me for replacing anything, I want receipts and the item that they replaced as I will own it. These places make me so angry. Without renters, these agents wouldn't exist and the landlords would not be able to afford the property. The demand is completely artificial, there are more than enough places to go around, but they love the open inspection days as it makes people think they are in competition.

 

And we certainly won't be making a special effort for inspections, it was the agency who asked us to move out for tax reasons (and then changed their mind 2 months later after we'd started applying). There are boxes everywhere and we have 2 kids to look after who won't comply with inspection times. I might try the tactic of one tenant when we were trying to arrange to view a property, he was uncontactable, so we couldn't view.


READ FIRST: please note that my posts are my own personal opinions based on my experiences. These are MY OPINIONS pure and simple, NOT a statement of fact.

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We finally found a place (fingers crossed, touch wood, paid the bond, signed the contract), after waiting 1.5 weeks to hear back from one landlord/agency (he was on holiday, then wanted days to discuss it with his wife) so gave up, another who wanted to chop the land in half after making the offer and 2 more who did not reply. So it's definitely worth applying for more than one at a time, despite what it says on the application, but we checked with each agency and they said we had 24 hours to decide on an offer.


READ FIRST: please note that my posts are my own personal opinions based on my experiences. These are MY OPINIONS pure and simple, NOT a statement of fact.

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