QCAT - Queensland Civil Administrative Tribunal
KAREN STEHR PROPERTY - SUNSHINE COAST PROPERTY MANAGEMENT
I find myself writing today in frustration over what I feel is right and what is clearly wrong.
I have always been a fighter for the underdog, a battler for those who have no voice and when I am in court... I am the voice of reason.
Recently I have had the rare displeasure of attending a court hearing where damage was done to a property, quite clearly by the tenant.
I provided photos of the property upon entry showing no damage.
I provided photos of the property upon vacation clearly showing damage done by the tenant.
I provided evidence showing the tenant admitting the damage was in fact, caused by them, but was an accident.
I provided 3 quotes to rectify the damage caused.
The QCAT Adjudicators refused to acknowledge my claim on the bond monies because I had only provided a quote for repairs and not an invoice. The legal system will only deduct monies from a tenants bond if the work has been completed and an invoice can be provided.
So, if a tenant has damaged carpet to the value of $3000.00, rather than wait for the court hearing and judgment on funds coming from the bond, an owner must pay up front for new carpet before seeking any form of financial reimbursement from the bond monies regardless if the tenant admits to the damage or not.
If an invoice is not provided, a tenant is entitled to receive their bond back without any deduction - even though photographic evidence has been provided that damage has been caused.
I found this quite unfair and when questioning the QCAT Adjudicator, I was advised "well the owner might use the funds for anything and not the work to be done if we simply awarded funds based on a quote."
It seemed to me, the core issue was overlooked, a tenant has caused damage and an owner is entitled to compensation, regardless of what time frame he may or may not choose to rectify the damage, the point of the claim was a property that been damaged by a tenant.
The definition of a bond according to the RTA is - 'A rental bond is money paid by the tenant at the start of a tenancy agreement. It is used as financial protection for the lessor in case the tenant breaches the terms of the agreement'.
I do not see any financial protection for the lessor if a tenant is able to get their bond back, simply because an owner is not in a financial position to repair damage themselves prior to receiving bond monies as reimbursement for same.
Please bare this in mind when damage has been caused by a tenant and rectification is sought through a claim on bond monies.
If you need any property management advice or information, do not hesitate to contact me.
M: 0417 618 480
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