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Property Manager ignoring requests for repairs
Radical Larry
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14/11/2017 - 10:49 am
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Hi all,

I signed a 12 month lease and moved into my current residence on 01/07/2017. It’s located in what could be considered one of the rougher suburbs of Western Sydney. From the beginning I noticed the property manager was disorganised and late to respond to my queries, but I decided to proceed with renting the premises.

The property was advertised as having a lock up garage, however since the day we moved in the lock mechanism on the rolling garage door was completely non-existent, it simply has no way of locking. Anyone from the street could simply open our garage and have access to our property through a flimsy wooden door with a basic lock.

I emailed the property manager about 3 months ago and got no response. About 2 months ago I emailed him again with a reminder, and requesting that the issue was attended to as we felt unsafe. He responded several weeks later saying “Thanks for refreshing my memory, we’ll have someone out as soon as possible to fix it. Can you please send me a photo”. I obliged and sent him a photo, and then did not hear back. About 6 weeks ago I emailed again asking if anything was being organised, and to date I have not received a response or a phone call.

Some other issues that I am concerned about:

-He advised he would return to pick up our property condition report about a week after we moved in. To this date it is still sitting on our bench and he hasn’t been in touch to pick it up.

-He signed as witness on our tenancy agreement despite not being present for or witnessing either of our signatures. I asked if we should sign another copy and he said not to worry, it’s fine.

Does anyone have any advice on how we should approach this? I’m not exactly sure what my rights are here. Do I have grounds to terminate my lease early? I feel I’ve been paying for 4 and a half months on a property where not all advertised features are present – especially a critical one such as a lock on an exterior access point.

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14/11/2017 - 11:30 am
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The simplest way forward is to send a letter asking for a rent reduction because of the garage door, back-dated to when you first complained.  It probably helps if you put a specific figure in – maybe the cost of renting a lock-up near you.

When the rental agent fails to respond (as they probably will) or rejects the claim, start an action at Fair Trading which could possibly lead to you being allowed to quit early, if that’s what you want.

Also, have a look at the Tenants Union website. It has incredibly helpful fact sheets, written by lawyers, that tell you exactly what your rights are and how to proceed. I often send both landlords and tenants there as they spell out the law in a way everyone can undertand.

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