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  • #57081
    sydneyguy
    Flatchatter

    My building as been undergoing repairs on the fire system. The noise has been in a word shocking. It has impacted me being able to work and even my health. The drilling starts at 8am goes for several hours 5 days a week.
    now with lockdown I can’t work anywhere but home and my real estate has refused a request for a reduction in rent for this inconvenience and disruption to my work and life in general.
    what can I do.  Had I known this would happen I would never have rented this unit.

    • This topic was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by .
Viewing 12 replies - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
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  • #57083
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    This is a tricky one as it’s hard to argue against work that’s being done to improve the safety of the entire building.

    I would go back to your rental agent and tell them that unless they make a genuine effort (probably via the landlords)  to get the owners corp to limit the duration and frequency of noisy work during the lockdown,  you are going to take them to NCAT to force them to reduce your rent or allow an early termination of your tenancy with no penalties attached.

    Also, you are going to contact every other tenant in the building and suggest they do the same.

    This means, of course, that you won’t get your tenancy renewed when it comes up next but you don’t want to live there anyway.  If you’re planning to move, now would be the time to do so when  rental market availability is up and rents are low.

    By the way, your landlords probably don’t even know you have complained – rental agents are very good at doing nothing, especially when it means they can keep telling their clients that everything is hunkydory.

    The sad fact of issues like this is that if you were an owner, you could get building management to tell the contractors to limit all their noisy work to certain concentrated periods.  But because you are a tenant and the rental agent doesn’t care and the landlord probably doesn’t know, simple solutions aren’t even considered.

    Contact the Tenants Union  for advice on how to get the landlord to make the calls that could fix this or at least limit it.

     

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by .
    #57091
    sydneyguy
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Thanks for the reply. So I’ve been here almost 4 years my tenancy agreement is up. I worry about being seen to cause trouble and then they evict me. As stupid as that would be in the current climate.
    the rental agency replied to my email saying it’s out of the landlords hands. Pisses me off because last year I advised them I am not affected by being out of work and have always been on time with rent.
    it’s annoying as my workplace is shut down so working from home is the only option but between 9-1 they drill and bang.

     

    #57095
    scotlandx
    Strataguru

    That is terrible. We have had two lots of major work that we have had to defer, electric works and some construction work to the front of the building. While these works have been long awaited, we decided it isn’t right to proceed with those works while everyone is essentially obliged to stay at home.

    The rental agency may say it is out of the landlord’s hands but you are entitled to reasonable enjoyment of your property. You’re not getting that. I suggest you follow Jimmy’s suggestion and contact the Tenant’s Union.

    #57103
    TrulEConcerned
    Flatchatter

    Jimmy mentions going to NCAT to force them (landlord/agent) to reduce your rent or allow an early termination of your tenancy with no penalties attached.

    I experienced a similar situation a couple of years ago.

    I, landlord, was approached by my tenants for either lower rent or early termination of the lease, because noise from a neighbour’s renovation was making life (working from home) impossible for them. Soon enough they ditched the request for lower rent and just wanted out of the lease.

    I was taken to NCAT and the tenants won the right to terminate the lease early without penalty.

    NCAT agreed with them citing “loss of peaceful enjoyment” as the main complaint and it is – who’d have thought –  the landlord’s duty to ensure his tenants have undisturbed peaceful enjoyment regardless of whether he is disturbing them or someone else is. At least that’s what NCAT determined.

    It seems to me that the cheapest way out of this for all the landlords in the strata would be to postpone these works until after the corona lockdown is over. If your landlord or agent was smart, he/she would give you an one off credit against the rent AND postpone the work.

    If such postponement is not on the cards, then as Jimmy suggests, call the Tenants Union and query your rights, in particular under the Quiet Enjoyment principle.

    A side issue for your landlord/agent is to establish what obligations if any the OC owes your landlord regarding this horrible situation.

    #57107
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    the rental agency replied to my email saying it’s out of the landlords hands.

    Have a look at TruleConcerned’s post.  That’s not how NCAT sees it. The landlord can ask the strata committee to act and could even ask for compensation if they lose rent becasue fo a failure to do so.

    I would lay odds of 10 to 1 that the rental agent hasn’t even told the landlord that there’s a problem.

     

    #57108
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    NCAT agreed with them citing “loss of peaceful enjoyment” as the main complaint and it is – who’d have thought – the landlord’s duty to ensure his tenants have undisturbed peaceful enjoyment regardless of whether he is disturbing them or someone else is. At least that’s what NCAT determined.

    Yep, it’s a duty of care and it’s based on the idea that the landlord can (theoretically) influence the decisions and actions of the owners corporation in ways that tenants can’t.

     

    #57113
    sydneyguy
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    I have written to the tenancy board. The noise is so loud. I can’t work this morning.

    #57116
    Sujenna
    Flatchatter

    Can you ask the tradies doing the work how much longer are the fire repairs going to continue? They may be finishing up next week and then all your problems are over!

    #57243
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    I can think of one person who’ll be glad that construction has been stopped during the lockdown.

    #57244
    Sujenna
    Flatchatter

    Can you ask the tradies doing the work how much longer are the fire repairs going to continue? They may be finishing up next week and then all your problems are over!

    I suppose another suggestion if this construction work is ongoing for some time and is driving you insane, is to think of another venue to work from during the day? i.e if you are working on a portable laptop and perhaps need wi-fi to access internet, the local library might be a suitable refuge to get you out of the apartment for most of the time?? You might think why should I be inconvenienced and leave my home, but sometimes you have to work around problems. It is easier than the hassle of moving out if you are otherwise happy with your current digs?

    #57250
    TrulEConcerned
    Flatchatter

    The following points come to mind:

    A. Sujenna’s suggestion of asking the tradies how long they will take I think is a non starter. After all, they are employed by the OC and the OC pulls the strings. The post office for an owner’s or tenant’s concerns with the speed and noise of these works is the OC and not their contractors;

    B. Sujenna’s suggestion of going to work in a library is, at least in Sydney, a non starter as public libraries are to the best of my knowledge closed;

    C. I recall speaking to a lawyer years ago when the OC undertook repairs which caused a friend distress (given the noise) and was told, in reply to my query: “the lot owner is considering going to NCAT to seek compensation from the OC – and pass on to the tenant – for the effect of the works on my friend (the lot owner’s tenant), that “she’s got zero chance of being awarded compensation given the OC’s works are in accordance with their duty to maintain assets”. That was of course not in a period of lockdowns.  I think you have an arguable case to NCAT in claiming the episode taking place during a lockdown caused you “hardship”, for the duration the works were on foot notwithstanding they may have ceased on account of NSW  Gov’t directives on construction activity, see

    RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES ACT 2010 – SECT 104
    Hardship to tenant–fixed term agreements
    104 Hardship to tenant–fixed term agreements

    (1) The Tribunal may, on application by a tenant, make a termination order for a fixed term agreement if it is satisfied that the tenant would, in the special circumstances of the case, suffer undue hardship if the residential tenancy agreement were not terminated.
    (2) The Tribunal may, if it thinks fit, also order the tenant to pay compensation to the landlord for the landlord’s loss of the tenancy. The amount of compensation must not exceed the amount specified as the applicable break fee for the tenancy under section 107.
    (3) The landlord must take all reasonable steps to mitigate the loss and is not entitled to compensation for any loss that could have been reasonably avoided by the landlord.
    (4) A tenant may make an application under this section without giving the landlord a termination notice.
    (5) The Tribunal may make a termination order under this section that takes effect before the end of the fixed term if the residential tenancy agreement is a fixed term agreement.

    D) On 16JUL21 NSW Fair Trading released the following, which may be of interest:

    https://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/resource-library/publications/coronavirus-covid-19/property/moratorium

    #57281
    sydneyguy
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Yea for sure. Only to be replaced with a family upstairs and their noisy kids running up and down all day.
    the sooner I can move out of this place the better

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