Monday, March 2, 2015

Dodgy landlords or real estate agents?

The government has just recently been advertising on the airwaves that 'renters' can obtain information from the Consumer Affairs Victoria website or rather the appropriate app.

The advertisement mentions that an app can be downloaded, where the app contains information with respect to your rights as a tenant and allows renters to:

  • send template emails on issues such as repairs and ending the lease, including the ability to send photos
  • get information on their rights and responsibilities
  • calculate how much a week’s rent is per fortnight, calendar month, six-monthly and yearly
  • budget for their move using a moving-in cost calculator.
The app can be downloaded for the iPhone or Android operating systems, and nothing for Windows Phone / Tablet users.

It is difficult to gauge why the advertising has begun.

Is it because there are a lot of dodgy landlords or ever real estate agents out there?

A while ago CorpAu posted a form that was available for download (not available from the Centrelink website) regarding rental assistance for those who are on government benefits, with great success, where many people have downloaded this instead of the 'old school' method of standing in line being frustrated by the lack of service from Centrelink, sometimes waiting up to two hours to obtain a few sheets of paper to fill in.

With regards to Centrelink, one would also be aware that if one sneezed at the incorrect time or did not disclose to Centrelink what colour underpants one was wearing one could quite easily get 'breached' where payment would be deducted even if one was NOT at fault.

Well, it may be comforting to know that similarly in the 'renter's' world, landlords and real estate agants must obey laws laid down in Acts also.

If a landlord misbehaves or fails in their duty, then they can be issued with a Notice for breach of duty to landlord of rented premises.

Download the 5 page MS Word 1997-2003 (.doc) format document at:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B21_coIgIYu2T3hnZHRkOUJ2Ulk/view?usp=sharing

Other documentation that may be of assistance could be Renting a home a guide for tenants a 44 page document at 2.7MB available for download at:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B21_coIgIYu2RVJiSVpfbExuRms/view?usp=sharing

Another piece of legislation Victorian renters should be familiar with is the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (Vic) available for download in rtf / pdf / plain text document formats from Austlii (Australian Legal Information Institute) at the address:

http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/download.cgi/au/legis/vic/consol_act/rta1997207

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