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VIC Do I have to pay Fire Alarm Fee to MFB?

Discussion in 'Property Law Forum' started by josielkm, 26 February 2015.

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  1. josielkm

    josielkm Member

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    Hello! I've rented an apartment to 4 people in Melbourne when I was away ( I am the original tenant of that apartment ,I just sort of rented it out again privately ) Last month, I was told by my agent that the fire alarm was triggered. Firemen from MFB came and they determined that was a false alarm triggered while they were cooking, i was told that this may attract a charge of $1,500. Although I wasn't present during the incident, I have written a submission letter as the lease is under my name. However MFB rejected the letter and decided to charge me . At the time I rented the apartment to them , I have set up a lease with them including renting period and rent price, etc, but didn't include the extra charge that might apply if something unexpected like this happened. However I did warned them several times to be careful when they are cooking since it may trigger the fire alarm and will be charged if the firemen come. I understand that I'm in a weak position since I'm the one whose name is on the lease, but are the tenants who lived there when the incident happened responsible for the fee as well? They refused to pay for it and said its my fault of not telling them about the fire alarm, while I actually did. Sorry for any confusion here and I really hope you would help me. Thank you.
     
  2. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    First question - does YOUR lease allow for sub-letting?
     
  3. josielkm

    josielkm Member

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    I'm not sure, but my agent knows about it and she also knows that the sub tenant lived there when the smoke detector triggered.
     
  4. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    Look at your lease document - it will be there.
     
  5. josielkm

    josielkm Member

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    The document isn't here now, and the lease actually ended last month like few weeks after this incident. Both me and the sub tenant have moved out already but I just recently got told by my agent that MFB billed me and deducted from my bond ( there's some reasons why I didn't get the bond right after the lease ended ) Also, MFB sent all the notices through my agent instead of me, I didn't know they billed me until my agent told me so, even though I've written a submission letter via email ( as instructed by MFB) to them they didn't reply me and tell me the outcome.
     
  6. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    I don't know if MFB can deduct it from your bond directly.
    More likely, the agent has withheld an amount from the refunded bond,
    and used the money to pay the MFB.

    I am not a Victorian lawyer, so I can't comment on
    how kosher it is for the agent to do that.
     

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