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NSW End of Lease - Request Refund from Real Estate Agency?

Discussion in 'Property Law Forum' started by Marco, 11 August 2016.

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  1. Marco

    Marco Active Member

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    Hello, I recently ended a lease of a flat I was renting here near Sydney.

    I have lived there with my girlfriend until she decided to come back permanently to Italy. Because of this, we had to choose a date for her flight right after the lease ended, to avoid any "void" between the ended lease and her flight. During this period, I also had to take care of cleaning and removal of my stuff, as I needed to find a room to live for the next 3 months.

    Here's the situation of what happened:

    - The final date of the lease was August 6th (Friday).

    - To allow me and my girlfriend to arrange her flight, packing, moving my stuff, cleaning, etc., we decided that the best solution was staying in that flat also Saturday (August 7th), and vacate the flat on August 8th.

    - After the decision, I have emailed the real estate agent on May 25th. This is my request:

    "Hi XXX,

    I'm sending the vacate notice by today COB.

    I want to know if it's possible to vacate the flat on Sunday (8th August). I know the lease ends on Friday, but I would move into the new house on Sunday and my girlfriend will go to Italy on Saturday. So having a couple of days to move everything would be ideal for me (as I work full time).
    Might it be possible?"

    Real estate agent replies:

    "No problem YYY, we don’t have back to back tenancies here we always leave at least five days free from when a Tenant leaves and another starts."

    Once I read her confirmation, I understood that we were able to stay a couple of days more without being charged to arrange our final stuff. Because of this, my girlfriend has booked her flight to depart on Saturday 7th, and I moved all my stuff on August 8th.

    The problem is that today the agency charged me $148 for "rent" without any explanation or without any communication. I made few calculation and they correspond to 2 days of rent, so I assume they charged me because I left the apartment on August 8th. I wrote them know asking for clarifications.

    Now, the problem is not the amount itself, but I'm really pissed off because of their lack of professionalism and their misleading communication. If I would have known these 2 extra days weren't free, I would have had my stuff moved few days before August 8th, and my girlfriend would have chosen to leave the country few days before the end of the lease.

    I would like to know if I can request a refund and any other legal help.

    Thanks
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Tough one.

    You didn't mention anything about not paying.
    They didn't mention anything having to pay.

    They can argue you were misleading. You asked them the wrong question . The better question is 'will you give me free accommodation for two days'?, not - 'can I stay an extra two days'?

    Seems like a simple misunderstanding by both parties; suggest you put this down to life experience and be clear next time on what it is you are requesting.
     
  3. Marco

    Marco Active Member

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    Thanks Rod. It's not really a problem for the money, but I was really pissed off because of their lack of communication.

    I didn't ask if I was supposed to pay, that's true, but the use of the word "free" in their reply misled me. That's why I assumed (the extra 2 days) were free and I didn't ask.
     
  4. Marco

    Marco Active Member

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    * Messaged deleted * I quoted myself by mystake
     
  5. SamanthaJay

    SamanthaJay Well-Known Member

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    I think this is a language misunderstanding. When they said they leave 5 days 'free' from when a tenant leaves, they mean they are allowing 5 days between tenants. They are not saying you'll get free rent for a couple of days. The real estate agent doesn't own the flat. The landlord does. They are renting their flat out to make money, not give away free rent.
     

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