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QLD Lease - Rental Bond Dispute

Discussion in 'Property Law Forum' started by yopibabe, 26 March 2015.

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  1. yopibabe

    yopibabe Member

    26 March 2015
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    Hi, I have a bond refund problem with my landlord. It's a bit long story. I do deeply appreciate if any of you can answer me or give me some professional advice.

    My current situation is that My lease will be expired on the 26 March, 2015, but I already moved out the house on the 12th March, 2015 and also paid the rest of rent . My contract says "Tenants need to ask the professional cleaner to clean the individual room and common area before moving out or pay $120 cleaning fee." Because I work for a hotel, I know how to clean properly, so I decided to clean by myself instead of paying $120 or asking a professional cleaner. However, on the last day when the landlady checked the house, I did not know why she was being so fussy and difficult to cleanness. She asked me to clean very detailed thing which already way too much than the general cleanness standard. For example, she thought the wood floor was not shining enough, or she required there was no any tiny dust on the floor, or she asked me to remove the mould from the wall crack, or she asked me clean the ceiling fan...etc. Therefore, above those reasons, she did not want to sign the bond refund form for me ($920), then she asked me re-clean the place again and would meet me at 4 pm again.

    Because of her fussy attitude, I doubted she did not want to give me bond back, or she wanted to make excuses to deduct my bond, so I went to RTA to report my landlady if her behavior was appropriate. After I explained my situation, the RTA staff told me I could claim my bond first without her signature. If she had any dispute or problem, she had to apply to dispute resolution. If she not, I could get my bond back in 3 weeks. Therefore, I claimed my bond first and backed to the house and re-clean again. At the 2nd time I met her, she was late for about 30 mins. At meanwhile, I also called another friend to come to pick up my luggage. Maybe this time my friend was with me, so she was not as fussy and difficult as the first time (actually, she did not even check carefully, just glanced round) and wanted to sign the form for me. I told her I already handed to RTA, so she was not happy about this and thought I chose a stupid way to claim the bond. Because I did not have the form with me at that moment and I was rush to leave, after we reached the oral agreement and confirmed everything was ok, then I left. .

    However, after I left Australia, RTA replied me the landlady disputed my claim of bond refund, and I have no right to know the dispute reason (I emailed to landlady to ask why, but haven't got reply yet.). The bond will be held until the dispute resolution makes. I am really shocked and I have no idea why she changed her mind and not return my bond. Now I am not in Australia until 15th April, and even though when I back, I will be in NSW, and not in QLD anymore, so I don't know how the dispute resolution will make and go on. The RTA staff just told me need to wait. Because I am a international student, I don't have too many resources can help myself or figure out the dispute resolution. Could anyone advise me some information or what I can do to defend my rights?

    Also, I found out there are some of defects on my agreement. Compare the Form R18 which shown on the RTA website, I realized my agreement might not be complete. My Form R18 does not include Part 2 which is standard term so I did not know much obligation and rights as a tenant until I've read information provided on website recently. Also, the lessor did not provide the Condition Report and Form 17a at the first day I moved in. Now I am wondering the Form R18 which lost Part 2 and those Forms not provided are legal or not?

    Thanks every one who read all my story and for your time. It will be helpful if any of you can share any experience to me or advise me who I can ask for help. Thank you again.
  2. Tracy B

    Tracy B Well-Known Member

    24 December 2014
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    Hi Yopibabe,

    This article from QCAT may be helpful. The RTA not informing you of any information in relation to the dispute is interesting. I have never heard of a dispute resolution department shutting one part out from the process. The RTA is an informal alternative dispute resolution method and their decision is not legally binding. This means, if the RTA finds against you, you can initiate an action with QCAT (Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal). QCAT will hear your claim, along with the landlady's response, and make a decision. This decision is legally enforceable.

    You should call the RTA and enquire about their dispute resolution process. My understanding is that part of the process is conciliation, which means the RTA aims to offer solutions that are mutually-beneficial to both parties after hearing both sides' stories. It may be that at this stage, they are not in a position to disclose as they are still in preliminary steps, but if they do decide to take the landlady's dispute seriously, they should be contacting you for your response to her dispute. So my advice would be to just hang tight and wait (if not urgent) or start your action in QCAT (if urgent, but only do so after writing a letter of demand for the bond money to be paid within X days).
    yopibabe likes this.

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