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QLD Obligations Not in Contract when Leaving Rental

Discussion in 'Property Law Forum' started by Bruce Fleming, 26 August 2014.

  1. Bruce Fleming

    Bruce Fleming Member

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    We have just finished our lease on a fully furnished rental duplex and followed everything that they asked us to do in the contract.
    But now they are telling us that we have to get the beds and the lounge professionally cleaned and are saying they told us that it had to be done when we signed the lease and even though it is not written in the contract everybody has to do it and does do it.
    As we were there only 9 months and had mattress protectors on all beds and throw covers on the lounge we believe we don't need to do it.
    If they had told us before or if it was in the contract we would have budgeted for it.
    Does anyone know how the law would view this before they go ahead with any legal action or is it best to just get it done.
     
  2. AnnaLJ

    AnnaLJ Well-Known Member

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    Hi Bruce
    Without seeing the details of your contract/lease I can't definitively say you shouldn't have an obligation for this additional cleaning, however from what you've said that certainly seems to be the case.

    Does your contract have a clause in it that states "this contract represents the entire agreement between the parties"? If so, that would easily overcome their argument that they'd orally advised you about this before you signed. If this is not in the contract, then things become a little trickier as it becomes a case of their word against yours and I doubt a legal fight on this would be worth the cost of cleaning.

    Alternatively, the landlord may be able to catch you on this if there are details in the lease about the 'make good' requirements upon vacating, or any other info about needing to leave the premises in the same condition as they were at handover. These sorts of clauses could muddy the water a little.

    If I were you, I would be staying firm on the fact this was not brought to your attention at any time before you signed the lease/contract and that it is also not written into the contract, so it cannot form part of the contract.

    In my experience, landlords would try to pull the wool over the eyes of unknowing tenants and have tried to get away with a lot with me before. You've done the right thing, in my opinion, by saying no to this and sticking to your guns.

    Keep me posted with how you go?
     
  3. Bruce Fleming

    Bruce Fleming Member

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    Hi Anna

    I have been going through the residential tenancies authority booklet and one of the ending a tenancy checklist is # Clean the premises (the premises should be in the same condition as when you moved in - 'fair wear and tear' excepted # So they could use that to force us to pay.

    Bruce
     
  4. AnnaLJ

    AnnaLJ Well-Known Member

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    Hi Bruce

    Correct, this is what I was alluding to in my comments above re: 'make good' and leaving the premises in the same condition as at handover.

    I would think though, that as long as the couch and bed were clean that it wouldn't necessarily be enforceable for them to require they be steam cleaned. It's often a requirement of most rental apartments that carpet be steam cleaned before you vacate, but this is specifically included in the lease. Otherwise, I would think it would be reasonable for a tenant to simply vacuum the carpet and ensure it was clean?
     

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