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QLD Pay for Holiday Rental Accommodation Repairs?

Discussion in 'Property Law Forum' started by Bob1975, 17 November 2014.

  1. Bob1975

    Bob1975 Member

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    Hi, we recently returned from a trip to queensland. A day after our return we received 3 emails stating we had damaged the property ( holiday rentals).

    There were 3 items mentioned that we were accused of damaging. One of the items looked in good condition but when we used it, it fell apart. I can only assume someone previously had done a band aid repair.

    The other 2 items we are not aware of damaging. It is possible that one of our younger children caused the damage but we think it is unlikely.

    There was no pre inspection of the room to record any existing damage and now it seems they can accuse us of damaging anything that is already damaged or faulty.

    The rental agent has already taken several hundred dollars from our credit card that we used as bond. The agent has advised this is just the minimum and more money may be taken.

    My questions are,
    Can the agent take money from our credit card with out providing evidence that we caused the damage?
    If they can't provide evidence that the damage wasn't pre existing, can they charge us?
    What are our chance of getting the money back if we took legal action and would they need to cover our costs/legal fees of getting the money back?

    Thanks
     
  2. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Hi Bob,

    1. What does it say in your rental agreement? The agent may be allowed to withdraw money from your account for repairing damage under your rental agreement. There may also be further conditions placed upon when the agent may take money (e.g. prerequisites or notice requirements)

    2. Request a copy of photographs showing damage and repair/replacement receipts

    3. Speak with the Office of Fair Trading in QLD first before considering legal action. They are a free dispute resolution and complaint lodging service that may be able to help you in your case without referring to court.
     
  3. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Hi Bob,

    I agree with Sarah - read your rental agreement and any terms or conditions you received or that were on the website you used. See if there is any authorisation to charge your credit card contained in them. Then, ensure that they provide you with proper evidence of the alleged damage and challenge them to provide evidence that you caused the damage.

    Its a bit cheeky that the agent is helping themselves to your credit card before they have even provided evidence of the alleged damage, and without providing you with a pre-rental inventory that you could check off existing damage against what they had noticed upon prior inspection.
     
  4. Bob1975

    Bob1975 Member

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    Hi, thanks for your responses. I've been waiting on further evidence from the agent but no response. The contract does state that my credit card details will be kept and charged if any damage occurs. The agent also provided photo's.
    My concern is, we disagree that we caused the damage and the agent is not providing any further evidence to prove we did.
    We have no issue in paying if we caused the damage.
    I'm considering lodging a credit card fraud complaint with my bank. Perhaps this will force the agent to provide the evidence or refund the money.
    Thanks again
     
  5. Bob1975

    Bob1975 Member

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    Just to advise, I lodged a credit card fraud case with my bank. They refunded the money straight away and then gave the rental agent 45 days to provide justification/proof for the claims. The agent responded with in the time frame and then I had 14 days to respond. Within a week or two of my response, I received a letter from the bank stating something along the lines of 'good news, you do not need to repay the money'.
     
    Sarah J likes this.
  6. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the update Bob and I'm glad it worked out for you in the end. I'm sure this will be valuable advice for others facing a similar situation in the future.
     

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