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SA Property Law - Multiple Issues with Rental Property?

Discussion in 'Property Law Forum' started by kenuwe, 3 October 2016.

  1. kenuwe

    kenuwe Active Member

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    Hi there,

    I am renting a semi rural cottage. There are numerous issues which I have reported verbally many times but not put into writing until recently. Either way, nothing is done. Some of the issues are as follows.

    - main door will not close or lock, the door frame is warped or something. I have to barricade it to keep it closed.

    - shower hot water does not turn on.

    - toilet is not fastened to the floor and when flushed half the water sprays onto floor from the piping.

    - several power points and light sockets do not work, rooms are in the dark.

    - veranda floor boards are broken and protruding upwards.

    - fly screens are torn.

    - kitchen and laundry, where the walls meet the floor you can see outside and debris and dirt flies in freely with a light breeze.

    These are only some of the problems. I am a single parent with a teenage daughter who on occasion has to stay there on her own. It's a big task for her when the property is not secure. Is there anything I can do under property law?

    The real estate won't address the problems and tells me I am bound to see out the lease regardless of these issues.
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Wrong. A landlord has responsibility to provide safe secure and habitable accommodation.

    What you do now depends on whether you to get out of the lease, or have the items fixed. What is your preference?

    BTW I suspect some of the defects were there when you moved in so what was said about the property in relation to these defects before you moved in?
     
  3. kenuwe

    kenuwe Active Member

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    Thanks Rod,

    Yes most of these issues were already here when i moved in. I didnt do an ingoing inspection. I only went on the realestates inspection. I did get to view the property before hand. When I viewed the property there was a handyman here apparently to fix all defects. Obviously they weren't, but the real estate contacted me maybe two weeks later saying the premise was ready. I went to the real estate and while there, the lady doing the inspection called on speaker phone to the property manager and declaring the cottage ready.

    On faith thinking there was a code of ethics I took their word, paid the bond and signed the lease. Maybe a stupid move i know. The key I was given did not work. So I had to leave a door unlocked, after some months i recieved a usable key.

    The doorway of the entrance in question seems to be shifting or bowing somehow so that the door wiil neither latch or lock. The outside wall near the entrance is coming away from the building and some of the internal floors seem to be sinking in areas. It may be a structural problem.

    Thanks for your reply.
     
  4. kenuwe

    kenuwe Active Member

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    Oh and I just want out.
     
  5. kenuwe

    kenuwe Active Member

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    Oh and after dealing with this real estate I just want no affiliation with them. I just want out.
     
  6. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    OK. May take a while to do it properly, but means you are not likely to incur a break fee.

    The quick way is just up and leave and let them take you to SACAT for costs. Risky $ wise and they may put a bad mark against you on the tenancy database but means you get out quickly.

    To do this without incurring fees or a bad mark against your name you need to prove the accommodation is not safe, secure or habitable. So, what you need to do is prepare a list of defects, both major and minor, take photos where possible, and send everything to the agent on a form 4 saying the accommodation is not safe or secure or habitable.

    You need to give the landlord a reasonable time to remedy the defects. Based on your description that may be hard to do. After sending in the form it may pay to suggest to the agent an easy way out is to just end the tenancy, though emphasise the fact you no longer feel safe or secure due to x,y and z.

    This link has many forms and facts sheets that explain more.

    Have a read and good luck. If you need anymore help along the way post back in this thread.
     
  7. kenuwe

    kenuwe Active Member

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    Thanks again Rod,
    Thanks again Rod,

    You have supplied me with valuable information. I only have four weeks left on the lease which I obviously wont be renewing. I will however look to follow the steps you have provided. The real estate has been so grossly negligent and I will make sure something is done about it.

    I thank you sincerely for your feedback and will post on this thread the outcome.
     

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