LawAnswers.com.au - Australia's #1 Legal Community

LawAnswers.com.au is a community of 10,000+ Australians, just like you, helping each other.
Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
Join us, it only takes a minute:

QLD Property Rights - Where Do I Stand?

Discussion in 'Property Law Forum' started by Diss, 8 June 2015.

  1. Diss

    Diss Member

    Joined:
    8 June 2015
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    I live on an agricultural property in Central Queensland with my partner. He is the farm manager here. The property is leased by his boss from the owner who lives in another house at the front of the property. We live in an older home at the back of the property.

    The owner has been coming down at an irregular rate to do "inspections" of our home. Usually she rings my partner or my partner's boss to alert us of an impending visit and then just turns up.

    I have brought issues up with her each time she comes, and each time she says she is not sure who's responsibility it is. She always says, "I'll have to check with my lawyer". The owner has never mentioned any major issues during inspection. The issues I have raised include: no working fire alarms installed in the home, water leaking from an unknown point around the water tank which is severely disturbing the foundations of the home.

    At the last inspection, the owner complained that she could smell smoke in the home. My partner has smoked in the home on occasion as he has done on all the other farms he has worked on. His boss is aware of this and has had no problem with it. I personally would like him not to, but his response is, "his job, his house". I have several scent warmers going 24/7. I have asked all other visitors to the home and none have identified a smoke smell. The house is very large and open and apart from the regular dirt, dust and insect issues all farm houses have, it is kept tidy.

    After this event, it was indicated to my partner that there where "problems" with the living arrangements at the owner's home on the property. The owner's daughter has been living with her mother (the owner) and has recently married. Her husband has now also moved in. It was the husband who had mentioned issues with the living arrangements there. Shortly after these last two events, my partner's boss contacted him and said that the owner had asked if we could moved out, so her daughter and husband can move into the house. The boss declined her request. However, since then the owner has regularly complained to the boss about smoking in the house.

    Just now, the owner has arrived at our home without warning. It is a public holiday here today so I was still in my pyjamas having breakfast in front of the TV. My partner went outside as she pulled up in our garage. He has a table and ashtray outside that he uses occasionally. He lit up a cigarette as he greeted her outside. I heard her say, "you're not smoking inside are you". I did not hear my partner's response to her. I then heard her say she was going away and wanted to do an inspection. At this point, I got up from the lounge chair. As I walked toward the door, the owner entered the kitchen door. She just walked in. She said she wanted to do an inspection as she was going away next week. I started to respond that "it is highly inappropriate"... But I then asked, "are you here to do it now?" She then faltered and said, "no, no, I can come back next week". She then stepped very close to me and said, "I'm just wanting to make sure there's no smoking in the house. Is there?" At this point, I was feeling very annoyed and intimidated. I said next week would be okay. She then turned and walked back out the door.

    After the owner left, I asked my partner if he had invited her to come in. He said, "no, she just walked straight past me".

    My partner has suggested that I not, "rattle any cages", but I have become increasingly distressed by the situation. I do not feel secure in my home. Can you direct me to where I can find what my legal property rights and responsibilities are?
     
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    16 April 2014
    Messages:
    2,300
    Likes Received:
    334
    Hi Diss,

    Is there a written lease agreement between the Landlord and Boss? Who pays your rent? If you do, who do you pay it to?

    Broadly speaking a lease agreement will confer rights of exclusive possession and a right to quiet enjoyment which enable a tenant to enjoy their property without unnecessary interference from the landlord. In addition you will have certain rights with regard to the term of the lease, and notice requirements when you leave. However since you and your partner are likely not a party to the lease, there is little that you can do if your boss agrees that you move out except require a minimum notice period.
     
  3. Diss

    Diss Member

    Joined:
    8 June 2015
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    The boss has a five year lease of the property the house was included in the lease. I have never seen or been told the conditions of this lease other than the owner was required to do regular inspections. We live rent free in the house as part of my partners salary. At the beginning of our residence here we were told that we were not allowed to come within a certain distance of the owners home. This also includes working the paddocks closest to her house. My partner has to have his boss ring the owner and let her know that they will be spraying or ploughing the paddocks surrounding her home. We have always respected this.

    My particular concern is with the fact that I seem to have no right to privacy. The owner can just turn up at any random day or time and enter my home whether I am there or not.
     
  4. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    16 April 2014
    Messages:
    2,300
    Likes Received:
    334
    Hi Diss,

    If the lease is stated to be a residential tenancy lease, you have several fundamental rights under the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act (Qld). This act provides that the property owner can only enter your property for a valid reason and if the correct notice has been given. Check out the RTA site which provides a list of these: Entry to the property | Residential Tenancies Authority Note that only 1 routine inspection is allowed in a 3 month period.

    In most cases you must be given notice using the Entry Notice form, however you cannot object to your landlords entry if one of these has been validly served.

    It sounds as though the lease is between your Boss and the Landlord, so your landlord would likely have to enforce any breach of the lease. However under the RTRAA Act, mentioned above, you would be considered a Tenant, and may therefore be able to enforce those rights.
     

Share This Page

Loading...