QLD Rental unfit - what are our options?

Discussion in 'Property Law Forum' started by Note to Self, 20 April 2019.

  1. Note to Self

    Note to Self Member

    20 April 2019
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    The short of it: my family moved into a rental property in late 2016. The house was advertised with a downstairs area that could be used for "storage/ rumpus/ utility". On inspection, it seemed adequate as a play area for the kids, a work area for myself and a workshop for my husband, as well as some good storage space.

    Upon moving in, we discovered a pile of sandbags and plastic pallets stacked in a corner behind some wood, indicating historical flooding. Since then, we've had multiple, worsening flooding of the whole downstairs area. What we first thought might be an extreme aberration is now evidently the norm for this property. It's at the point that ten minutes of solid rain results in complete inundation up to above ankle level. We've had to throw thousands of dollars of our property away. We've had to clean up the mud and silt multiple times. Everything downstairs is now placed up on bricks/ pallets. We're really worried about mould. The area is unusable. During a dry spell, I start unpacking stock for an online shop, only for it to be destroyed next time it rains unexpectedly.

    Yes, we've wanted to just up and leave but there are valid reasons it's not that simple. The cost of moving my husband's workshop is prohibitive, we have little time to downsize beforehand due to work demands, two high needs kids and serious health problems of my own.

    Ultimately, we will have to move and I assume we could request a termination of our lease, but for now I want to know if we have any right to compensation/ rent reduction/ ?? And what is the process if so? If we could afford to move immediately and knew there were adequate properties in our price range and area, we would.

    I've contacted the RTA by phone and got a fairly broad response to "talk to the agent". We've done that multiple times and they've done absolutely nothing to help the flooding. The thing is, this house has been rented out by the same agent for nine years, so realistically, they knew about the issue before renting to us.

    We have screenshots of original rental ad, and heaps of photo and video evidence of flooding/ damage.

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