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VIC Tenants Refuse to Pay Bills - VCAT?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by Sarojini william, 10 April 2015.

  1. Sarojini william

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    Hi, my two tenants who are refugees from Iran have been renting my two bedroom bungalow since 3rd Oct 2013 through local real estate agents. I was insisting the real estate and case manager to transfer the separate meter on these tenants names and I left for overseas on 6 months holidays.The real estate and their case manager insisted that the bills be shared equally among all people in our compound. These boys were sharing the bill only for 6 months and stopped paying for the last one year. I sent several mails to real estate to vacate these boys out. But my request was conveniently ignored by them. When I came back from overseas, I transferred to another local real estate agent. After repeated request to their case managers, at last these boys moved out from my property on 3rd April 2015.

    Now the real estate says that we cant claim the electricity bills from VCAT as the bills are on my name only [OWNER].The Lumo energy has provided a letter that this bungalow has a separate meter with the meter number.Last one year i have been paying their electricity bills as the previous real estate conveniently supported these boys as the owner is a muslim lady.Nearly $2000 I have paid their electricity bills so far. I feel I have become a victim and feel vulnerable with loads of stress. I am a retired person now and unable to work due to my health condition.I dont get any money from centrelink also.I sincerely request you to advise me regarding this issue and will i ever get a justice through VCAT as the present real estate is going to apply in VCAT next Monday The case manager, told me that he will get me some money from his organisation, who is giving these boys money for rent n bills.But no answer from the case manager after these boys moved out.I will be very happy if VCAT gives me the whole bond money of 1000 dollars. Once again please give your valuable thoughts on this issue.

    Thanks and kind regards.
     
  2. praxidice

    praxidice Well-Known Member

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    I don't profess to know anything about VCAT although I've had more than a few experiences with the deep north equivalent QCAT and I suspect they are essentially similar. Nobody in their right mind would have anything to do with QCAT which is easily the most inept excuse imaginable for a kangaroo court. Documentation requirements are more in keeping with a High Court action, practice directions are totally mindless and decisions typically devoid of any semblance of intelligence. QCAT is headed by a supreme court judge who is ostensibly responsible for the operation of the tribunal however I'm not aware of even one instance in which he responded to a complaint (he is listed in official complaints documentation). No doubt the learned ignoramus considers himself far too high and mighty to communicate with mere mortals.
     
  3. Ivy

    Ivy Well-Known Member

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    Hi Sarojini,

    If you have had to pay for unreasonable expenses incurred due to your former tenants (ie their electricity), then you can claim those expenses against their bond and VCAT can also make an order for them to pay the full outstanding amount.

    You have the letter from the energy company stating the electricity for your two former tenants was separately metered, therefore they are liable for the costs, as is explained on this information page from Consumer Affairs Victoria: Utilities, telephone, internet, and television in rental properties - Consumer Affairs Victoria

    From the information you have given me, it sounds as though you have a good case. I suggest that you speak with the real estate agent and get in contact with your local legal aid or community legal centre and they can help you prepare for the hearing. Make sure you have copies of correspondence between you and the tenants and you and the former real estate agent, copies of the requests to transfer the electricity into the tenants' names, the notice/s to vacate, the electricity bills, evidence of payment and so on.
     
  4. praxidice

    praxidice Well-Known Member

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    I strongly suggest checking to see if the debtors are still around and have ability to pay before wasting money on getting a judgement. These kangaroo courts are quite expensive and even if you get a decision in your favour (never guaranteed because the learned ignoramuses tend to favour the perceived underdog) you can't collect from someone you can't locate, who doesn't have a job or who is particularly adept in keeping one step ahead of creditors (eg Gold Coast sharks) . The bond is rarely sufficient to cover your outlay although its probably a step in the right direction. Personally I've never lost a case yet even though its questionable whether or not the results justified the effort. I certainly haven't made full recoveries from a number of debtors.
     

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