Apr 04 2013

Bad landlord stories

I bet every renter has a bad landlord story!

I have rented for all of my adult life, apart from a short time as a property owner during my first marriage. Over that period, as you can imagine, I have had some good landlords and some bad ones.

When my kids were still at school I always took care to advise the estate agents that I was only looking for long term rentals as I wanted to maintain some stability for my kids.

Despite that we had to move 3 times in six years.  The owners of two places decided to sell when property values skyrocketed, of course with vacant possession. One landlord wanted to put the rent up 75% but couldn’t while we were living there. So we were given notice – no reason given.

But they have nothing on the Strata Management of the place we are in now.

When the kids were younger I always rented houses so they could get out in the backyard and play. As they’re now older, and I’m sick of nagging them to cut the grass, we moved into a flat. So we have to deal with Strata.

We live over shops on a main road, in what used to be a brothel. There’s no balcony but there is a rear fire exit walkway along the back of our flat, giving us a back entrance and somewhere to sit outside. As the only other place beyond ours along that walkway is a business it’s usually quiet – except for those people who come up looking for brothel services.

This can be scary in the middle of the night when you’re asleep, especially as we don’t have any flyscreens or security locks on our windows. So at night we sleep with the windows locked and the air conditioning on to give us some air. Or we did, until the Strata decided that our air conditioners had to be removed. NOW!

I got a phone call on the Thursday morning, advising me they had to be removed that afternoon.  No reason given. Then I got a call back saying the tradie would be around Friday morning to take them out. So I rearranged my work schedule – and he didn’t turn up.

Then first thing Monday morning I got an abusive phone call from the Strata Manager accusing me of denying access and breaching the CTTT order – which she refused to give me because I’m “only a tenant and therefore don’t have a right to see it”. Never mind that it’s my home they want to come in to.

Eventually they were removed the Wednesday afternoon. Interestingly it was only our air conditioners removed, not those of the business person next door who, I have been informed, is the head of the Body Corporate. And whose air conditioner sits right on the fire escape, not 7 feet above it as ours did.

So now we have no air conditioners, no flyscreens, and no security windows – and no air flow through our flat. In the hottest March on record. It seems that Strata refused the owner’s request to install security on our windows.

In addition to that, the Strata Managers sometimes send people around to do repairs on the building. Of course, to get to the roof they have to walk along the fire escape, straight past our bedroom and bathroom windows. When one of them was standing outside my daughter’s bedroom window watching her get dressed we got rather upset – understandably I thought.

We made a number of requests of Strata to let us know when people would be coming around – so we could differentiate them from people looking for brothel services as well as making sure nobody would be standing next to a window naked. Their response? You guessed – as tenants we don’t have to be advised of anything.

They have even told our agents that they want us evicted from the flat.

What stories do you have about bad landlords?

(Sorry – no photos with this one, I don’t want to identify the property and have the Strata sue us)

 

Permanent link to this article: http://kathswinbourne.com.au/bad-landlord-stories/

2 comments

    • Miss Y on April 14, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    Hi there, I’ve nominated you for the inspiring blogger award. Please feel free to accept (or not). Thanks! http://atrillionmiles.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/blogger-award/

    1. Thanks Miss Y, glad you enjoy reading the blog.

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