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Dispute with landlord over filthy Oven.

Dispute with landlord over filthy Oven.

Old Feb 2nd 2010, 11:32 pm
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Default Dispute with landlord over filthy Oven.

Hi there,

We have a dispute over the Oven in a house we are currently renting and would be grateful if anyone could provide some sound advice on how to proceed and/or where we stand on the matter. I have just this morning emailed the Office of Fair Trading for advice also.

We are currently renting a house (moved in beginning of October 2009) in Sydney. When we moved in the state of the property was extremely dirty and many things such as the cooktop and Oven did not work despite assurances from the agent that everything was clean and ready for us prior to collecting the keys.

There were dead cockroaches trapped in the timer panel of the oven and it would not switch on (it was also dirty inside but I did not realise just *how* dirty until I tried to clean it later on). We were told the cockroaches could not be removed, after escalating the issue to the senior manager at the agent a handyman was sent out and was able to remove the panel to clear out the cockroaches.

We also raised the issue that the Cooktop and Oven would not switch on, the rental agent sent an electrician out at the end of october who fixed that. I then attempted to clean the oven and could not believe just how dirty it was.

I asked that the Oven be either replaced or professionally cleaned as I think it's fair and reasonable to expect that cooking facilities are hygienic to use. At least before I have cooked in it anyway ;-)

We have since been told by the Agent that the owner wasn't prepared to replace the oven as it is in working order, and then told she wasn't prepared to have it cleaned because she feels it was in an "acceptable state" when we moved in - It wasn't and I mentioned that on the condition report!.

It is an older property so I accept that things will go wrong from time to time and that the level of finish may not be great. We are paying 820 dollars a week in rent which is not insignificant (though perhaps not unusual for Sydney) and feel we are being treated like a nuisance by the Agent.

It's annoying because I love cooking and the thought of eating food cooked in that oven turns my stomach....

Has anyone had any similar experience or any idea how I should approach this from here on?

PS thanks for reading my long winded post :-)

D.
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Old Feb 2nd 2010, 11:36 pm
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Default Re: Dispute with landlord over filthy Oven.

This is how dirty the oven was/still is (See attachments).

Looks like the previous tenants had a bonfire in there prior to moving out!
Attached Thumbnails Dispute with landlord over filthy Oven.-img_4308.jpg   Dispute with landlord over filthy Oven.-img_4310.jpg   Dispute with landlord over filthy Oven.-img_4312.jpg  
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Old Feb 3rd 2010, 12:09 am
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Arrow Re: Dispute with landlord over filthy Oven.

There is no way I would have moved into a place which looked like that, especially at $820 a week!

I would have told them they were dreaming.
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Old Feb 3rd 2010, 12:17 am
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Default Re: Dispute with landlord over filthy Oven.

Originally Posted by dogscogs View Post
Hi there,

We have a dispute over the Oven in a house we are currently renting and would be grateful if anyone could provide some sound advice on how to proceed and/or where we stand on the matter. I have just this morning emailed the Office of Fair Trading for advice also.

We are currently renting a house (moved in beginning of October 2009) in Sydney. When we moved in the state of the property was extremely dirty and many things such as the cooktop and Oven did not work despite assurances from the agent that everything was clean and ready for us prior to collecting the keys.

There were dead cockroaches trapped in the timer panel of the oven and it would not switch on (it was also dirty inside but I did not realise just *how* dirty until I tried to clean it later on). We were told the cockroaches could not be removed, after escalating the issue to the senior manager at the agent a handyman was sent out and was able to remove the panel to clear out the cockroaches.

We also raised the issue that the Cooktop and Oven would not switch on, the rental agent sent an electrician out at the end of october who fixed that. I then attempted to clean the oven and could not believe just how dirty it was.

I asked that the Oven be either replaced or professionally cleaned as I think it's fair and reasonable to expect that cooking facilities are hygienic to use. At least before I have cooked in it anyway ;-)

We have since been told by the Agent that the owner wasn't prepared to replace the oven as it is in working order, and then told she wasn't prepared to have it cleaned because she feels it was in an "acceptable state" when we moved in - It wasn't and I mentioned that on the condition report!.

It is an older property so I accept that things will go wrong from time to time and that the level of finish may not be great. We are paying 820 dollars a week in rent which is not insignificant (though perhaps not unusual for Sydney) and feel we are being treated like a nuisance by the Agent.

It's annoying because I love cooking and the thought of eating food cooked in that oven turns my stomach....

Has anyone had any similar experience or any idea how I should approach this from here on?

PS thanks for reading my long winded post :-)

D.
We were in a similarish situation with our rental. Moved into our rental and found quite a few things needed repairing and the cooker/kitchen was filthy.

We cleaned the oven/kitchen ourselves and put in 3 or 4 maintenance requests over the next 3 months for the things that needed repairing. Then with 1 month remaining of our 6 month lease we were told that we would not be allowed to renew our lease and would have to vacate the property. Whilst not told directly that this was because of the maintenance requests, we knew it was. The letting agency viewed us as awkward tenants.

Fortunately I knew the owners address and wrote to them, explaining that I felt they were being unreasonable. Luckily for us it transpired that the owners were happy for the maintenance to be done and for us to renew our lease. The problem was with the letting agent who was subsequently fired by the letting agency.

With regard to your situation you have to be very mindful of the consequences of your dispute, even though you are totally in the right i.e. as with us the landlord/owner may not renew your lease or he may increase your rent if/when you renew the lease. Ultimately take it on the chin, clean the oven yourselves and look for a new rental at the end of the lease period. Even if you win and the landlord pays for the oven to be cleaned, at the end of the lease period he may withhold some of your rental bond over something very petty, just to reclaim the money spent on cleaning the oven.

Life's not fair !
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Old Feb 3rd 2010, 1:37 pm
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Default Re: Dispute with landlord over filthy Oven.

Originally Posted by dogscogs View Post
Hi there,

We have a dispute over the Oven in a house we are currently renting and would be grateful if anyone could provide some sound advice on how to proceed and/or where we stand on the matter. I have just this morning emailed the Office of Fair Trading for advice also.

We are currently renting a house (moved in beginning of October 2009) in Sydney. When we moved in the state of the property was extremely dirty and many things such as the cooktop and Oven did not work despite assurances from the agent that everything was clean and ready for us prior to collecting the keys.

There were dead cockroaches trapped in the timer panel of the oven and it would not switch on (it was also dirty inside but I did not realise just *how* dirty until I tried to clean it later on). We were told the cockroaches could not be removed, after escalating the issue to the senior manager at the agent a handyman was sent out and was able to remove the panel to clear out the cockroaches.

We also raised the issue that the Cooktop and Oven would not switch on, the rental agent sent an electrician out at the end of october who fixed that. I then attempted to clean the oven and could not believe just how dirty it was.

I asked that the Oven be either replaced or professionally cleaned as I think it's fair and reasonable to expect that cooking facilities are hygienic to use. At least before I have cooked in it anyway ;-)

We have since been told by the Agent that the owner wasn't prepared to replace the oven as it is in working order, and then told she wasn't prepared to have it cleaned because she feels it was in an "acceptable state" when we moved in - It wasn't and I mentioned that on the condition report!.

It is an older property so I accept that things will go wrong from time to time and that the level of finish may not be great. We are paying 820 dollars a week in rent which is not insignificant (though perhaps not unusual for Sydney) and feel we are being treated like a nuisance by the Agent.

It's annoying because I love cooking and the thought of eating food cooked in that oven turns my stomach....

Has anyone had any similar experience or any idea how I should approach this from here on?

PS thanks for reading my long winded post :-)

D.
hi, we have been on both sides of this, the RTA is the best people to speak to, trading standards are for problems with the agent we have spoken to them several times with our pain in the arse tenants!!
The RTA deal with the tenant, and are very helpful and will explain the best way to deal with this, and what choices you have
this is the website for qld not sure about nsw but it might help
http://www.rta.qld.gov.au/
good luck
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Old Feb 3rd 2010, 10:46 pm
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Default Re: Dispute with landlord over filthy Oven.

Hi there,

We had a similar experience when we first arrived in Australia. We took all the photo's we could of when we arrived just in case. Thank fully we are glad we did this as they were used as evidence.

We had nothing but problems with the Agents and then found Estate Agents letting people around the property when we had been told it was not on the market, we were in bed one morning when the agents arrived, they didn't even know there were tenants.

The pool was like Pee Soup, the house stunk of dogs and we have dogs ourselves but this stunk the carpets in the bedrooms were stinking and the whole house was full of all sorts of insects, and again the cooker was a mess.

We were on acerage and even the fields hadn't been slashed and we were expected to do all of this.

We bided our 6 months tenancy as they agents wern't going to let us break it without penalty then got hold of the Tenancy Advice Bureau which the Office of Fair Trading gave us the information for. We set a meeting with an advisor who helped us prepare for a Tenancy tribunal, 2 weeks later we were in the tribunal and we got $40 a week backdated from the day we moved in and the Agent got a a stern warning from the Chairman from the court.

Oh and if you want to stay there you would need to let the Chairman know as they are not allowed to throw you out after a tribunal and they are not allowed to harrass you either as it can come back and bite the agents on the bum and they can get into serious trouble.

All rental properties are meant to be fumigated, cleaned and left as they expect the next tenant to leave it when they leave.

Good luck, I agree if you are paying all that money then I would suggest taking them to tribunal.
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Old Feb 3rd 2010, 11:25 pm
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Default Re: Dispute with landlord over filthy Oven.

Wait until you move out and lose your deposit because of the filthy oven.

I'd rather die than be a renter again.
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Old Feb 4th 2010, 1:00 am
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Default Re: Dispute with landlord over filthy Oven.

Unfortunately these stories are not uncommon. Many peoples' standards are pretty dire.

It shows the importance of taking digital photos of everything when you start: probably not a bad thing to burn them to a DVD and give a copy to the agent - and get a receipt. They will try it on at every opportunity so the evidence couldn't be denied.
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Old Feb 4th 2010, 1:27 am
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Default Re: Dispute with landlord over filthy Oven.

Yeah as others have said. Take photographs and do a walk around inventory with the agent at the beginning.
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Old Feb 4th 2010, 2:30 am
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Default Re: Dispute with landlord over filthy Oven.

Is it normal to do a walk around with the agent when leaving a property? I'd like to do this because our agent is a bit of a moo bag.
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Old Feb 4th 2010, 3:13 am
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Default Re: Dispute with landlord over filthy Oven.

We didn't do a walk-around with the agent when we left, as we were too busy moving into the new place. We decided to pay for a cleaner to clean thoroughly once we'd got all our stuff out, to make sure we got the bond back. If you can afford it, it's also a great feeling of getting the bloody rental out of your hair/mind. We used a company called TenantClean, I think they're in a couple of states. Some leases specify using professional cleaners at the end of a lease.
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Old Feb 4th 2010, 5:18 am
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Default Re: Dispute with landlord over filthy Oven.

Thanks Helen.

I'll probably use a cleaner but the woman has a dreadful reputation.
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Old Feb 4th 2010, 7:48 am
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Default Re: Dispute with landlord over filthy Oven.

At the end of our 6 month rental we had a cleaner in who did ''bond cleans'' because we were so busy arranging removals (although we pretty much gutted the place ourselves and did a mega clean before hand just because that's how we/I am.).
Afterwards, agent called us to meet her there as there was apparently a problem with the kitchen.
Everywhere else was fine.
Turns out there was a tiny mark approx 1.5 mm on the back of a kitchen cooktop near the cooker, which could only be seen if you got down to eye level with the work top (which the agent made us do all together) and it was extremely minor. Could have been there for years, or could be something un-noticed it was so small - looked like a tiny blob of clear varnish or sealant to me, it wasn't wipeable, maybe needed a blade or something - never noticed it before as not in the habit of crouching and inspecting the tops at eye level. I'm pretty fastidious in the kitchen, however, the agent proceded to rant at how she worked full time and still was able to keep her kitchen etc clean and tidy and there was no excuse for this approx 1mm clear coloured tiny mark We got our full bond back and as we were leaving before the lease was up, the agent got another to take it over, so it all worked out ok, but I'll never forget how that agent behaved. Our friends had a similar experience with them over something similarly trivial and had to fight to get the bond back through the regulating company (they did thankfully).
Hope I never have to rent again, it's so unrealistic re- normal wear and tear and yes you have to photo everything before you move in to prove the condition, otherwise they will blatantly come up with something totally unfair, even if it was like that when you moved in .
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Old Feb 4th 2010, 11:21 am
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Default Re: Dispute with landlord over filthy Oven.

Originally Posted by Kingseat View Post
Thanks Helen.

I'll probably use a cleaner but the woman has a dreadful reputation.
We had a really good cleaner from TenantClean when we left the rental, in fact she was a recent British migrant. We requested her again for my MIL's place, but unfortunately she was no longer working for them. We got a husband & wife team whose behaviour and appearance would fit nicely into The League of Gentlemen. They did a terrible job and I had to ring TenantClean again (? Michelle) to get them to come back and finish the job.
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