Seeking compensation

Debby asks:
(updated on Friday, December 13th 2013)

Our property manager has breached some terms. A credit check was not done and before we signed the contract, it had been promised that it would be done. No inspections were undertaken for the entire tenancy. Maintenance work carried out cost almost $2,000 despite authorisation to do work without owners consent being up to $350 (no second quotes were gathered either). The tenants were evicted due to non payment and the total loss to us is at least $5,500. Are we able to dispute these breaches and claim for more than what we have lost - taking into consideration the stress and time wasted on chasing them up?

Our Experts Answer:

My first thought is that after serving notice on the property manager of your intentions, giving them the opportunity to compensate you, you should take them to the Disputes Tribunal.  Most inspections schedules are for every 13 weeks, as demanded by most insurance companies. You don’t say how long the tenant was in there for nor what bond you might have been awarded by Tenancy Tribunal to cover the arrears? These need to be taken into consideration too. Why were you chasing them up? Unless you had already fired the property manager by that stage in which case it might be hard to claim for stress and time wasting. You can’t claim for more than you have lost. You would need to prove that they didn’t do what was promised and produce the management contract with all the relevant details on it. As for getting quotes, you will find that most contractors won’t give quotes for small jobs and if they do they will charge travelling time to and from the house and expect to get paid even if they miss out on the job. This is why property managers use a tried and trusted tradesman whom they can rely upon.

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