Tribunal decision against us and property manager

Kate asks:
(updated on Friday, October 04th 2013)

I have received a decision regarding a turbulent tenancy I had a few months ago. The decision went against us and our property manager. One of things stated was that the property manager acted unprofessionally. As a result not only do my tenants get their bond back but none of my damages are paid for. I am out of pocket not only for damages but for rent arrears. She did not give them a 14-day notice until their rent was in arrears around three weeks. We have paid the property manager even though she did not act correctly, the tenants have their money back and as property owners we have nothing. Can we hold the property manager responsible for any of our expenses on the basis she did not act in a professional manner?

Our Experts Answer:

You have not said what actions of property manager were unprofessional. It cannot have been the issue of a 14-day notice after the rent was in arrears about three weeks. That is more likely to be a mistake than unprofessional conduct. You say also that the tenancy was turbulent. In what way? Was the tenant somewhat difficult to deal with? Without further information I can only advise that you look at the contract that you have with your property manager. The manager is acting as your agent and, as such, is required to act in your interests. She is not responsible for any rent that you have missed out on, unless you can establish that the loss is directly caused by her actions. In short, you have to be able to establish that the property manager is in breach of their management contract and that you have incurred a loss as a direct result. The avenue for settling such a dispute is the Disputes Tribunal. There a referee attempts to get the parties to reach a settlement (similarly to tenancy mediation), but if you cannot agree the referee can make a decision (similarly to the Tenancy Tribunal).

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