Monday, June 16, 2014

Well done Frances Abbott, tenant

The Tenants' Union of NSW congratulates Frances Abbott on asserting her rights as a tenant.

Ms Abbott, formerly resident of Sydney, now of Melbourne, had entered into a tenancy agreement for a flat in Prahran but ended the agreement early because the premises were not secure – amongst other things, the flat had windows that did not lock.

Ms Abbott's landlord claimed instead that the agreement was ended unlawfully, and sued for compensation for loss of rent. Ms Abbott defended the landlord's claim in the Victorian Civil and Administrative by giving evidence as to the poor security of the premises and establishing the grounds for her termination of the agreement.

The Tribunal has not published its decision on the matter, but according to the media reports Ms Abbott was successful (and the landlord is sore about it).

Good on Frances Abbott. All Australian States and Territories have residential tenancy laws that place obligations on landlords in relation to the security of rented premises. The obligations vary between jurisdictions – in Victoria, landlords are specifically required to provide locks on external doors and windows; in New South Wales, the obligation is stated more generally so that landlords must provide locks and security devices to ensure that the premises are reasonably secure – but nowhere can landlords rely on the old principle of caveat emptor to let insecure and unsafe premises.

If you are concerned about the security of your home, seek advice about how you can assert your rights.

1 comment:

  1. Good to read this; my daughter and her partner are in Tribunal up at Newcastle at this very minute; probably just about to finish. They have been asserting their rights against a vindictive RE agent who unlawfully got them blacklisted and didn't even let them inform them of the fact.


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