We lived in 802/340 Bay Street, Brighton-Le-Sands, 2216 NSW between 01/12/2016 – 28/06/2019. We were new to Australia and renting for the first time. When we signed the rental contract, we paid $5200 bond to the real estate agency. We fully trusted the agency and never expected that we will end up in a situation like this. Now that we have left the property and Australia, we are asked to pay $5,819 ($619 over the bond amount). We think some of the claims outlined below are unfair and we feel we have been tricked.
This is what happened before we left:
We have arranged an appointment on 28/06 with the real estate agent to return the keys and do the final inspection. We have allocated an entire day for this. The agent came, picked up the keys and said he did not have time for the inspection on the day. As we were leaving the country on 29/6/2019, we didn’t have many options but to accept this.
We agreed that the last bit of rental fee will be paid from the bond.
Cleaning the property
We have agreed in writing that the agent would organize a cleaning company to do the bond/vacate cleaning (including special steam carpet cleaning).
During the agent’s inspection, a ~500 mm long, thin crack was discovered on the Caesarstone kitchen benchtop. There were chips on the benchtop edges when we moved in but the crack was not there or it was not visible.
A stone benchtop shouldn’t develop a crack from normal use. We did not drop any heavy items on it, and we even protected it from heat.
The agent claimed that the window blinds in the two smaller bedrooms were damaged.
The following items are claimed by the landlord:
Rent owing: $301.40
Steam carpet cleaning: $250
General bond cleaning: $940
The invoice the real estate agent sent was dated 21st of April, 2016. This is a mistake very hard to make.
We have asked quotes on hipages.com.au for special bond cleaning. We have described the property and attached a floorplan to make the quotes as precise as they can be. We got two quotes: $435 and $480.
Carpet replacement: $1,733
After the general and special steam cleaning, the landlord claims the stains (pictures from the agent: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) are not removable, hence they have to change the entire living room carpet. The landlord wants to claim 2/3 of the cost which is $1,733.
There were minor stain drops when we moved in. We did not spill anything anywhere but we do not have proof.
Caesarstone kitchen benchtop crack repair: $1,600
As a stone benchtop shouldn’t develop a crack from normal use, this is structural damage and the tenant cannot be hold responsible for it. For reference, a basic ~300 x 140 cm Caesarstone benchtop slab costs around $1,500.
Blinds repair: $994
The quote contains $99 for the service call and $895 for 3 new tracks and 5 new slats. The entire blind is roughly 2*3 m long.
From the above mentioned facts we think it is extremely clear, that part of the claim is justifiable and we agree with those ones. However, we believe the much bigger portion of the claim is unprovable.