Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Renting in Sydney

So we sold our house in Western Sydney and moved to the Sutherland Shire to be in an area where the schools are bette and we are closer to the water. BIG mistake. The Shire is full of people who were born without morals. I mean completely without morals. Not just shifty, I MEAN COMPLETELY WITHOUT MORALS.

First we moved to Grays Point. We rented a house from Raine & Horne Miranda. The owners were traveling the world and even though the property was a bit expensive ($600 / week) we were in an area with a good school and it looked peaceful so we went for it.

After 4 months, the owners declared that they were moving back home and we had to find another house to rent. We had plans to go to Sweden for a sabbatical at this stage so we asked if we could stay a couple more months before we were going. The owners suggested that they would move in with us, we would pay full rent and they would use our stuff. Naturally, we were a bit hesitant and while we were discussing this, I got a phone call from the real estate agent siply stating " the owners are moving in with you tomorrow, is this OK?" I was a bit bewildered at this and told the real estate agent that we had made no such agreement. The agent was fairly abusive asking me what the owners were supposed to do now that they had already rented a truck. The next day we had the owners coming to our house to "have a chat with us".To cut a long story short, the real estate agent tried to rip us of by stealing our bond money but when we filed a counter claim with the tenancy board, there was a very quick shift in atitute and we got our bond back. We then moved to Gymea Bay and rented a house from Ray White Gymea. It became evident quite quickly that the house was in a very bad condition and needed some urgent repairs. The bottom floor had a rising dampness problem which caused mould to grow everywhere, on all our clothes, furniture, books, you name it. My wife even got respiratory problems and has started using asthma medicine as a consequence. The real estate agent never did anything about the problem as it unfolded. It was not until after we had called mould experts ourselves they reacted and offered to 'clean the carpet'. At this stage, we had all out belongings off shelves and out of drawers on the floor to stop the mould destroying everything.

The landlord came past and cut three holes 20x 10 cm in the walls in the bedroom plus installed a fan to circulate air and get rid of some of the moisture. If you have lived in Sydney during winter, you know that you don't want three such holes in the bedroom wall since the indoor temperature quickly falls to 5-8 degrees. We had no option but to request to move again, 3 months after we moved in. At this stage, Ray White Gymea started to become really abusive. The correspondence we have had with them is unbelievable. They have had my wife in tears, done everything they can to make our lives Hell even though we have started to get ill from living in the premises and we have two young children who may be affected for life. Very interesting people those Ray White people. Now, we have the outgoing inspection tomorrow and we notified the Ray White Ofifce so we could do the inspection together. We were tole that they were going to do the inspection alone and we were not allowed to be there, go figure.

I was told by the residential tenancy board to notify the agent that we would do an inspection so they can be present if they choose to. We should have witnesses and take many photos. When I wrote an email to RayWhite Gymea about this, the owner, Bill Anastasiadis wrote me an email saying that the tenancy board was ill informed and going on about him being the principal of Ray White Gymea.

I can't wait for the final inspection. Obviously these people are following their own moral standards, not what the tenancy board thinks is the norm for Australian renting agreements.

The question is, is this a Sutherland Shire decease or is this just Raine & Horne Miranda and Ray White Gymea business operations and moral standards?

One thing is for sure, renting properties in Sydney in this climate sucks. It is not enough paying rent on time and looking after the property. You also have to be prepared to take abuse from real estate agents and bow down to the people who own property, after all, they must be better than you since they own a house to let and you don't have that much money.

Loose thoughts by Bjorn Landfeldt


The principal left the following comment on this post


It is amazing how you have posted only parts of the true facts.

When we where alerted to the mould issue it was my office that paid for a steam cleaner and mould expert to attend the property not you.

It was my office that also had someone attend to rectify the problem.

You also fail to mention that my office also negotiated and had the Landlord release you from the Lease and also had the Landlord pay for your removalist costs and compensate you.

I advise that you have the true facts mentioned on this blog of yours otherwise it will be construed as defamation."

Anyone who may have thought I was exaggerating.......

It is true that Ray White wanted to steam clean the carpet, but it was not until we ourselves had an expert inspecting the property they got some cleaners in to clean the mould off the walls and outside the furniture. All clothes, books, inside book cases etc. were left covered in mould and also left for us to clean.

It is true that the landlords agreed to end the lease and pay for our move, after all we were starting to develop serious respiratory problems and with a pregnant woman.......

We are out of the house and there were no surprises towards the end apart from the removalists not moving everything so we had to do much of it ourselves, but still...