Home Uncategorized Tenant's efforts to get $20,000 in compensation from landlord backfire

Tenant’s efforts to get $20,000 in compensation from landlord backfire

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Stuff reports

A tenant who wanted his landlord to pay him $20,258 after a four-month stint at a backpackers has instead been told to pay $5441.

Jacob Williams moved into Mackenzies Hotel and Backpackers on December 27, and shifted out at the start of April.

But he said things turned sour during his time there and took his case to the Tenancy Tribunal.

When he left he wanted a refund of his bond, $1000 compensation for having to relocate, $2409 for reports he produced in evidence for his claims, the cost of replacing locks, $605 for installing CCTV cameras and $277 spent purchasing rubbish bins, as well as exemplary damages, among other things.

He received no receipts for rent and there was asbestos contamination.

The tribunal found against him.

Adjudicator J Greene said while Williams referred to police records that detailed disturbances in March, it was unclear whether the person creating the disturbance was a tenant or someone else.

“Counsel submitted that the landlord was only provided with these records after the tenancy ended. Because the landlord was not notified of a problem he could not take any action to deal with the alleged breach by other tenants.”

Greene said any potential asbestos contamination issue arose due to Williams’ actions.

“He and Mr Brodie Williams pulled fixtures and fittings from the walls and cut holes in the wall board and the bathroom vinyl so they could have samples tested.

“Their actions have potentially exposed asbestos which up to then had been contained…There is no basis for the tenant’s allegation that he was exposed to asbestos contamination. The exposure risk followed from his actions. 

“Had he suspected asbestos the appropriate course was to inform the landlord; seek a remedy, such as initial testing which the landlord could have arranged; and if necessary apply to the tribunal for an order. Mr Williams’ actions are a clear-cut case of intentional damage. Indeed, he agreed that he and Mr Brodie Williams had done much of the damage, the justification being the need for asbestos testing.”

Greene said it was inappropriate to ask the landlord to pay for Brodie Williams’ report on the asbestos. He was not a qualified tester.

“He said it was not necessary to be qualified; the asbestos testing company explained to him how to take the samples… He acknowledged that the amount stated in the invoice was not in fact the correct amount when viewed against the other invoices produced.”

Williams also sought a full refund of the rent he paid while at the property because he said the building did not have a valid warrant of fitness.

Greene said the evidence did not support that.

In addition,  he still had the bins he had sought compensation for, and there were no grounds to offer reimbursement of the cost of CCTV cameras, Greene said.

He was not eligible for compensation for having to move because he chose to leave. 

Instead, Williams was ordered to pay $5870 to the landlord for intentional damage and $20 as a filing fee reimbursement. His bond of $450 would also be transferred to the landlord.

Oh dear. actions have consequences. Just wait for the taxpayer to pay out for this piece of shit. “It’s not my fault. The Govt has given us signals that no one is allowded to live in such conditions. I want a motel.”

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5 COMMENTS

  1. And now his name is forever enshrined in the Internet Hall of Fuckwittery; for any future employer to find.

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  2. Unintended consequences again Cindy. When your COL proclaimed laws for tenants to demand they forgot there are nightmare tenants waiting for any opportunity to take advantage. What a complete f*wit. No doubt Jacob Williams will be paying the order to the landlord at $5/wk.

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  3. It’s nice to get a good news story every so often. I doubt the costs awarded will cover the repairs now though; with the asbestos now exposed in particular.

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