Tenant and real estate dispute over flooded home clean-up
A DISPUTE between a real estate agency and a tenant in a house in North Bundaberg has put the focus on who is responsible for cleaning up a property that has been hit by floods.
Cameron Lockyer said he managed to get his clothes and his dog out of the house he was renting in Gavin St on January 28 just before the flood hit.
But he said he was shocked to receive a phone call from McColms First National Real Estate telling him he would have to continue paying the rent even though he could no longer live in the property.
"When I got back to the property I had to clean up and try to salvage what I could, we lost a lot of stuff that was in the shed," he said.
He said he could find nowhere to store his belongings and asked his landlord if he could use the shed on the property.
He was allowed to do that but was told he would have to pay for storage.
"I have been instructed to get all my gear out of the house and clean it so that the bond can be released and the insurance work can begin," he said.
Mr Lockyer said he had later been told the owner of the house wanted to keep half his bond because there was mould on the ceiling.
But McColms principal Heather Galley has rejected many aspects of Mr Lockyer's story.
"He was not told that he had to continue to pay rent," she said.
She said he was furnished with the fact sheet for natural disaster, and given a form to end the agreement with the landlord which he did not return.
Mrs Galley said Mr Lockyer was told to get his possessions out of the house as soon as possible so the assessors would not be hampered in their inspections.
"He was told the owner had authorised that 50% of his bond be refunded but was not told that 50% was being held to cover some mould on the ceiling," she said.
"He was told by me that the owner would have the right to charge for any damages that had occurred at the property that were caused by him and that the owner was possibly within her rights to ask for cleaning and removal of mould identified at an inspection in November last year."
Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) CEO Fergus Smith said tenant were responsible for removing or cleaning their own possessions.
"The landlord is responsible for the maintenance and repairs needed to bring the property back to a liveable condition," he said.