Sunday, February 6, 2011

Unsettling Times

Just settled into our new digs and it is up for sale.... had 2 weeks to breathe out, then a flood. I haven't even mentally settled in yet..... or established a routine.

The developers firstly requested access 'whenever' ....between 10am and 4pm....for 'walk ins' off the street, then when I put up a fight, they said, "ok, well how about 11am to 12pm each day?

I don't know, but in my current 'less than stoic' state, I know I will not cope well with this.... daily. I need a haven. I so need a haven that is mine, where I know that I won't be receiving unexpected visitors at the drop of a hat. I want to be able to have a mess if I want to and something in the slow cooker for my boys dinner, complete with kitchen mess.

What should I do? Do I have an out here? Can I leave and look for somewhere else without penalty?

We are also on limited airconditioning, lifts, security as least until the end of February?... with no reduction on rent for this. Do I have an out? Any RTA personnel out there in bloggy blog land?

With unrest at my doorstep once again, I fled to the gorgeousness of the city botanic gardens with my little tacker, early this morning. He was in his element. I swear he would have said, "Mum, look at THIS water dragon", a million times. True. We watched a mother duck and her ducklings get swept over a waterfall and little wrens playing in the bushes. It was magical.

On arriving home, taking a leaf out of Faux Fuchsia's book of "how to cope in unsettling times", I decided the best remedy for unrest was to cook up a storm. I had nothing to declutter so cooking was the next best thing. I now have the most aromatic spicy chicken in coconut sauce thingy in the slow cooker.

Feeling better.... as I made it with love.

Big son is on a sleep over so we're off to retrieve him now, just a little bit earlier than planned.... as me and the tacker?......we're pining.

P.S Woman's Weekly Slow Cooker Recipe Book - page 98. Worth buying the whole book for. Promise.


  1. Here are some links to the RTA, I think you should call them tomorrow for professional advise. You must have notice and every day is too much, especially since you are paying full rent!

    I hope it is all sorted out asap.

    I think it is very rude of the developers putting in a tenant when they obviously new they were going to put the units up for sale.The same thing happened to us years ago in Sydney and we got out of our lease early.

  2. I don't know much (or in fact, anything) about Queensland's residential tenancy laws, but daily disruptions cannot possibly be considered "reasonable access".

    We were fortunate with our rental whilst building. After giving notice, the managing agent always called us and gave us a few days' notice that they wanted to arrange an open for inspection. And they were very accommodating if we said "Sorry, but that doesn't suit us".

    It's your home and you have a right to privacy, courtesy and respect.

  3. At such times I wonder what the Omniverse is trying to tell us! In the meanwhile you are doing everything right - working out what you want, letting the developer have access only as and when it suits you, and smelling some roses along the way. And you are teaching your boys a lot about grace under pressure too.

  4. There are some answers here:

    Daily access is definitely not on!

  5. okay
    you need someone with a clear head to find your options in the mess.
    The lessor/agent has to give no less than seven days written notice on the RTA-approved Form 9, (entry notice) the amount of notice needed depends on the reason for entering the premises.
    The minimum notice periods are:

    to inspect the premises - seven days (lessor/agent allowed to enter no more than once in a three month period, unless the tenant agrees)
    to complete routine repairs or carry out maintenance - 24 hours
    to inspect after repairs or maintenance has been carried out - 24 hours' notice
    if you agree; anytime by negotiation
    to repair or carry out maintenance where the premises is in a remote area and there is a shortage of qualified tradespersons in the area - no notice
    in an emergency, or to protect the premises from damage - no notice
    if the lessor/agent believes that the premises is abandoned - 24 hours
    to show the premises to a prospective tenant or buyer or for valuation purposes - 24 hours ( if the property is for sale, a Form 10 - notice of lessor's intention to sell must have been issued)
    by order of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal - as stated in the order.
    if during a routine general inspection, a notice to remedy has been issued to a tenant for a "significant breach", a 24-hour re-entry notice can be issued to ensure the breach has been remedied. The re-entry must be done within 14 days of the expiry of the notice to remedy
    a significant breach is: the tenant using the premises for an illegal purpose; unapproved occupants; unapproved pets; another matter, if the cost of rectifying that matter exceeds one weeks' rent.
    The parties may wish to negotiate a time that is suitable to everyone. If entry is for a lawful purpose, the correct notice has been given, and the entry is at a reasonable time the tenant cannot refuse entry. Under the Act, the tenant does not have an automatic right to be present when the lessor/agent enters. If you have any concerns or questions regarding entry contact the RTA.

    In your case if you were not issued with a form 10 intention to sell when you signed the lease they are in breach of the law. They can only gain access if you give them permission to.
    The landlord only has 24hrs notice to enter the property to show prospective buyers or tenants NOT DEVELOPERS.
    I would broker a deal that you wont report them and give them access if they allow you to break the lease and then I would find somewhere else because after all you have been through this will be o stressful too deal with and I would point that out as one of the reasons why you cannot allow the kind of access they want. Tell them you are trying to make a home for you and your children not help the owner pad out his investmet portfolio.

    I hope this helps :)

  6. Im not familiar with QLD legislation but in NSW, the maximum viewings by prospective buyers is twice per week, with 48 hours notice.

    I would ring the RTA first thing Monday.

  7. Gosh AM that is just the pits to put it mildly. I don't think they are in their rites to just allow entry anytime. I thought they HAD to give written 24 hour notice. I wish I knew someone with comfortable digs you could move to. Maybe it is time to get out of the unit and into a small house or town housexx

  8. Hi A-M

    Firstly Id like to say I doubt anyone will be any great hurry to invest in Brisbane at the moment. Secondly you might find this interesting..I know this is Vic tenancy laws but im pretty sure most states would be the same..there is no way I would allow them through my home every day!!

    p.s. So lovely to be able to read your blog when I have my morning cuppa im dragging my feet in this heat so its my afternoon cuppa xxx

  9. Oh A-M, I'm so sorry this has happened to you.....I can't believe you're not getting a reduction in your rent - that's really very unfair. I guess it all depends on your Rental Contract as to if you are able to leave without a penalty, the thing is that if the apartment is sold you will have to move sooner or later anyway.
    It's most unreasonable that the developers requested access between 10 and 4 - good for you standing up for yourself....I still think they are asking too much requesting an hour daily....

    I sincerely hope it all works out for you - Just remember that everything is for a reason and it will all work out for the best....there's something better waiting for you.

    I just love my slow cooker too....I must look our for the WW Slow Cooker Recipe Book - sounds good.

  10. A www A-M here I had hoped you'd have a bit more of a breather than this. Just remember these things happen for reasons and you're coping with life's extra special moments brilliantly! Chin up my dear, it's just a small speed-bump on the road of life. Thinking of you and the boys.....

    XO, Andrea

  11. What. A. Pest. I wouldn't worry about leaving the place tidy - if you feel like a mess, leave it. It's not your place you're trying to sell.
    I took the kids to the WAC today and it was constant - look at this deer head, look at these bottles etc - delightful little souls.

  12. Way to go Objects of Whimsy - great advice! I thought the dodgy white shoe Qld. Property Developer types had gone to ground after Joh B-P went to God. Your experience proves otherwise dear A-M, they seem to be very much alive & up to their old tricks.
    Millie x

  13. It seems the laws in Australia are much better than they are here in Chicago. Here the landlord is suppose to give 24 hours notice, but I remember walking out of the shower in a towel & finding people in the apartment. Thank God I wasn't in a nudist mood that day!

  14. hi AM

    Objects of Whimsy is spot on. Their access request is outrageous. You should however use that factt as leverage to get out.

    If you don't get out you are entitled to a reduction in rent depending on terms of your lease because it is an act of God and there may be an out there.

    You need somewhere settled where you can be reasonably medium term. For that reason I would avoid new developments, and see if you can get an older apartment.. Less hassle more character.


  15. Dearest A-M, just yesterday I finally bought a slow cocker and haven't figured out what to do with it...
    So I will listen and learn!
    Sounds so delicious! And I love you for cooking up a storm when you are restless...
    I start cleaning closets in such cases. I admire how you motivate how to cope with all that! You are amazing!
    Just one step at a the time!
    I can not help you otherwise, but I keep thinking and sending good vibes to you!
    xoxo Victoria

  16. Ooh A M I am so sorry to here that I would call the council for some advice that is shocking you are paying rent & lots of things not working! :( They have to give you 24 hours notice for each person coming in & if it's not convenient for you you can refuse I wish you well & hope it can be sorted. The company should have let you know they were selling the units I wish I had a magic wand for you I really do!! xx

  17. Hi AM - contact the RTA regarding reduced rental for a dwelling that is in the state yours is in- I think you may be in a position to negotiate reduced rental

  18. I've had many years in real estate here in NZ - our standard is to give a tenant 24hrs notice but the tenant usually dictates access. If they were to give us the kind of notice that is expected of you then it would be standard for the landlord to give a rent reduction to accommodate for the inconvenience. It looks like you have been given some useful links. The other way you could determine access is to tell them they could do one or two open homes a week at a time to suit YOU and that they must direct ALL buyers through the property at these times only. Explain to them that you'd prefer for their benefit that with set times you could guarantee the property would be neat and tidy and well presented which of course will be to their advantage.
    Good luck - stand your ground on this one for the sake of you and your sweet boys.

  19. Are you serious, haven't you had enough this month?? Love how they can narrow down 10-4 to 11-12, gosh, imagine if you didn't ask?? 24/7 access?? I have never sold a house or lived on one for sale, so i can't imagine ever having people through, i don't think i could do it, not with our furniture & things. Next house is the home i'd like to die in thanks, i've moved enough with soldier boy. All i can wish you is the best of luck & some rights!! We want to sell one of our properties so we can free up cash to buy & build, but not until the tenant's lease is up, in a year, i just think he's been so good, we should be good to him too. We're nice landlords like that. Love Posie

  20. Oh no, that totally sucks!
    Well it sounds like Objects of Whimsy knows what she's talking about and to me it sounds totally unreasonable that they should ask for access like that. I would use it as a leverage tool as Jane said to get out of there. Your spicy chicken in coconut sounds deeeeelisssshhh! YUM! I hope it can take your mind of those stupid real estate people :(
    Big hugs,

  21. yes i agree with the others. For the developers/owners to have reasonable access to sell a lot, it still has to be with your permission. I would not give anything more than once a week, say sat morn 10-11. That's me, some people would give no access. If they let the property, they would know that not everyone would allow buyers thru, they would know this.

  22. Dear A-M, re your apartment. do you have copy of your tenancy agreement - see what it says about access for viewings if anything - normally you have right to quiet enjoyment of your prop so lease would need to say something expressly to allow visits - usually when your tenancy near expiry to allow landlord to show prospective tenants around, but they might have put something in there to cover selling too..
    I just bought that slow cooker book this week, honestly! I will put it on my blog to prove it. what a small world, I guess all mums love the idea of cooking up yummy food which is ready when needed! Good luck with everything A-M xx

  23. Hi A-M,

    Your home should be your sanctuary and I know you certainly don't need the fight but you stand your ground! You have way more rights than they are letting on.

    Thank God you have embraced comfort baking! When your big break comes it is going to be HUGE to make up for all this crap!!!! Good luck xxx

  24. Gee, I can't believe how demanding the developers are being. I hope you'll be able to sort out something. xx

  25. Hi A-M
    I am outraged on your behalf! They absolutely CANNOT ask you to open your home on a daily basis for people to walk in off the street - it's just wrong on so many levels. Even one hour every day is a laughable request. I would expect any tenant to tell me to shove it if I made such an intrusive demand.

    I manage a complex in Brisbane and here are a few things to keep up your sleeve:

    1. When you signed up, the agent (on-site management or real estate agency) should have given you a green booklet called 'Renting a Home' or 17a that is produced by the RTA. If you have a copy, refer to page 18......have you been given a Form 10 or 'Notice of Lessor's Intention to Sell Premises'?

    2. If you don't have a copy, let me know via comment. Or the info is probably on the RTA website as well.

    3. You can also refer to page 14 which refers to Minimum Notice periods given to show the premises to a prospective purchaser - it clearly states '24 hours notice and a reasonable time has elapsed since the last entry for this reason'.

    I'm a 5 minute drive from the CBD if you want to drop in and get some advice.....maybe 10 mins from West End? Let me know and I can email details.

    Hang in there!

  26. God Almighty, WHAT NEXT?????

    The cooking and chopping and stirring is a good start...

    I think you need to Draw a Line in the Sand re viewings. Good luck xxxxxxxxxxxx

  27. You should see our Gardens A-M, there's barely a leaf left on the trees here in Townsville.
    I had a bit of a "downer"myself yesterday - see the blog and tell me I am not a klutz!

  28. HI again, I was going to make a comment about the law and Developers, landlords, etc - but thought I'd check everyone else's comments.
    They've got it covered.

  29. Firstly, I just have to have a little laugh at VictoriaArt who said (read it carefully folks) ... "Dearest A-M, just yesterday I finally bought a slow cocker and haven't figured out what to do with it... " Toilet humour over now.
    A-M ... having rented many houses over the years I can only go on my experience, but that is outrageous. If you have signed anything saying you'll agree to this schedule when you signed your initial lease, you're probably bound to it. Same goes for verbally agreeing, although that's probably easy to disprove or refute. 24 hrs notice is required then a reasonable time in between the next inspection. Have they provided you with a form to say they're selling? (a requirement I think) . You really do need to jump on the phone to the RTA and ask about your rights to a reduced rent for the period you're without all of the services you're paying for.
    I heard the Minister for Housing, Karen Struthers, talking on radio about how they're going to be tough on tenants who are flouting the laws & taking advantage of people who have been a victim of the floods. RTA in the morning, pronto!

  30. Oh my darling, that's the last thing you need! You're handling what life throws at you so well though. The Botanic Gardens sounds wonderful. So glad it's not under water! Rachaelxx

  31. Cripes, A-M. I am stunned. OOW sounds on the money. Their approach is outrageous. Let us know how you fare. J x

  32. Obviously I'm half a world away so I don't know your specific laws but this is *Australia* we're talking about and your laws, and in fact lessor/lessees' rights and expectations, cannot be *that* different to the UK. 24 hours notice has to be the absolute minimum. *Surely*? I know that would still leave *me* on edge every day but trying for an 'every day viewing' mandate strikes me as downright ferkin cheeky.

    I'd take heart from the person above who said that buyers will surely be few and far between - Q.E.D. *viewings* will, in reality, be few and far between (although I realise you will still feel on show and therefore on edge).

    That being said, you may like everything 'just so' for visitors to your home (as do I) but if getting out of this property is not an option, *please* relax and give yourself permission to present a less than perfect face at this difficult time. Again, as someone above said, it is not *your* property you are trying to sell so whilst being accommodating is nice, this is not *your* problem.

  33. We live in central Alabama USA so not close enough to help :( but I can and have been praying for your situation. Have faith and hang in there. Our Lord and blogland can do powerful miracles :)

  34. I think on top of the floods and no reduction in rent it's the last thing you need for you and your boys. I can understand if you fall apart everyday at the moment. My advice is all you can do is take one day at a time, put one foot in front of the other. Now thanks for the tip on the WW recipe book because I bought some free range lamb at the markets and need a slow cooker receipe for tomorrow night...will pop out and buy it today. Hang in there. Regards Kathy, Enoggera

  35. This is totally and utterly disgraceful. i cant believe how heartless they have been. Im glad others have been able to give you info cos standing up to them is also exhausting. Fiona

  36. Gasp! AM, you need to find a sanctuary for you and your boys combined with a {tax deductible} office for Cape Cod Designs {even if it is just The Chair and your laptop}. Toot sweet.

    It WILL all come together... one day ... soon. You're doing a terrific job dealing with all this. xx

  37. A-M I hope by now you've had some reassuring words from your govt rental dept. And if the developer even *tries* to bully you - tell 'em they'll be taking on the might of the A-M readers!! Know your rights, use them to get yourself out of your lease if need be, and stay strong.
    B. xx

  38. Mate, where does it end for you?? Honey get on that plane to Sydney and we will have a cocktail!

  39. How long is your lease? I was under the impression that regardless of a sale your lease is safe?

  40. I am a landlord in Brissy (although I live in Melbourne) and I believe that if facilities/services at the property you rent are compromised, then the rent should be decreased accordingly. Good luck!!

  41. Thanks so much for all your advice. I am presently looking at my options. Will keep you posted! A-M xx

  42. By law you do need to allow for "reasonable access". I do not think what they are asking is reasonable though! The current situation and recent events really need to be taken into consideration.

    Have you been granted a rental reduction for the lack of facilities?

    You need to jump up and down very loudly - I have had to before with my last rental and we got as far as going to Tribunal before that backed down and gave me what I wanted.


    PS - You must must must keep all correspondence and a list of phone calls between you and the other party. Its better to be over prepared, then under.


  43. Sent you an email. :) With a sure fire way of getting what you want. ;)


Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave me a comment. I love hearing from you. A-M xx