Another day, another Sydney landlord making outrageous demands of a renter. The villain in question today is a landlord who tried to charge their tenant $1,000 for a single scratch on a floorboard. BRB, sharpening my pitchforks.
Reddit user u/BabyButt3rcup took to r/australia to ask for advice after they were served with the ridiculous order, in which their landlord decided a small scratch on their floor warranted an entire re-doing of the place. Of course, who was expected to pay for this renovation? You guessed it.
“Hi. Just want to ask if it sounds ridiculous to you that my landlord wants to charge $1,000 for a minimal scratch on a panel of a timber floor?” they wrote.
“Her plan is to remove and redo the whole flooring because I’ve unintentionally made a scratch on a panel, I repeat, a minimal almost invisible scratch on one of the panel. Does that make sense to you?”
Yes, OP, it does. Not because it’s at all reasonable, but because I would honestly expect nothing less of the specifically cracked breed of parasite that is the Sydney landlord. The scratch in question, you wonder? Behold:
People in the comments were quick to call out what a bonkers request the $1,000 was, especially given there is a level of normal wear and tear that a home can endure before landlords can charge you for damage. (Please look that up any time your landlord tries to mess with your bond.)
“It’s madness,” one commenter wrote.
“Cleaning for real estates [agents], I deal with light scratches to the floor all the time. It’s never cost more than three cents worth of oil soap. It’s also expected wear and tear for the type of flooring.”
Others chimed in and agreed, with some speculating the landlord was conning the tenant into paying for a renovation.
“Sounds like she’s trying to use your cash to fund a new floor,” one person said.
“They are trying to take you for a ride,” wrote another.
“She wants new timber flooring and is using you to subsidise it. Tell her no and if she threatens to take it out of your bond challenge her at your state’s rental tribunal as it would probably come under under reasonable wear and tear,” suggested a third.
“Bonus if you listed any scratches on your entry inspection report.”
OP ended up writing that they also suspected they were unwittingly being pressured into paying for an unnecessary renovation, and said they’re “thinking of disputing”.
After another user said to “take it to Tribunal” because it “should get thrown out under usual wear and tear”, OP confirmed that’s the road they’re taking. Good for them!
Just a general FYI for my lovely renter friends, there’s a whole bunch of “damages” landlords like to claim compensation for that are actually just normal wear and tear. If you live in NSW, here’s a guide on what you should NOT be charged for, per NSW Fair Trading. This might differ if you live in a different state, BTW.
ALSO, because I’m not done arming you with knowledge to get your dues from those vampiric beasts, there’s also a website you can and should use to snitch on your shitty real estate agency and landlords, to protect other unsuspecting tenants from their evil ways.
Now that you know this, go forth and hold these house-hoarders accountable!