A win at VCAT

Will write more about the results in a month or so but to let you all know, we took the Landlord (represented by Charles Friedlaender of Friedlaenders Real Estate) to VCAT for compensation due to a hot water leak at a flat we rented. We felt they owed us $305 dollars over a couple of bills. Charles expressed that he had been contacted by the Gas company to say that if we proved the Hot Water was leaking but now it was fixed that they would return the money (sounds very strange to me, what if the incident took a year to fix and we were talking about thousands of dollars worth of gas, but Charles sweared it under oath).

The VCAT Member (the guy that heard the case, sort of like a judge) ruled that the first leak was fixed promptly but the second leak took too long to fix and we were awarded $150. This was partly because we couldn’t prove that there was a leak the whole time (from after the first leak) which appears (to us anyway) to be the case.

This was a great result for common sense and probably something that we could have worked out between ourselves and Friedlaenders with they had been more willing to discuss the issue. As it happened, I can’t remember them ever returning our calls the whole time we dealt with them (5 odd years) and definitely no returned calls over this issue or recovering our bond. So a lesson to you all (especially if you run a RealEstate company) its just common courtesy to return phone calls and if your not, just don’t take the message. Tell the person to call back later.

More to come later.


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