We won. Justice might be blind – but it finds it extra hard to see both sides of the story if one isn’t present.
Our long running feud with John Gribbin Realty came to a close today – and I can’t bring myself to think badly of them any longer. Our overbearing landlord received his comeuppance in absentia – and I’m really relishing the thought of the conversation he must be having with the agents.
We arrived at the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal at 11.00, waited half an hour to front up before the judge (though I’m not sure what you call the person at that level?). He tried to phone the agent twice – it went through to message bank both times – so he asked for our side of the story. We conceded $150 worth of damage (an oil stain, some chipped tiles (that I think happened when we were setting up some furniture), and a broken shelf (that Robyn stood on briefly – though we’re not sure that’s what broke it). We probably could have fought for all of those. We walked away with $1,100 (and hopefully our $90 application fee).
We argued that the rest of the damage was fair wear and tear – and didn’t even have to present any of the evidence I stayed up until 12.30am preparing. He ruled in our favour almost straight away. He seemed to think that trying to keep all of our bond while only claiming against $600 of it was pretty unreasonable. We agree.
John Gribbin saved the day. I thought this might happen because they never answer the phone when you try to ring them. Clearly they’re in need of a better telephony system… but the moral to the story is that if John Gribbin Realty in Townsville try to take you to the cleaners (literally and figuratively) over your bond – fight them. They’re bullies. They have a reputation (I’ve spoken to plenty of other people with similar experiences in this saga) for bullying – but like most bullies they don’t handle things well if you don’t back down.
Don’t rent a unit through them in Diprose St – the landlord is particularly aggressive and vindictive. And I really am chuckling at what I think will be his reaction when he hears the court ruled against him mostly because his representatives didn’t front.