Blind justice

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.

Hi, ho, hi, ho, it’s off to court we go

The saga of our unreturning bond continued today (as part of the larger epic tale of woe that results from dealing with Townsville’s worst real estate agent – J0hn Gribb1n realty). I will update this post with the correct spelling once our case is over.

Not only did we suffer through two years living on site with the landlord from Hell – he wants us to pay for every paint chip, cracked tile and wall mark in the house (otherwise known as wear and tear). Better yet, he wants us to pay him $370 to conduct the repairs. Does anybody else see a conflict of interest here? We asked the real estate agency if we could have quotes from other tradespeople in Townsville and were told that it was too late – that the work had already been completed while the mail was in transit. Dodgy city.

Now we are going to the Small Claims Tribunal – now known as QCAT where I get to put everything I have learned from years watching legal television (and from a little bit of a Law Degree) into good use. Legal representation is not allowed – but I will get our friendly neighbourhood lawyer to have a bit of input into my preparation.

In conclusion – do not live at unit 1, 11 Diprose Street. The landlord not a very nice man who takes great delight in yelling at his tenants for no logical reason, and do not rent with J0hn Gribb1n – who advise their landlords that a 25% reduction in costs of a piece of broken kitchen equipment (that can’t be logically demonstrated to be broken because of the reckless, negligent or malicious actions of the tenant) constitutes negotiation.