CELEBRATORY DRINK: Jessica Phillips couldn’t wait to toast to her court case win after being awarded $4000 as a result of the cyclone damage to her house that was not repaired.
CELEBRATORY DRINK: Jessica Phillips couldn’t wait to toast to her court case win after being awarded $4000 as a result of the cyclone damage to her house that was not repaired. Allan Reinikka Rokacourtwi

READERS DISCUSS: Tenants court win over Marcia damage

THE Bulletin readers have had a lively discussion on Facebook today about Jessica Phillips' court win over cyclone damaged caused to her Wandal rental property not being fixed in an appropriate timeframe.

Full story below.

Here are some of the comments from Facebook:

Sharyn Bartlem - You all seem to forget that it is not the real estate but the insurance companies. Insurance companies use southern builders and if you remember there were a lot of homes with damage. Some people are still waiting for repairs to be completed. Insurance companies do not care if the property is rented or not they will get to itt

Benjamin Pickering - What about not replying to the calls, emails and messages? Pretty sure that's called communication that all real estate agents should have.

Sharyn Bartlem - I agree but a lot a real estate agents do not follow up on request from the owners or let the owners know that the tenants had issues and this is not even after a cyclone.

Benjamin Pickering - Well maybe they should is all I am saying. Communication.

Sharahlee Lawton - I know its not just the real estates fault but they are in the middle. Communication is key.

Alan Flood - In this case it seems the tenant took all reasonable steps to notify the agent before involving the RTA. The agent failed to fulfil their obligations which the court agreed with. All property managers should have acted within 30 days of Cyclone Marcia to identify any damages to properties in their portfolio. My property manager did this within a week. Great job at Baxters RE.

Shay Thompson - Our work has only just been finalised on our rental property....the ceiling in multiple rooms had water damage and had to be re plastered and painted. Was no fault of ours or the real estate as the wait was always on the insurance company and repairers.

Veronnike Johnson - We are in a rental property and still waiting for the repairs to be done, I don't blame our real estate or landlord, the required steps have been taken now everyone just has to wait for insurance to finalize and the right repair person to become available, and maybe even supplies available...
Everyone has to remember that a lot of homes were damaged if not ruined. Everyone just needs to be patient

Read more of the comments on Facebook here: 

After months of waiting for the damages to be fixed and the agent who Jessica rented the property through to respond to...

Posted by The Morning Bulletin on Wednesday, November 18, 2015

5am: ALL JESSICA Phillips wanted was for the cyclone damage caused to her Wandal home to be fixed in appropriate time.

But after months of waiting for the damages to be fixed and the agent who she rented the property through to respond to her various calls, emails and messages the only other option the local radio presenter had was to take the matter to court.

On Tuesday Jessica, 32, was awarded $4000 in the Rockhampton Magistrate's Court after proving the real estate agency breached the contract.

Jessica, who's lived in the three-bedroom property since December, said she had waited 40 weeks for the cyclone damages to be acknowledged.

"The front gates were completely off their hinges so anyone walking past could just come onto the property, there was no security," she said.

"I have two standard poodles and I couldn't let them out in the garden or the backyard because they'd have full access to the street and would often wonder onto the road. Plus there was no privacy to use the pool because there were these big gaps in the fencing.

"There was a range of other damages too which still have not been fixed. I tried to contact the agency a few days after the cyclone and I couldn't get through to them, months passed by and I got so fed up with it that in April I hand delivered all of the forms that were needed to give to the agency about them breaching the contract as I was still paying full rent each week."

The Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) became involved in Jess's case in March which led to the case going to court.

Jessica originally asked for a refund of $10,756.50 which worked out to be half of the weekly rent she had paid since February 20 however the Magistrate agreed to a reimbursement of $100 per week which resulted in $4000.

Jessica said she knew she had done the right thing by taking the matter to court.

"I was so happy when I had won, I'm ecstatic," she said.

"I really hope other people learn that it pays to show when people are in the wrong. I hope a lot of tenants and landlords will take a page out of my book because if you're a tenant and you're living in a property that is sub-standard to what it was when you first moved in while still paying the full rent then you have to do something."

Jessica, her two poodle and her parrot Alice will move out of the property next week.

The property agency was contacted late yesterday but did not respond before deadline.

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