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Benchmark - Real Estate Cases & Commentary
Procedure 
    •  Futile claims
        -  Fruitless proceedings brought by tenant



Fruitless proceedings brought by tenant 

Agents need to document proposed rent increases scrupulously and notify tenants of the increases in accordance with the tenant’s statutory rights. Failure to notify a tenant of rent increases in accordance with a tenant’s statutory rights can result in the tenant not being required to pay the increased rent. Failure to record rent increases can also result in agents being involved wasteful litigation commenced by disgruntled tenants.

A landlord let a home unit through an agent. The tenant and the agent agreed on an increase in rent for the unit. The tenant declined to pay the increased rent. The tenant claimed that the increase was not properly recorded and that the agent had not complied with the requirements of the Residential Tenancies Act with respect to the increase.

The agent then attempted to terminate the lease. The Tribunal held that the termination of the lease had been attempted for an improper purpose and refused the application for vacation of the premises.
The tenant then served a Statutory Demand on the agent for recovery of the tenant’s relocation costs on the basis that the agent was forcing her to move to another property.

The agent was successful in court proceedings to set aside the Statutory Demand. The Court found that the agent did not owe any money to the tenant for relocation costs.

Keith Soames Real Estate (Thornleigh) Pty Limited v Grabovsky [2009] NSWSC 866