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Benchmark - Real Estate Cases & Commentary
Tenancy matters
    •  Rent
        -  Loss of rent
            >  Landlord not entitled to compensation for loss of rent where premises in poor condition

Landlord not entitled to compensation while premises remained in poor condition 

A landlord sought compensation of about $20,000.00 in the CTTT from a tenant for damage to the rented property and removal of fixtures and fittings. The CTTT held for the landlord but reduced the claim to $10,000.00, being the maximum that the CTTT can award.

Both the landlord and the tenant tendered numerous documents and photographs to support their case, and both gave sworn evidence. The tenant also tendered sworn evidence by a geotechnical engineer.

The tenant alleged that the landlord did not provide a copy of the ingoing condition report at the beginning of the tenancy.

The CTTT noted that the landlord bore the burden, on the balance of probabilities, of proving each of the claims that he had made.

The CTTT also noted that compensation in such cases is based on the indemnity principle. In accordance with this principle, the CTTT attempts to place the landlord (as claimant) in the position he or she would have been in had the tenant’s breach not occurred. However, the landlord also had a duty to take all reasonable steps to mitigate his loss and would not be entitled to compensation for any loss that could have been avoided by taking such steps.

The CTTT held that the landlord had established some of his claims for compensation but not others.

The CTTT held that the landlord was not entitled to compensation for loss of rent while the premises were still in a poor condition after the tenant had vacated. The CTTT also held that the landlord had not attempted to re-let the premises and, therefore, had failed to mitigate his loss.

Muldowney v Allambi Youth Services Inc. [2010] NSWCTTT 302