A two-year struggle with a landlord quite literally paid off for one Aussie after she stood her ground and walked away with more than $3000.
Chelsea Shishkin won a lengthy case at the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal after enduring 2.5 years in a house with a caved in bathroom ceiling, rotten door frames and an intermittently broken shower and oven.
Shortly after moving into the townhouse in Logan, south of Brisbane, Ms Shishkin discovered the property’s litany of unbearable issues, 7NEWS reported.
“It was really dirty and had a lot of maintenance issues. The oven didn’t work … the lights were broken, and it took a long time for them to get these things fixed,” she told the outlet.
“Over the next year it got worse … We contacted the real estate multiple times, and it was put off time and time again.”
She chose the house because it was the cheapest house in the area to rent amid a worsening national rental crisis, but the problems kept growing.
Among them were a leaking laundry vent, a damaged bathroom ceiling that was caving in, discoloured carpet and rotten door frames.
A tradesman reportedly told Ms Shishkin he was concerned the floor would fall through if it was left unfixed for another year.
More than two years after moving in, the real estate agent finally organised a quote to repair the bathroom, but the works weren’t due to begin until January 2023, two months away.
When the repairs finally started, Ms Shishkin said she was not offered any compensation or alternative accommodation and was forced to go elsewhere to shower for weeks.
While the agent agreed to reduced rent, she said no change to her payment was actually made and the agent stopped responding to her altogether.
She said there was a hole in the bathroom that remained for several more weeks.
Fed up, Ms Shishkin broke the lease and left the property.
But she told 7NEWS she never got her four weeks’ advanced paid rent returned, or the reduced rent owed, which was a “large sum”.
And the real estate agent remained silent to her repeated efforts to contact them.
Even when Ms Shishkin took the case to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal, an ordeal she described as tedious and confusing, she said the agent did not take part in proceedings.
“They had refused to contact us for months at that point,” she said.
But she preserved, and won $3028 as reimbursement for her partly advanced paid rent, the owed reduced rent, inconvenience compensation and administration fees.
“It’s so important to know what rights you have and what you can do,” she said.