I am writing this as much for me as you dear reader. I can recall so little about past tenants of our flat. At least I can refresh my memory at a later point.
I vistited Consumer Affairs in Exhibition Street on Wednesday. It is a bit like a bank. You get a number and wait your turn, but I did not have to wait at all. The person confirmed my thoughts, a lease is not valid without both parties signatures.
Armed with this info, I was now ready to speak to agent today, well Thursday. I had over rehearsed what I was going to say to her and it was a less than perfect performance by moi. While she started in a apologetic mode by the end of the conversation I had clearly pointed out to her that we felt like we had been taken for a ride and made to seem like fools, than we felt we were within both our moral and legal rights, that she had been less than perfect and that there was a situation that needed some focus. She did take on board that we, well more me, was well peed orf.
While she had sought some advice from VCAT and her collegues which she painted in 'nothing you can do' manner, she would seek further advice.
Advice later in the day with a subsequent phone call was that as the lease agreement is not signed by us, it is not valid. She has records of her phone and email attempts to contact the tenant about the new lease which he sat on for three months, there will not be a charge by her company for her to go to VCAT to represent us and the VCAT fee is minimal.
While R was perhaps pro letting the lease stand, I am dead against it. I spent an almost sleepness night sitting up in bed thinking about it. I am right.
I told her to wait until Monday when I have had a chance to discuss it with R, but I am all for increasing the rent which won't apply until June anyway and ignoring the lease agreement which we haven't signed. Worst case is come June he goes into rental arrears when he does not pay the higher rent and we end up in VCAT. Best case is, he just gives the appropriate notice and moves out.
You know, we are quite nice people. We don't want to rip anyone off. We don't want to be unreasonable, we have always been more than fair to our tenants, more so than they have been to us, but I do have my limits.