Melbourne tenant divides internet after charged $120 real estate fee for wall marks


Outraged renters get a huge bill from landlord after final inspection of the property they’d been leasing for two years: ‘Rip off’

  • Vacating tenant charged fee by real estate agents after leaving damage on wall
  • Took to Reddit asking whether the $120 charge was a rip-off, sparking debate
  • Many said the fee was reasonable, others believed it should normal wear and tear 

A tenant’s outrage at being slugged a fee by their real estate agent to remove marks from a wall has divided the internet.

The Melbourne tenant was initially angry about the $120 damage bill after vacating a property they’d rented for two years.

They took to Reddit this week seeking the opinion of fellow renters.

‘Just moved out, and the agent asked for $120 to fix the gashes. Rip off?’ they captioned the photo of the damage on a wall in the living area.

The renter admitted that they caused damage to the wall.

A vacating tenant in Melbourne was charged $120 for this damage to a wall (pictured)

Some argued the landlord should have paid for the damage as it was ‘fair wear and tear of the property’ that tenants are not required to pay for under residential tenancy laws.

But many others jumped to the landlord’s defence and insisted $120 was very fair.

‘Plaster needs patching then painting, most likely the whole wall so it doesn’t look like it’s been patched,’ one wrote.

Another added: ‘Paying a painter to do that plus travel to and from another job. $120 is not going to come close. Hopefully the real estate agent has a handyman that will do it.’

Some suggested the tenant got off lightly.

‘Curious why you felt this was a ripoff, really it’s just the cost of living in a country with a fair minimum wage, another posted.

Others suggested the tenant could have easily fixed the damage themselves.

‘A bit of toothpaste and a spatula will take care of the scratches (but even proper Polyfilla costs like $6 a jar). Then just need some touch-up paint to cover it up. It’s a 15 minute touch up,’ a lifelong renter posted.

Another added: ‘Easy to do yourself if you want to save money. Skimcoat, sand and paint.’

A third wrote: ‘Why didn’t you just fill it over yourself before they saw it?’

The tenant's post about being charged $120 sparked a divided response online

The tenant’s post about being charged $120 sparked a divided response online

Many believed $120 to repair the wall was reasonable, give the extensive process

Many believed $120 to repair the wall was reasonable, give the extensive process

Some people said it would have be cheaper and easier for the tenant to repair the wall

 Some people said it would have be cheaper and easier for the tenant to repair the wall

Poll

Was the $120 fee for the wall damage fair?

  • No, it should be considered normal wear and tear 12 votes
  • Yes, $120 is reasonable 17 votes
  • Tenant should have fixed damage 16 votes

Others argued the damage should have been considered as normal wear and tear.

‘I might have been misinformed but a past agent told us something like this would fall under wear and tear if it’s been five years or more since the wall was painted,’ one wrote.

Another added: ‘If the rest of the place is fine and this person is at least 12 months signed on lease it’s fair wear and tear.’

The Reddit author later thanked everyone for their input and declared that they would pay the $120 bill. 

‘As someone with zero experience in maintenance services, the cost of $120 came as a surprise for the small gashes, not knowing the cost of materials and the amount of work needed,’ they said.

Some argued the property manager should have regarded the damaged as normal wear and tear (stock image of a real estate agent with tenants)

Some argued the property manager should have regarded the damaged as normal wear and tear (stock image of a real estate agent with tenants)

DIY GUIDE TO WALL DAMAGE

 1. Buy a cheap tub/tube of ready to use filler. 

2. Clean up, pick off the broken paint/board.

3.Fine grit sand paper. Just get a cheap pack with different grits. 

4.Clean up the hole, fill with putty and level it off. Let it dry. Sand it/blend it in.

5. Paint the same colour as the rest of the wall. 

Source: Reddit 

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