Please read or re-read first before posting, "They were notified on the signing of the short lease" I posted earlier and yes it was in writing.
The agents took advantage of our imminent plans to return to the UK basically. Not all agents will behave in this manner and the agents in Western Australia are no worse or better than they are in Darwin, Brisbane or in the UK. I have lived in all of them and more.
There are two points to my post, one is an extreme case where we got ripped off (not the norm) and the other point is to help new arrivals to WA renting for the first time avoid something which might cause them grief as it has for many others.
As far as the clause which we had complied with but they used illegitimately for the sake of denying us our bond, it is the source of a large number of disputes according to the REIWA and I'm sure most property managers & real estate agents would be well aware of it. The REIWA strongly recommends that agent / property managers send reminders when the tenants lease is going to expire well before the deadline. We did not need a reminder as we had already complied but the agent did not send one which raised my suspicions.
The title of this thread may get under the collar of a few posters, especially if they work in real estate but the main point of this thread is to make people moving to Western Australia aware that there are probably only a small number of agents that will not do the right (ethical) thing. The problem is that it is not compulsory for agents to send reminders and some do not. Not everyone remembers what was in the lease they signed (although I was very aware of it) and yes they should set up a reminder if they haven't already given notice that they are not renewing the lease. There are very many cases of people thinking that a contract that commits you to a set period would not be something that go beyond the final date of the lease. During the new rental hunting and moving process, kids crying chaos & boxes etc some may not realise this needs to be done given that some agents do not send reminders. They get a nasty shock when they enquire about how they will collect their bond only to find they are committed to a months rent beyond the planned 6 or 12 month lease.
Oh, and just incase anyone is daft enough to think I'm anti Australian, I have three children born in Australia and lived over there for over 20 years, it's a fantastic country.
It is also to make others particularly aware of the clause about providing notice that one does not intend to stay beyond ones agreed lease as there is a reasonable chance they will not be reminded. So ultimately this is about helping others, not about making me feel better, but I guess a few here are missing the point.
I must say Wildbriz I agree with you, if the lease cannot run passed the end of March, how is it they can charge you a months rent?? I think I would of been inclined to keep the keys and tell them that no one is to enter until the month you had paid for is up, then send keys in post. Although I see other peoples points saying you signed and this is a clause, surely if the place can only be leased for a short period then at the end of that short period you move out as agreed at the beginning!! To say you owe us another months rent on a place that you possibly couldn't have stayed in is fraud.
I disagree. I think you are in the wrong. It is the norm in Australia to stay on after your lease has expired on a month to month basis unless you want a new lease.
Not sure about WA but in NSW, the law is that the tenant needs to give 21 days notice when wanting to vacate (either before the end of the lease or when no fixed term lease is in place). The landlord needs to give 60 / 90 days (can't remember which) again either before the end of the lease or on a month to month basis.
It appears that you were ignorant of the law & custom, all you had to do was to notify the agent of your intention to vacate in advance.
I have lived in my place for nearly 5 years and have been out of lease for nearly 3 years. Landlord puts the rent up a little each year/18 months and gives 60 days notice in writing.