LEASE OUT: Sharryn Ohlbrecht outside the house she rented in Bundaberg South.
LEASE OUT: Sharryn Ohlbrecht outside the house she rented in Bundaberg South. Mike Knott BUN230419GRIF1

Bundy renter's battle for bond heading to court

A BUNDABERG renter says she is at her wits' end after ongoing issues with her real estate have left her near mental breakdown.

Sharryn Ohlbrecht had been a tenant of the Bundaberg South home for about 14 months when the state of the house started taking a turn for the worse.

Ms Ohlbrecht, who maintains she had always had a crystal clear rental history, said she had been through hell and back trying to have her bond returned.

On November 26, Ms Ohlbrecht's partner was walking down the back steps of their high-set rental when disaster struck.

"The middle step fell completely through, my partner suffered a severe gash to his leg,” she said.

Ms Ohlbrecht said she immediately notified the real estate, claiming said she was told a builder would come straight away to fix the staircase.

She said this did not happen.

STEP DOWN: The step that Sharryn Ohlbrecht says gave way underneath her partner, injuring his leg.
STEP DOWN: The step that Sharryn Ohlbrecht says gave way underneath her partner, injuring his leg. contributed

On December 31, Ms Ohlbrecht said she finally contacted the Residential Tenancies Authority who advised her to lodge a "Form 11”, which would allow the real estate seven days to fix the issues.

At that stage three issues had evolved.

"The back missing stair, the leaking toilet and front entry hand rail that had rotted through, so both entries were unsafe,” Ms Ohlbrecht said.

"We had asked for over six months for the rotted front hand rail to be fixed.”

On January 8, Ms Ohlbrecht said the issues had still not been addressed so she sought the advice of the RTA again.

"Their advice was to issue a 'Form 13' which is an intention to leave due to her breach by not fixing these issues,” she said.

"This is where (the agent) started demands that we would still have to pay rent even after we vacated the property.”

She said when the stairs were finally repaired on January 10 the builder told her it was an accident waiting to happen.

"(He said) there was no bracing to hold the stairs together,” she said.

BOND BATTLE: The rotting hand rail was eventually fixed.
BOND BATTLE: The rotting hand rail was eventually fixed. contributed

A broken toilet was fixed the next day and the front stairs were mended on January 16, but, after the myriad ongoing issues, Ms Ohlbrecht decided to leave the property on January 25.

"(The agent) made the professional cleaner go back twice because she wasn't happy, but it was spotless. She even made my partner go back and replace two light bulbs that there was nothing wrong with,” Ms Ohlbrecht said.

"She even demanded we take the two garbage bins to the rubbish tip and scrub and disinfect them, which we did, and then she demanded two strips of turf be laid, which we also did.

"It's just been ongoing, demand after demand.”

Ms Ohlbrecht said her bond of $1180 was still held by the RTA with the agent demanding she forfeit that, plus pay $2641.29 in "unpaid rent”.

The former tenant has refused to pay the total of $3821.29 and said she was working closely with the RTA to try and get her bond money back.

"(The agent) told (the landlord) we broke lease which is not right, she is the one in breach,” Ms Ohlbrecht said.

She said the next step was taking the matter to the RTA tribunal.

"I'm not backing down,” Ms Ohlbrecht said.

A spokesperson for the real estate agency yesterday said they had no comment other than they were taking the matter to court.