An Australian landlord has sought help after their tenant started deducting 1 cent from the weekly rent with no explanation given.
Struggling to "maintain [their] sanity," the landlord took to social media asking what to do about the renter suddenly transferring them $1199.99 per week instead of $1200.
"I am seeking your advice on how to deal with a tenant who is obviously having a laugh at my expense," they posted on the Landlords & Investors of Australia Facebook group.
While initially having "no major issues" with the tenant, that all changed three months into a 12-month lease when the landlord claimed he started to "deliberately underpay by 1 cent each week".
"I know it is deliberate because he used to pay the full amount," they said on the post. "I let it slide for the first few times but my wife suggested I send him an email asking if he could correct it."
Renter responds with email
While it is unclear whether the agreed amount was something other than weekly — therefore involving odd cents when divided — the landlord is suggesting it is $1200 weekly.
However in the email reply by the renter, he says he has transferred $1199.9, and not the rounded up amount of $1200.
"Thanks for your email regarding the late rent," the renter starts. "I've checked my transaction history and you can actually see $1199.9 has been transferred.
"I applied the rules on the ACCC website... which clearly state that the amount is rounded to the $1200 due and as such I consider the rent to be paid on time and in full. I request that you do not contact me about this again."
The landlord said they would "obviously" not be renewing the person's lease.
According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) website, a 'business' or in this case, a landlord, cannot round up the total value of a transaction.
Renters react to 1 cent move
The post by the landlord was shared to a renter group, with the response being fairly unified.
"This person is taking the piss!! It goes both ways!!! If we want fair landlords we have to be fair to them!" one person said in the Don't Rent Me Facebook group.
"Omg, as someone who works with accounts and reconciling, this is actually infuriating. Creates so much more work than needed. Especially given it seems the tenant is being unreasonable petty," another said.
"In this rental crisis it pays to be nice and not a d**k . Imagine losing a rental over less than a buck," a third person said.
Another hoped the landlord would "make the last months easy" for the tenant. "Just leave the tenant alone... I'll give you 40c to cover the next 9 months," they joked.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.