Samantha Smith said an agent from a real estate company she is usually quite happy with came to take a look at her Newcastle property on Tuesday. However the routine practice took a turn when the agent gave her a string of demands, which she initially believed were "a joke".
"So I have a one-year-old and the real estate came for an inspection," she said in her TikTok. "We failed (the rental inspection) because I need to tidy up the toys...I'm sorry? Are they allowed to say that?" The mum also pointed out the unavoidable unpredictability of having a small child. "I just packed him all up and he’s already got his little vacuum out," she said.
'Wash the outside of the house'
While the mum was most angered by the toy request, being told a mattress was "blocking access" to a room also annoyed her. Ms Smith demonstrated in a video how she was able to easily walk around the lounge room, thereby questioning the agent's reasoning.
"This is our lounge room, my partner sleeps there (on a mattress) because I have a one-year-old, and he gets up at 4.30am so I don’t want him to wake us up," she said. "That has nothing to do with her."
Additionally she was told to to clean her linen press cupboard, despite it being the "only cupboard" she can store things in, as well as to clean the outside of her house which has "black mould". "Its a very old house! I’m not washing that, that’s not my business," she said.
What should be checked during a rental inspection?
According to Fair Trading NSW, during a rental inspection an agent or landlord should be looking at examples of 'wear and tear' which landlords are responsible for, as well as damage, which a tenant is responsible for.
Examples of wear and tear include faded curtains or frayed cords, scuffed wooden floors, faded or chipped paint, loose hinges, handles or windows, and water stains from rain leaking in or bad plumbing.
While damage incudes missing or torn curtains, stains or burn marks, scratched wooden floors, broken glass, water stains caused by an overflowing bath or indoor pot plants and damage to paint by removing something. Inspectors will also be looking at the general cleanliness and hygiene of the home.
Mum 'peeved off' agent didn't check for wear and tear
Ms Smith also hit out at the agent for failing to check on what needs to be repaired by the landlord. She said a broken railing had caused her to "fall off the stairs".
"I’m pretty pissed off," she said. "The fact that there’s stuff that needs to be fixed that is severe, we could fall through the deck, the (house) corner could fall off and split our head open. Our blinds are actually yellow on the other side, so they’re all brittle, she wants me to fix them. Like I didn’t do the damage, the sun did."
Since Thursday, the mum's video has been viewed more than 27,000 times on TikTok, with many sharing their thoughts and experiences. "These days they expect the house to be presented better than when you moved in," one person commented. "Toys, belongings in cupboards etc is not to be penalised."
"I had a house inspection yesterday and was told I had to throw out half of my five kids' toys cause it's making the house look like a mess," another said. "They are being picky," a third person wrote. Many agreed though that her fans — which the agent pulled her up on — needed to be cleaned, prompting the mum to admit that was reasonable.
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