The Block couple’s complaint against embattled agent over insurance policy
A couple from The Block have had a minor victory against a real estate agent who has been the subject of more than 170 complaints from clients and tenants.
A couple from reality television show The Block have been caught up in a battle with a real estate agent over her failure to ensure their insurance policy was up to date.
Ryan and Rachel Carr, who appeared in the latest season of the popular show, have been awarded $760 by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal for loss suffered over the lapsed insurance policy.
It came after they claimed Assured Rent Real Estate director Britney Kraus had been negligent in the performance of her duties.
“The parties agree there was a signed managing agency agreement,” the tribunal said in its findings.
“The amount of rent owed is not in dispute. The dispute is whether the respondent was negligent in their services provided to the applicant (landlord), and failed to ensure the applicant had current landlord insurance and provide adequate services to mitigate the applicant’s rent loss.
“The tribunal is satisfied by the respondent’s failure to notify the applicant of the lapsed insurance notifications; it has not acted with due care and skill and breached the guarantees provided by the Australian consumer laws in its services to the applicant.”
The couple had made a claim of $5392.50 but were not successful in getting the full amount.
“The tribunal is not satisfied the respondent was negligent in their services to the applicant by failing to take any recovery action against the tenant during the tenancy,” the tribunal said.
“The tribunal does not find any breach of the Australian Consumer laws by the respondent in their failure to take recovery action against the tenant on behalf of the landlord.”
Ms Kraus told NCA NewsWire Mr Carr had been consulted.
“We submitted an email to the applicant Ryan Carr to the effect of ‘Ryan, as discussed on the phone, you do not wish for our agency to pay your landlord insurance policy as you are going to search for a better provider’,” she said.
“We therefore did not pay his policy.”
NCA NewsWire is seeking comment from Mr Carr.
It was revealed this week that Ms Kraus and her agency would be subject to strict compliance monitoring after at least 171 complaints were made by tenants and clients since 2017.
Ms Kraus and the agency must report quarterly to Fair Trading NSW, referencing details of all complaints received.
She has generated at least 91 complaints, including 10 between February and June this year, according to The Daily Telegraph.
Ms Kraus has been issued six fines for failing to lodge rental bonds, as well as further infringements for failing to complete trust account trial balances and contravening rules of conduct.
Complaints lodged to Fair Trading NSW included funds withheld from landlords, clients not receiving rental payments, failing to pay water and strata bills, and faulty or missing keys.
Ms Kraus said she was getting advice about potential amendments to the undertaking, claiming the “facts, matters and circumstances set out within it do not accurately reflect the factual background of the matter”.
“A majority of the people that made a complaint to our office had their complaint dealt with and then after we dealt with their complaint, still made a complaint directly with Fair Trading,” she said.
“We believe they are internet trolls attempting to unfairly cause maximum collateral damage to our business.
“Assured Rent strive(s) to provide a high standard of operation (and) are complying with the terms of the undertaking.”
Ms Kraus and the agency were ordered to pay a penalty of $4400.