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Mixing Business and Family.... What a Disaster...

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

So where to begin? Where do I start?

I have been renting a house off of my mother, and 6 weeks ago it sold, so we were given our 60 days notice which has a date of mid Oct.

Around the same time we were also approved for another rental, which given out current area and the state of the property market where I live was pure luck, rentals are scarce.

Me and my partner decided that this move, as things were a bit more financially better than any move we've had, we decided to do it properly, over the 3 1/2 years living there we have managed to accumulate and hoard a rather larger amount of stuff, which we are going through and slowly getting rid and keeping what we actually need and use.

The past 2 weeks she has been at us to get out as she wants to settle early and we have another place so we need to hurry up. About 2 weeks she also made an excuse to go through the property, no notice, claimed she suspected the gas bottle attached to the property was leaking and that was grounds to enter the property. Where we live doesn't have mains gas. It's bottled.

She then called me and had a go that the place according to her high standards is messy and she wants it clean before the keys are handed back. Obviously, we are in the process of doing so.

Today I received another call and lecture abut some old 'rubbish' her favourite word to describe anything that is not immaculately organised in it's own special little immaculately clean home. It was some old cardboard boxes that were sitting out the back yard and she rang to lecture me about more offensive mess and how lazy we are because according to her we've had plenty of time to do it and she wants to settle on the house early and we are making it hard on her.

I tried explaining that lately I have been working 40+ hours a week as is my partner, I have also been advised my Dr that I am severely Iron Deficient and Anemic, I start work at 6am everyday and I am constantly exhausted, I barely have the energy to make dinner at night and when I finish my shift at work I come home and nap I am that exhausted. Her response is "It's called life you know, being sick doesn't give you an excuse to be lazy, I have x and have to have x you know and I still manage to cook and clean and be a good wife" ok, that last part's an exaggeration. But she loves to 1 up people to disregard what they are going through, or tell them they're just making excuses.

She just doesn't understand anything and I'm sick of her treating me like a child.

6 Replies 6

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi black_rose,

"Never mix family and finances" is probably what you have already come to terms with; but a lot of your situation depends on:-

  1. how you came to rent the property,
  2. if there was a signed lease, or
  3. if the rent was adjusted in your favour (being a family arrangement)

These factors determine how flexible you should be to accommodate your mother's wishes.

But it's great you have a new place and this is a positive step toward your independence. Whatever transpires, your mother will continue to be...



Hey in answer to your questions.

1. We came to rent the place as we were basically homeless.

2. Always has been a lease in place, that when she decided to sell went to a periodic lease

3. Absolutely no rent adjustments, we always paid full market rent that was ALWAYS paid on time.

I should also point out that the rent on the place is paid up until the date on the notice to vacate.

Hi black_rose,

Thank you, it sounds like you are entitled to stand by your tenant's rights... but watch out for backlash over the bond monies. Did you also have annual rent increases/reviews?

As you have described, you are a bonafide tenant - but you have the worst landlord in your mother who may not recognise her legal obligations in return. At the same time, she is still your mother and these greyed boundaries need some delicacy to maintain familial harmony (it may not be worth creating too much upset even though you are entitled to feel aggrieved).

Regarding her wishes for you to move early, perhaps she would be willing to compensate you for the inconvenience (paying for the removalist or cleaners) to expedite your departure?



Hey thanks for your advice, yeah, she is my Mum which is why I am trying my best to remain as diplomatic as possible to avoid irreparably damage the relationship.

There was also regular rent increases and inspections.

As far any sort of compensation, I know for a fact that her response is that it's not her responsibility to pay for anything and if she does have to pay for anything she will quite happily send me that bill.

She has also stated that if there is anything that needs to be done for example cleaning, damage etc, that if it exceeds the bond she is sending me the bill and I will pay it. She has also stated many times that she as it stands wants to keep the bond.

Sadly she is the kind of person that will charge an arm and a leg for small things, as she will do the repairs cleaning etc herself and as a result can charge what she likes.
A previous rental she had (no also sold) she charged the tenant massive cleaning costs for a bit of dust and a several hundred dollar repair bill for a broken tile, she also has no concept of general wear and tear and believes wear and tear only occur due to mess and laziness.

Sadly we have already accepted the inevitability that no matter how clean the property is on handover, she will find some excuse to refuse to release the bond from trust and as a result we will need to resolve it is through VCAT.

Hi black_rose,

Ah, family - can't choose them.

Sorry to hear the poor prospects with landlord/mum. The only positive is that you were taken in as tenants from 'homeless' and after the 3.5 years, you have a good rental history to depend upon in future.

But you have leverage - if your mum is desperate to settle early, compromise must be made:-

We agree to leave early if...

  1. Our bond is returned in full (as well as unused rent)
  2. All cleaning and reinstatement costs are waived

If not, we shall take our vey good time in accordance with the terms of our lease agreement.

That at least gives her the option to get her own way, but it may be wise just to strike it up to experience and move on - I think you have gained maturity over the years and that is where you will break even (if not profit). Well done!

Best wishes in your new place - hope your new landlord is more considerate.