Cairns Mum and son with disability face eviction!


Cait Bester, Saturday, November 26, 2011 © The Cairns Post

Let us stay: Jacqueline Dooley and her wheelchair-bound son Zachary are fighting to stay at their Redlynch Valley home. Picture: MARC McCORMACK

Let us stay: Jacqueline Dooley and her wheelchair-bound son Zachary are fighting to stay at their Redlynch Valley home. Picture: MARC McCORMACK

A CAIRNS mother fears she will be “forced out on to the street” because of an eviction notice over damage to her rented home she says is caused by her son’s wheelchair.

Jacqueline Dooley said she sat down and cried when she received the eviction notice that cited “malicious” damage to the Redlynch Valley property.

For the past two years the single mother of six, which includes three foster children, and her son with a disability, has lived in the four-bedroom Daykin Close property and claimed there has never been an issue with the scuff marks in a small area of the hallway.

In fact, she had a verbal agreement with the property manager that she would remove the marks when she left the property and offered to pay more bond.

After a property inspection in late October, Ms Dooley received a letter stating she had to be out of the property by November 14 despite Ms Dooley getting the wall fixed.

She asked for an extension and was successful and now has until December 9 to find a home that is suitable for a wheelchair and her large family.

Her plight came to the attention of The Weekend Post when a neighbour approached the paper concerned at her situation.

“When I first moved into the property, the property manager I was dealing with knew that I had a son in a chair and that the house was suitable for him. However, there would only be one problem in the hallway but the agreement was I would fix it when I moved out,” she said.

“I received a letter saying that I had breached my responsibility as a tenant because of the scuff marks on the wall and some bits of timber that were in the yard.

“It was described as maliciously damaged. So I had the marks fixed straight away and the timber as well.

“We’re not talking about smashed windows or walls and thousands of dollars worth of damage here.”

When The Weekend Post visited the home everything was in good condition and there were no marks on the wall.

Ms Dooley is now in dispute with the real estate company, Koala Blue, and has lodged a complaint with the Residential Tenancies Authority.

“I am really upset the way I’ve been treated,” Ms Dooley said.

“Nothing like this has ever happened to me before. It’s a scary experience and I am just so scared that I’ll get a knock on my front door one day and the kids and I will be forced out on to the street.

“I don’t want the children exposed to this,” she said.

“I am a good mother and I am providing them with a comfortable lifestyle.

Cr. Rob Pyne

Cr. Rob Pyne

“I am up to date with my rent and I can afford it, by all means that’s not an issue.”

Upset and feeling belittled, Ms Dooley turned to Cr Rob Pyne in hope he could help her.

“I felt the company didn’t take much notice of what I had to say,” Cr Pyne said.

“People like Jacqueline are the real heroes in our community, raising a disabled son and foster kids is a big job.

“The agency needs to be more compassionate and work with her.”

Ms Dooley has lodged a complaint with the Residential Tenancies Authority but to date has not had any resolution.

Several attempts were made by The Weekend Post, both by phone and in person, to speak to the principal of Koala Blue real estate but a receptionist said she was unavailable for comment yesterday.

The owner of the property also declined to speak to The Weekend Post.

Source: Cait Bester, Weekend Post on Saturday, November 26, 2011

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2 Comments on “Cairns Mum and son with disability face eviction!

  1. We have just recently broken our lease that was with Koala Blue, and can say that during our tenancy we were treated very badly too, the woman in charge – Janis Kennedy was nothing but rude and patronizing toward us when we she was available, otherwise our attempts to contact her fell on deaf ears and we were constantly ignored. Koala Blue un-lawfully tried to breach us based on a periodic inspection with no photographic proof on what the breaches were for, therefore rendered pointless and a dispute raised with Janis who again ignored us (she breached not only us but other tenants renting through Koala Blue in our street too through sheer vindictiveness) On our notice to break lease we followed lease agreement and had the property cleaned and was immaculate upon exit. We were also responsible for paying rent until new tenants had been found making the house effectively still ours , Janis proceeded to breach tenancy laws again by allowing someone into the house without giving us the required by law minimum 24 hrs notice to enter the property, and even gave the woman a spare set of keys to get in…this woman walked dirt and grass throughout the house, left lights on and doors open and also unlocked! When we contacted Janis about this incident she denied it and tried to say we had given permission which we hadn’t, she then then let the same woman enter the property a second time again with no notice or permission from us. Since then she has been told she is going to be reported to the RTA for 3+ incidents of remedy breach. We had been advised that she also had a reputation for withholding rental bond, so we advised her not to do so or the police would be notified. Since then we have had the RTA bond form and have sent it off a week ago but still haven’t had our bond back. We would strongly advise anyone against leasing through Koala Blue as it is a very dodgy and unpleasant company to deal with.

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