This is a very interesting article to read. Still writhing in the scholarship scandal with Whitehouse Institute of Design, it seems like Frances Abbott has rode along, once again, on the coattails of her PM father.
According to the news, 3 days after signing a lease agreement, she wanted to get out of the contract of her rental apartment in a suburb of Melbourne. She cited that she did not feel adequately safe in this ground floor apartment. The matter was brought to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) and the ruling was in favour of the Prime Minister’s daughter. According to the landlord, she defaulted on her mortgage in the two months it took her to rent her property out again.
What I do not understand is how Frances can get out of the lease without any financial suffering except for a portion of the rent money? There has to be a factor so exceptional that the VCAT ruling is a direct contradiction to what the lease agreement would/should have stipulated.
During the inspection, prospective tenants look at the property and decide whether the property is suitable for them or not. Real estate agents will never accept a lease application from anyone who has not viewed the property on their own or on their behalf. I will assume that Frances Abbott either went to the inspection personally or had someone view the property for her. She does not seem to be reckless to apply for a rental place without having viewed it herself or for her. Having said that, she would have known that the apartment is on the ground floor and as a rule of thumb, the lower the floor, the easier it is to scale, therefore, not secure. That’s my own rule of thumb.
About 12 years ago, I was in charge of approving company apartments for the English teachers coming to the Osaka-Kyoto/Kansai area. In my area, there were close to 70 apartments ranging from one bedroom to two bedrooms. Our “native” English teachers came from the UK, Canada, Australia and NZ. Ground floor apartments are not ideal and as a company policy, we do not accept them because of security and privacy issues. Not having seen what Frances has agreed to move in to, and knowing her status in the public eye, she should have eliminated any ground floor apartments. Unless of course, she is moving into a house.
If Tony Abbott, the Australian Federal Police and the Victorian Police have the final say on the apartment Frances picks, why did she sign the lease without checking with them first? The amount of time and resources wasted by the real estate agent, other prospective tenants and also the landlord should be taken into consideration. I’d like to say and believe we are all equals and we are. But we have to admit, Frances Abbott is a public figure. The article did not mention the time frame when all these occurred. I do have a feeling that Frances may have signed this agreement before the Whitehouse scandal. And when the media started plastering her photo everywhere, it was impossible to be incognito. Not that she was completely incognito as she was referred to as one of the “hot daughters” by her dad. So the onus is on her on finding a rental home that is secure. She should have known better. Her feeling that the apartment is not secure enough for her should not be a reason for her getting out of this with the landlord bearing the loss.
How VCAT ruled in favour of Frances Abbott, I do not have a clue without throwing words like pulling strings, it’s-who-you-know, my-daddy-is-big-time, don’t-you-know-who-I-am around. I do hope this won’t ruin her chances of getting an apartment in the future. Daddy will not be PM forever.