Two birds, spoodle create world of grief for Tannum tenants
THE personality-packed duo of a green-cheeked conure and a galah was enough to send a Tannum Sands home owner squawking mad.
It was the addition of these two birds, a pint-sized green parrot and a galah, that cut a two-year rental agreement at a Tannum Sands home short.
Tenants Anna and Thorsten Christian Ludwigs moved into the Gwen St property in December last year with their English cocker spaniel cross toy poodle, better known as a spoodle, in tow.
With the approval from their landlord Carmel Harms for their soft-eared pooch already in place, they decided to further expand their animal family.
But the two birds sparked a tenancy dispute between Ms Ludwigs and her landlord, who did not want the two birds in her home.
Their two-year agreement was terminated and the landlord wanted $891.20 for unpaid rent, cleaning costs, re-letting fees and the broken lease.
Documents published from the Queensland Civil and Administration Tribunal proceedings said neighbours told the real estate of the arrival of the galah and conure at the home.
Magistrate Jeffrey Clarke said the discussions that followed, ranging from the tenants asking for approval to house the birds, to claiming the birds did not live there, left the landlord and agent confused.
But, the relationship between the tenants and her personality-packed parrots was undeniable.
"(Ms Ludwigs) maintained the birds did not actually move into the residence, but that seemed to me (to) be at odds with the complaints of a neighbour that the letting agent had acted upon, and inconsistent with her obvious attachments to her pet birds, a galah and a green cheek conure," he said.
Mr Clarke said transcript evidence showed Ms Ludwigs "contradicted herself" when she said she told the letting agents about the two birds.
"The (landlord's) representative confirmed that was not the case, stating the landlord was particular about any approval to allow pets."
Ms Ludwigs requested the $891.20 claim be "waived" and claimed $762 for the cost of phone and internet re-connection, and the extra rent in relocating to another rental property.
Mr Clarke said the tenants acted "in good faith" once the issue with the birds was raised and the landlord secured a replacement tenant "in a short time frame".
As a result, he said the Ludwigs should not be liable for the rental claimed.
Mr Clarke ordered the Residential Tenancies Authority to pay the remaining bond of $828, with $393.20 to the landlord and $434.80 to the tenants.