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Frances Abbott’s rental stoush

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Frances Abbott has won a legal stoush with her former landlord after breaking the lease on her Melbourne rental property.

The Prime Minister’s daughter withdrew from the one-year lease on the Prahran property just three days after signing it because she felt the flat was unsafe.

After a visit from Tony Abbott and the Australian Federal Police, the ground floor apartment was deemed a security risk as the windows did not lock, according to a Herald Sun report.

An open letter to Frances Abbott

An assessment by police indicated that there was a “criminal environment” around the Prahran apartment and that the ground floor location provided an “insufficient barrier against unlawful physical access to the unit”.

Landlady Janine Moussi took the case to VCAT seeking compensation for the eight weeks that it took her to find new tenants. 

Ms Abbott told the hearing that she did not feel the apartment was as “safe and secure” as was advertised.

Ms Abbott said she signed the lease by herself because she “felt like being independent”.

“I felt like I should be able to do this on my own, I felt like I didn’t deserve different treatment,” she said.

Ms Abbott’s bond and an additional month’s rent was returned to her after the VCAT ruling, according to the Herald Sun report.

Ms Moussi said she didn’t believe it was a “standard VCAT decision”.

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