Hoarder Tenant Moving Out - Damage to Yard

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by Bon_E, 16th Nov, 2020.

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  1. Bon_E

    Bon_E Well-Known Member

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    Good morning all!

    I had a very rude wake up call on Friday. I went to inspect a property I have had tenanted for 3 years as the tenants are moving out in a couple of weeks. As I have moved away for work I haven't been able to get back to attend any of the periodic inspections with the agent, however I had reviewed the reports briefly and noted everything seemed to be in order.

    In short... it isn't. I knew they had a lot of stuff (from the photos in the reports) but I have never seen anything like this. Definitely moderate to severe hoarding tendencies going on. It was impossible to see the state of the house underneath the piles of stuff they had but I'm hoping that there is minimal damage. I guess we'll just have to wait and see once it's all gone... what a fun surprise!! :eek: They have been good tenants otherwise.

    I have two queries though:
    1. They gave their notice in to leave, and their departure date is the end of this month. I know full well that this couldn't possibly happen. Along with a household full of stuff they have 100+ potplants, 4 horses, 2 bulls, 5 dogs and 30-40 poulty. They still have to keep paying rent until the house is emptied right?

    2. Regarding the poultry... they have constructed a large extension to the small chicken coop that was already in the backyard. The extension takes up a good 50m2 and the lawn is obviously trashed and covered in duck/chook poop. Surely they "should" have to make some effort to rehab this lawn area? It's pretty icky.

    I've already told the agent that I'll be making the 6 hour drive to attend the exit inspection. The house is fully insured with LL policy and I have a decent buffer so I'm not overly stressed about the outcome... more interested in the legalities/grey area between wear and tear and damage. It's definitely been a good learning experience and I will be reviewing the inspection reports more closely in the future!

    In good news though the market is going so well down there the place will be tenanted for $40-50/week more than what they were paying. So there will be some silver linings at the end of the ordeal :)
     
  2. datto

    datto Well-Known Member

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    Just be happy the tenant is going. And if you have to get a contractor in to clean up and the PM is around, tell the contractor to throw the PM in the bin first!
     
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  3. Bon_E

    Bon_E Well-Known Member

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    :p haha. I definitely felt that way initially, however I guess the PM could say I should have known by looking at the inspection reports! I don't think being a hoarder is illegal (although it probably should be... just standing in the doorway almost gave me a panic attack!! :D)
     
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  4. skater

    skater Well-Known Member

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    Be prepared, that if they are hoarders that the property may need a good clean & paint. LL insurance does not cover 'poor housekeeping'.
     
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  5. Tom Rivera

    Tom Rivera Property Manager Business Member

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    It's really hard to give you advice until the house is empty sorry! I've got hoarder tenant(s) in one house, but she's (slowly) reducing things, and they keep the bits that you can still access clean and tidy haha! I'm not worried at all that when they leave about there being problems, but it could be a different story with different people.

    I also agree it sounds like they have a lot to do in two weeks! They do need to keep paying rent until everything is moved UNLESS they return the keys and bugger off with a house and yard half full of junk... then you're in a bit of trouble. Most insurance policies don't cover rubbish removal. Has your PM given you any indication that they expect trouble?
     
    Last edited: 23rd Nov, 2020
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  6. Bon_E

    Bon_E Well-Known Member

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    The PM seems to think they won't be any trouble... they've been great to deal with for the whole tenancy so I'm trying to think positive thoughts at this stage. I guess the bond could be used to cover some of the costs of removing the rubbish etc, then hopefully insurance would kick in at that point for any damage underneath it all.

    The inspection is set for next Tuesday so I'll report back with photos!
     
  7. Angel

    Angel Well-Known Member

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    There may be termite damage underneath all the stuff. Please get that checked properly .
     
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  8. Bon_E

    Bon_E Well-Known Member

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    I hadn't thought of that. It's a weatherboard house, timber floorboards up on stumps so it'll be pretty easy to suss that out once they're gone.
     
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  9. Dan Wood

    Dan Wood Well-Known Member

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    Good luck! I hope everything turns out alright!
     
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  10. qak

    qak Well-Known Member

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    I'm curious - how was it a shock that they were hoarders if you've seen photos and the PM has been putting this in the reports?
     
  11. Phoenix Pete

    Phoenix Pete Well-Known Member

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    The managing agent was obviously trying to show the premises in the best possible way to the owner and photos of the serious hoarding were not taken at all.

    Also depends on the time that has elapsed between the last routine inspection and the tenants vacating. The more time that has elapsed, the more hoarding has taken place.
     
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  12. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    They have chooks - rat exterminator required. Snakes to be relocated too.
     
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  13. Bon_E

    Bon_E Well-Known Member

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    Yes as @Phoenix Pete mentioned, I think the photos were taken of the most flattering angles possible. So I was genuinely surprised at the volume of things in the house compared to the photos. It had been several months since the last inspection so it is possible that the hoarding had intensified between now and then.
     
  14. SeafordSunshine

    SeafordSunshine Well-Known Member

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    Dear Bon-E
    I believe that your PM isn't permitted to take photos of their things.
    It's a privacy issue.
    Perhaps you could have asked more questions, once you received your regular inspection reports? Then, as a pro-active landlord you may have been able to read between the lines?
    I hope this helps
     
  15. Stoffo

    Stoffo Well-Known Member

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    On what advice/legislation are you basing this privacy claim ?

    As part of the inspection and record keeping the agent should be entitled to take photo's of "the property" including what is in it to prove condition and care (if there's photo's of kids some discerning agents may lay them down or obscure the image prior to sharing with a landlord).

    I expect that this is agreed to by the tenant in the lease conditions also.

    @Tom Rivera @Lil Skater may be able to advise better depending on the state
     
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  16. SeafordSunshine

    SeafordSunshine Well-Known Member

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    On what advice/legislation are you basing this privacy claim ?

    I don't have any legislation that I can quote from.

    More of a gut feeling regarding Agent's duty of care.
    Any lack of maintainance, infestation, etc should be reported by the tenants as is stated in the NSW lease.
    Getting them to report things when it is all' covered' by things is certainly more problematic!
    Tom &Lil,
    any thoughts?
     
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  17. Tom Rivera

    Tom Rivera Property Manager Business Member

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    No particular issues with photographing tenants things. Some wont like you getting photos to publish online (e.g. to advertise) but no one really has an issue with the routine inspections, which are somewhat private. I'm sure there was a form with one of the main providers a while back to give us express written authority to take pictures of their things, but it's not really necessary.
     
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  18. SeafordSunshine

    SeafordSunshine Well-Known Member

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    perhaps this was where I missed things?
    Some wont like you getting photos to publish online (e.g. to advertise)
     
  19. Bon_E

    Bon_E Well-Known Member

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    If they weren't able to take photos of the tenants belongings then I don't think the report would have contained any photos :D there wasn't much space that didn't contain "things"... maybe the hallway floor. That would make for an informative inspection report lol!
     
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  20. Mel Morgan

    Mel Morgan Sydney Property Manager Business Member

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    I have one particular tenant that is uncomfortable with me taking a photo of his bedroom during routines, but is fine for us to inspect it. So we usually check that its well maintained, clean & no damage and then describe it in some detail. In this case its just the one room and helps to maintain a good relationship with the tenant.