Managing difficult tenants

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by Mgs4, 10th Jan, 2017.

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  1. Mgs4

    Mgs4 Member

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    Hi All,

    Seeking thoughts/feedback from others more experienced who have dealt with some of these issues. I have some tenants who have been repeatedly late in paying their rent, they're now late in excess of the bond, over $3k. They have stopped responding to SMS/calls, the tenant has been difficult to deal with and has damaged some of the property before.

    I've issued them a termination letter, waiting for the 14 days to lapse and seeking to request an urgent tribunal hearing. The risk is by the time I've had a hearing the amount outstanding is well in excess of the bond and I may not be able to recoup the excess.

    Has anyone dealt with this situation before and have any advice?
     
  2. thatbum

    thatbum Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like a standard termination for rent arrears situation. Depending on how quickly you can move with the appropriate time periods for notices and the like, often the arrears are more than the bond unfortunately.

    The only advice is to be as quick and proper as you can with the time periods that you can control.
     
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  3. D.T.

    D.T. Specialist Property Manager Business Member

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    Which state is the property in, each has a different procedure.

    I've written about the procedure I use (and taught other PM's to use) here: Following up arrears
     
  4. Jamie Moore

    Jamie Moore MORTGAGE BROKER - AUSTRALIA WIDE Business Member

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    Yep I have.

    I followed all the correct procedures. Ended up at the tribunal. Tenant didn't turn up - he was told via the tribunal to fork out thousands in missed rent. We never saw a cent - he finally left the property. We felt like we had bugger all control. I wouldn't self manage again - it's not worth the hassle.

    Cheers

    Jamie
     
  5. Mgs4

    Mgs4 Member

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    1) In dealing with difficult tenants who have previously damaged property is there any recommended approach to manage the risk of further property damage, where the rent outstanding is already in excess of the bond.

    2) Our tenancy is in NSW, in speaking to fair trading they informed me it can take up to 28 days to get a tribunal hearing, even an urgent hearing is 21 days. Does anyone have any advice on how to expedite a hearing or how to successfully get an urgent hearing.
     
  6. D.T.

    D.T. Specialist Property Manager Business Member

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    Do you have insurance?
    No, that's how long it takes because of how many cases they're dealing with
     
  7. MyPropertyPro

    MyPropertyPro Property Management Sydney & Brisbane Business Member

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    This case highlights not only the importance of landlord insurance (which will provide the rent beyond the bond you're worried about), but also of the time-cost and stress associated with self-managing.

    Even if you have landlord insurance, it's a little known fact that if you haven't sent the correct and timely rent arrears notices then many landlord insurance policies won't cover you for lost rent on the days where the tenants weren't notified.

    I don't know of any way to expedite tenancy hearings but I would encourage you to engage a professional property manager after this has been taken care of. Great tenants are always great tenants until they're not...

    All the best with the hearing

    - Andrew
     
  8. Mgs4

    Mgs4 Member

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    I don't have insurance.

    If the tenants vacate and the bond cover the rent outstanding, lets say there's still $2k owing. What practical measures does the landlord have to recoup this amount. If you have a work/residential address for the tenants subsequently and you serve them a notice to repay the outstanding and don't respond, is there practical ways to sell the debt to a debt collector. Or can you go through the courts in an economic way?

    Appreciate all the responses.
     
  9. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    I'd give it to a debt collector as long as you get an assurance that it will cost you nothing if they get nothing. At least if it won't cost you a thing, you get a small bit of satisfaction that your tenant will get a regular knock at the door and people chasing him up.
     
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  10. Perthguy

    Perthguy Well-Known Member

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    @Mgs4 if you go down this path make sure the property manager you engage is a good one. My mate in Perth is going through the exact same thing with a dodgy tenant not paying rent, not leaving etc, except the whole disaster is being managed by a "professional" property manager. So far the tenant is in arrears more than the bond and the tribunal has thrown out at least one hearing because the property manager did not file the correct paperwork at the right time. Don't be fooled into thinking having a property managed by a professional is stress free. My mate is so stressed by all this he wants to sell the IP.

    I have no heard of any approach that would be useful in this situation.

    When you make application you could provide photographic evidence of damage caused and outline your concerns that the tenant will do further damage. I don't know if this will help. I have not taken a tenant to the tribunal in NSW, only Vic and WA.
     
  11. Perthguy

    Perthguy Well-Known Member

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    You can take them through the court system but still may not see any money. In this case it would be better to hand over to a debt collector as @wylie suggests
     
  12. Mgs4

    Mgs4 Member

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    Thanks for the considered replies. I've got a tribunal hearing date, does anyone have any general advice/feedback on tribunal hearings. If the tenants don't turn up to the hearing is it decided in favour of the landlord?
     
  13. Perthguy

    Perthguy Well-Known Member

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    Take all your documentation. You never know what you will be asked to produce. At my last hearing, my ex tenant disputed the settlement date of the property claiming that she signed a lease that started before settlement o_O

    Documents and photos are useful.
     
  14. D.T.

    D.T. Specialist Property Manager Business Member

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    Take a ledger printed off that morning as well as lease, inspections, etc. Also take a print out of any relevant emails.

    If tenants don't turn up it gets decided in their absence (which is very favourable). But still relies on you having followed the process correctly - ie correct dates and time frames on breach notices. If not they can make you start the process over from the beginning.
     
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  15. James McIntyre

    James McIntyre Adelaide Buyers Agent|Advocate Business Member

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    This is quite true.Once you have judgement though, dumb stupid non paying tenant has to offer any future creditors, be it gas,telco,power.......whatever an explanation on the outstanding debt owed.
     
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  16. Mgs4

    Mgs4 Member

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    If the hearing is in your favour, say the tenants don't turn up, how quickly can you enforce their removal with the assistance of the sherif?
     
  17. D.T.

    D.T. Specialist Property Manager Business Member

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    The member at the tribunal will specify that as part of the result, if successful. It's usually 7 or 14 days here, not sure if it's different there. Probably more likely the latter if they don't turn up, to give them time to receive the notice in the mail.
     
  18. Terrychris

    Terrychris Well-Known Member

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    Are they still under Lease ?

    Who are they ? Family ? Students ? Young people ?

    There are other ways to get them out, i dont mean through illegal physical force but by Psychological ways.:confused:o_O

    If your willing to pay i could probaly get them out in less than a month:eek:

    I will take a Yellow or Pink Smeg brand toaster as payment !
     
    Last edited: 16th Jan, 2017
  19. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Lodge your documentation for a tribunal hearing at the same time that you send the breach notice to the tenant ie day 14. You can always withdraw the application if the tenant pays up once they get a copy of the hearing date from the tribunal.

    This minimises the additional time of waiting out the notice period.
     
  20. Mgs4

    Mgs4 Member

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    Does anyone have experiences at the tribunal, the best way to provide/summarise evidence, the types of evidence to provide. Can you have someone assist you with the process or on the day, say an experienced property agent or conveyancer?
     
    Last edited: 16th Jan, 2017