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My perfect tenants abandoned the property :(

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by Xenia, 17th Dec, 2015.

  1. Xenia

    Xenia Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    OK lesson today - don't assume that perfect tenants will continue to be perfect.

    We've had these tenants in one of the properties we manage for about 8 years. They have never missed a single day of payments either for rent or water invoices.
    The house and garden has always been immaculate, I have asked a few times how they don't even have any dishes in their sink and everything is always so perfect. They replied that they are always on top of it all.

    Anyway during routine inspections today, the landlord asked me to pick up some flowers today for the tenants as a thank you - they are long term and have always done the right thing.

    I picked up a huge bunch ($100 bunch of flowers) from a florist on the way and headed over for the last routine inspection for the year on this house.

    Once I got there I was surprised that the door mat was dirty and the front porch had not been swept - unusual for these tenants.

    They were not home - they usually are, and the keys did not work - locks changed.
    After a few minutes of frustration in 42 degree heat and holding a bunch of flowers that was bigger than I am, and being on the phone with office to see if there were any file notes on locks being changed, a man turns up and opens the door.

    I assumed he must be a visitor of the tenants so I followed him in, I was shocked to see all the beautiful rugs and furniture gone, the walls were dirty and there were mattresses on the floor.

    He did not allow me to go past the front entry and I was not about to push the issue as there were 4 of them and one of me.

    I asked him who he was and he replied "I don't know"
    I asked were the tenants were that lived here and he said "no tenants here" (spoke little English), I said "WHERE IS THE LADY WHO LIVES HERE" He said "no lady, just us 4 men"
    I asked if he changed the locks, who allowed him to be here, how long has he been here (there was a routine inspection done 12 weeks ago so it had to be earlier than that). He stood there and did not answer.

    I then left - took the flowers with me - and rang the office from my car only for them to tell me that all water and rent is paid to date and regular payments are made. Hmmmm.

    The tenants left, probably took it upon themselves to sublease the property and did not tell anyone, I was not allowed in the house but it did not seem to be to my standards from what I can see - not happy!.

    Application for vacant possession based on "abandoning the property" coming right up!
     
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  2. Waldo

    Waldo Well-Known Member

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    Sure you had the right house? :p

    Poses an interesting question though, if you provide the original tenant (the one on the books) with notice for inspection, can the people currently residing there deny you access on the basis they haven't recieved notice?

    Weird that they changed the locks if they subletted the property - surely it would be easier just to keep the same locks?
     
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  3. Tim & Chrissy

    Tim & Chrissy Well-Known Member

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    How bizarre. If I was the owner I think I'd be heading over with the local police.
     
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  4. CU@THETOP

    CU@THETOP Well-Known Member

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    A modern horror story!:eek:
     
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  5. Xenia

    Xenia Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    police won't get involved in a tenancy matter - if they were squatters then yes, but these guys are paying rent so it is a tenancy matter - they have taken over the lease from our previous tenants.

    We've had sqatters in a vacant property recently and yes that is a police matter.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 4th Nov, 2016
  6. Tim & Chrissy

    Tim & Chrissy Well-Known Member

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    Ahh got it, I thought you weren't sure what the situation was i.e. squatters or not.

    Who are they paying the rent to? The previous tenants?
     
  7. Perthguy

    Perthguy Well-Known Member

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    That is a big shock! I had something similar but it happened at the end of a tenancy. No issues whatsoever during the lease period and the tenants were lovely the whole time. It changed after they moved out though and there were issues after they left the property. Not nice but life goes on. Nothing as bad as what happened to this property though.
     
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  8. Xenia

    Xenia Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    No - they are paying into our trust account using the same tenant code as the last ones. There was rent paid a few days ago and is in advance so it is clearly a lease take over.

    They would not have known who to pay rent to and what code to use otherwise.

    This is the importance of regular routine inspections - we would not have known otherwise.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 4th Nov, 2016
  9. Tim & Chrissy

    Tim & Chrissy Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty slack inspecting my property, however I was there for a repair a few weeks ago and both tenants seemed to be keeping the units in decent shape.

    I didn't do an inspection on my last IP for about 2 years.... just lucky nothing went wrong I guess.
     
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  10. Rooky

    Rooky Well-Known Member

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    What a horror storey !

    I guess court process will follow, current tenant will be evicted. Loss of rent due to eviction process will be claimed via insurance if landlord has taken it.
     
  11. Biz

    Biz Well-Known Member

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    So that is another vote in favour of "presents for tenants" then? :D

    Get @skater in here!
     
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  12. legallyblonde

    legallyblonde Well-Known Member

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    That is scary... Something pretty dramatic must have changed o_O

    What did the LL say? =P
     
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  13. RetireRich101

    RetireRich101 Well-Known Member

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    What are you doing with the flowers Xenia?
     
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  14. Peter_Tersteeg

    Peter_Tersteeg Finance broker and strategist Business Member

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    My response would be evict them. Now! Find a way.

    I'm probably reading too many Tom Clancy novels, but I'm wondering if these guys could be on a watch list? Broken English, refusing entry, mattresses on the floor...

    Keep the flowers.
     
    Team Davo likes this.
  15. Bullion Baron

    Bullion Baron Well-Known Member

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    Nothing in the lease to stop the original tenants from subletting the property? Is it legal for a tenant to organise 'lease take over'?
     
  16. skater

    skater Capitalist Premium Member

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    LOL! I'm more interested in what @Lil Skater would say.
     
  17. SeafordSunshine

    SeafordSunshine Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to hear about this Xenia, I remember one day going to a property, to find the tenant had vacated, and sublet to unauthorised persons.
    The tenant was a Real Estate Agent!
     
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  18. Beanie Girl

    Beanie Girl Well-Known Member

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    Oh my gosh!
    What a shock for you and what a shock for the poor landlord who wanted to thank the tenants with some flowers....
    8 years is a long time to have perfect tenants and to have that changed in a twinkling of an eye....it's so weird...
    unless the good tenants have changed personality overnight....Jekyll-Hyde scenario...night of the body snatchers (cue scary music)
    could there be a reasonable reason? e.g they had to return to their home country or interstate for an emergency that they know will take quite long to sort out...hence sub-lease the place out because they don't want to lose the property? I mean, I'm not excusing the original tenants for what they have done - sub-lease the property without permission- but is there a reason they have done this?
    If I was the landlord, I will be trying to understand why the perfect tenants have done what they have done.
     
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  19. Xenia

    Xenia Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    In a nut shell - yes it is.
    However most tenants do a change of tenant form through our office and with landlords approval.

    It could have been OK if we knew who they were and if they looked after the property.
    I was more shocked at the state of the house - this home had been perfect for the last 8 or so years. I am more concerned about how the house will look in a year if we left these guys there.

    Also mattresses on the floor?
    Not on.
     
  20. Perthguy

    Perthguy Well-Known Member

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    There is usually a clause about not subletting without approval from the landlord.

    I haven't heard of this. You would have to check the wording of the lease.