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Nightmare tenant in Wagga

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by D.T., 9th Nov, 2015.

  1. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    This article was in the Wagga newspaper:

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    “TENANTS from hell” have driven a Wagga woman to despair.

    Smashed windows, trashed furniture and rubbish strewn in every which room of the Turvey Park home only makes worse the two nightmare years of unpaid rent and a current legal battle over water expenses.

    The landlord, who wished not to be named out of fears of reprisal, has spoken of the perils of renting after trying to evict the privately-arranged tenants of more than three years.

    “I haven’t stepped foot on the property for two years because I was threatened by the tenant’s boyfriend,” she said.

    The tenant was told to leave the property in September, but she failed to do so and the case was taken to a tribunal in October, in which the tenant was evicted.

    After several weeks of resisting, the tenant finally moved out last week.

    The landlord has had the house for 16 years and only rented it out in the last seven.

    “They owe me a lot of money,” she said. “I’ve never had any problems with tenants. It really is an injustice.”

    Walking around the property, the owner, choking back tears, counts five windows that have been ruthlessly smashed and taped up with peeling sticky tape.


    Bricks are chipped, holes plaster most of the walls and “every light bulb is gone”.

    Drug paraphernalia is dumped next to children’s toys, the new kitchen is damaged and the floorboards are scuffed and scratched.

    Mould covers the entire roof of one dank bathroom, the garage door is buckled and guttering on the new carport hangs loose.

    Rubbish piles dot the back yard, while clothes remain in cupboards, food wrappers stick to your shoes and thick dust lines ceiling fans that haven’t been touched in years.

    “I just can’t believe this is how they lived,” she said.

    The woman now faces the dire decision whether to rent it out and risk the repeat of a nightmare or sell it and lose the sentimental memories she made in her nine years living in the home.

    “I am in limbo,” she said. “I don’t know what to do.

    “She’s put me in that much debt. It’s bad because I’m attached to this home.”

    Her experience of renting has triggered a warning to other would-be landlords looking to fill their their properties with new tenants.

    While she said renting privately “has just as many legs to stand on as a real estate”, checking references was vital before signing any tenants.

    “(If i rent it out again) I want fantastic references that I’ll triple check,” she said. “I’m just glad they’re out.”

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    So my thoughts are
    - Why didn't you check references?
    - Why didn't you use the legislation to evict for non payment?
    - Why didn't you report the BF to police for threatening you?
    - Why weren't inspections done, and breach notices sent for the property's condition?

    These situations are all avoidable, or worse case would have been covered by insurance if the correct steps were taken. The majority of these kinds of articles seem to be from self managing landlords, they think its fun and easy when they're collecting the rent each week, but seems they don't know what to do when things turn sour.

    Any additional thoughts?
     
  2. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Self-manager. Things go swimmingly for years but when they go wrong you want an experienced PM working for you.
     
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  3. bob shovel

    bob shovel Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like she started with a quality place to begin with to attract those tenants. This is an extreme case but brought on by her own lack of research.
    They treated it like a government house so I'd say it's in the **** part of town.

    Why would you not use a pm?? She's lost 2 years rent plus damages in the thousands by the sounds all to save a few bucks..
    Say it rents at 300/wk x 10% x 2 years = $720 tax deductible
     
    Last edited: 9th Nov, 2015
  4. JohnPropChat

    JohnPropChat Well-Known Member

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    Only be a landlord if you can be on top of things - self managed or otherwise.
     
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  5. mja

    mja Well-Known Member

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    Reputable PM + regular inspections are key. I wonder why they didn't use a PM to begin with. To save $$$?
     
  6. JohnPropChat

    JohnPropChat Well-Known Member

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    Good PMs are like good tradies - not always easy to find. While saving a few bucks is one factor - dealing with "couldn't care less" type of PMs is a bigger pain.
     
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  7. Perthguy

    Perthguy Well-Known Member

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    Not always. I am a self-manager and have taken tenants through the tribunal and won. There are bad PMs and bad self-managers. No need to generalise.
     
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  8. neK

    neK Well-Known Member

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    Good PM's are hard to find.
    Once you find one, hold onto them for dear life!
     
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  9. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Its
    It's not like she didn't know that they were turning bad. Having been threatened by the boyfriend is probably a good sign that she should have sought a pm at that point.
     
  10. Perthguy

    Perthguy Well-Known Member

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    For this particular person, I would say they should have sought a PM prior to tenant selection as they appear to have no clue. Not sure turning to a PM after the boyfriend incident would have been the right move. Depending on the PM she picked, the outcome might not have been any different.

    With a good PM, none of it would have happened and I understand that. My point was that a good self-manager won't need a PM to get them out of trouble. A clueless self manager might not pick a good PM and won't necessarily be better off. I think some people just shouldn't own investment properties.
     
  11. Xenia

    Xenia Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    Emotions up Intelligence Down.
     
  12. WestOz

    WestOz Well-Known Member

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    Bit of generalisation in here... I'm with @Perthguy on that.

    As for references, if you know you're a scumbag tenant would you apply for a place yourself or get a girlfriend or manipulate/bribe someone else to do it for you, once ya got the keys to the house it's game on