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Questions arising after the tenant moved out ...

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by VB King, 24th Jan, 2016.

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  1. VB King

    VB King Well-Known Member

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    Couple of questions for those more savvy on property management.

    Tenant gave notice to move out, move out date just before Xmas (horrible timing but a bit of a relief as she was a major PITA, up to and including finding FLEAS after she moved out ... No pets in the strata compound).

    As soon as notice was given, the tenant stopped paying rent, I guess thinking it was an easy way to wind back the bond.

    In my books, obligation to pay rent includes paying it on time. I was keen to blacklist the tenant but the agents advice was not to bother ... which I found hard to believe. Interested to hear how other PMs treat and deal with this situation?

    After she moved out, we noticed some curtains missing. I know they were old - but - they were in great condition and the previous owner had spent some serious coin on what would have been top end ~10 years ago - custom made, matching pelmets, etc. Multiple matching sets across a number of Windows.

    We showed the agents the original curtains from photographs in their original condition report, and wanted the tenant to rectify or cough up (no bond left mind you!).

    The answer from the PM was that they were 7+ years old and fully depreciated, no value and would be lucky to get $20 from the tribunal. Is this the case? I can't see tax depreciation rules being one and the same? Would love a PMs view on it.

    If I rented a place, when I move out could I simply disappear with an 11 year old HWS, strip the 12 year old carpets, appropriate the 9 year old stove? (I'm not sure of the depreciable life of these items!)

    It's an academic question because in the scheme of things it's not worth losing sleep over, and decision made to change PMs for other reasons.
     
  2. Tim & Chrissy

    Tim & Chrissy Well-Known Member

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    That sort of PM is why I only use PM's for initial leasing and not ongoing management.

    What a slack attitude toward the situation. I can understand not pursuing it from a cost-benefit perspective but to not even but an entry on TICA is poor.

    I personally wouldn't use that agent again.
     
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  3. thatbum

    thatbum Well-Known Member

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    I'm not a PM but a tenancy lawyer.

    The short answer is that the tax depreciation rules aren't one and the same as a tenant's liability for depreciated items - but it is one of the things the court takes into account. I think you would get something more than a token amount, but definitely not the full replacement cost either.
     
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  4. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    You can only blacklist under certain scenarios, see here: Tenancy Tip Thursday - Tenant Databases

    The tribunal does use depreciation as one of its methods to determine damage to items, but stolen items might be different. Up to PM to present a good case.

    So when they gave notice, was it the end of their lease or during it? If during then they'll be up for break costs as well.

    If they stopped paying rent at that point, then bond / insurance will cover lost rent, break costs if applicable, curtains, etc
     
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  5. Xenia

    Xenia Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    The pm is wrong
    Yes you can blacklist - calculate money owing.
    Charge for damages
    Recoup everything owed through a claim

    It is theft not depreciation - should get replacement value.

    Give it to a pm who knows what they are doing.
     
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  6. VB King

    VB King Well-Known Member

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    Really appreciate the responses - seems my thoughts not so irrational or unreasonable.
     
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  7. dabbler

    dabbler Well-Known Member

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    This is common to do this, your lucky if the place was not trashed or really poor condition.
     
  8. monalisa

    monalisa Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Hi @VB King

    We had one situation in Sydney where tenants left the property very dirty - this was clawed back from the bond. I cannot exactly remember - but may have had some outstanding rent too.

    The PM advised me she blacklisted these people.
     
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  9. VB King

    VB King Well-Known Member

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    Too true, as I said not a showstopper, more out of interest. If it's common it must be because they can get away with it.
     
  10. Lil Skater

    Lil Skater Well-Known Member Business Member

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    Remember rules vary state to state, you can no longer list bad tenants in Vic unless you have a VCAT order where the tenant owes above the bond amount. Added to that you need to advise them they will be listed prior to and they have time to reply prior to the listing.

    Unfortunately tribunal does depreciate things like curtains, and generally above 7 years you'll get zip. But that depends on the member you get - so if someone has run off with expensive curtains you can give it a try and see how it goes. I wouldn't automatically write it off.
     
  11. VB King

    VB King Well-Known Member

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    Thanks @Lil Skater , we are in nsw. My view would have been to use the bond to pay for the missing curtains, flea treatment, etc, and then chase for the missing rent.
    Not let the non payment of rent unwind the bond. The bond isn't there to cover rent as far as I'm concerned!
    In the scheme of things, as I said, not a big deal. But I think we've worn costs we probably shouldn't have.
    This is the big issue for me - should the PM let the tenant unravel their security by non payment of rent to in a way secure their bond?
    The photos by the way, of the missing curtains, showed the great condition they were in, they could have been installed <1 year ago for the wear & tear - they'd been well looked after.
     
  12. Chilliblue

    Chilliblue Well-Known Member

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    @VB King if you are insured, it be worth your time to see what you care covered for and what you may claim on rather than chasing the tenant.
     
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  13. kitdoctor

    kitdoctor Well-Known Member

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    Departing PITA tenants who leave you with problems to rectify (e.g. cleaning, damage, items missing) seem to be the real acid test of whether your PM is good or bad.

    It has never ceased to amaze me how many PM's own processes are often a problem. For example, a good PM ensures the electricity is kept on to ensure the final inspection can be done properly with adequate lighting and lights can be tested to identify blown bulbs.