Should my PM be doing more?

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by Keentolearn77, 8th Apr, 2020.

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  1. Keentolearn77

    Keentolearn77 Well-Known Member

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    Hi
    Quick run down

    - very early 3 weeks ago tenant opened communication requested 50%+++ rent reduction.
    - We asked PM to empathise with tenant, were neg geared and stuck financially, can we await gov't announcements.
    - tenant reply consisted of threats and demands
    - 10 days ago we asked PM to again contact tenant regarding gov't announcements regarding range of assistance packages open to them.

    We are yet to hear a reply.... Should we be being pro active asking the PM for more regular update on any progress with the tenant and further correspondence with the tenant as to how their circumstances are now fairing, or if they have ceased communication....,

    or do just stick our heads in the sand and await to see if they pay their rent next week or go into arrears....
     
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  2. Michael Mitchell

    Michael Mitchell Property Manager Business Member

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    A few things
    - Tenant may be not be communicating with Agent, Agent has to be careful with how much they try and contact Tenant lest Tenant makes a complaint with Police re: harassment (as a rule of thumb, not more than 3 times a week or 10 times a month for the same thing - this principal is copied from the ACCC's guidelines re: debt collectors and contacting a debtor, similar applies for Lessor/Agents and rent arrears etc)
    - If the Tenant is not communicating, your Agent really needs to follow the standard process for handling arrears to protect your interests, at the very least to comply with your LL policy in the event an eviction is not granted but later is, you can still try and make a claim for loss of rent, etc.
    - Agent should be sending you updates even if it's "no response from tenant yet" so you are not left wondering
     
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  3. Pumpkin

    Pumpkin Well-Known Member

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    How are your PM's communication habit in the past?
    If they have always been good, communicative, ie if you trust them to be good PM, just wait for them.
    But if they have always been slack and need Reminder, you'd know what to do.
     
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  4. Keentolearn77

    Keentolearn77 Well-Known Member

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    thanks peoples
     
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  5. thatbum

    thatbum Well-Known Member

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    What does "empathise with the tenant" mean? You essentially said no to their request right?

    Then the tenant has made more threats and demands. Now... stalemate?

    What else do you want the PM to do? I can't think of anything necessarily.
     
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  6. Codie

    Codie Well-Known Member

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    Can we know what the threats and demands were?
     
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  7. Peter_Tersteeg

    Peter_Tersteeg Well-Known Member Business Member

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    I've got tenants who are having trouble with their rent payments. They've also asked for a 50% rent reduction which I've refused.

    The PM is calling me at least weekly about it, sometimes daily, it depends on how often she's in touch with the tenants.

    I've asked her to make it clear that I appreciate they can't pay the full rent, this can be made up later. They don't want to make it up later, they just want the reduction.

    Get this, they want the 50% rent reduction backdated to January! I didn't even respond to that one.

    I fully expect that they're going to get behind and will likely move out owing money which I'll never recover. What I really want them to do is make more of an effort in getting assistance. They need to do more to help themselves. So far they appear to have applied online for a call back from Centrelink (that will take weeks) and he's registered for Uber (which is as good as a dead industry right now).
     
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  8. adprom

    adprom Well-Known Member

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    This is exactly what I have been saying would happen.... If the tenants realise this, and the landlord isn't budging then they will likely not budge either and stand still.

    If landlords aren't even going to negotiate reductions, can't really blame the tenants. I am not advocating tenants don't pay but the MO of agents and landlords (except for a few humane examples elsewhere on here) is we don't negotiate... Rather than negotiate a lower rent which at leasts gives the tenant an incentive to keep paying.

    60% of something is better than 100% of nothing and a vacant property that is hard to rent.

    I have not seen too many landlords attempt to negotiate on here, instead denying the problem and thinking the money will be made up later. It won't be. However if not willing to work with tenants to make compromises, everyone is going to lose here. Same for tenants who exhibit the equal and opposite behaviour.
     
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  9. Patrico1966

    Patrico1966 Well-Known Member

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    Don't agree with this at all. Poor post. Cant really blame the tenants, why not? Too supportive of tenants who dont want to pay what they should be, that is your MO. You are wrong in everything you say, Post 7 has done everything right and yet we have to put up with posters supporting tenants who don't want to pay their fair share.
     
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  10. adprom

    adprom Well-Known Member

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    Landlord won't work with them in extraordinary times.

    Landlord opinion is "I really want them to help themselves" which is ridiculous and really means "I want them to keep paying me first".

    We are in an unprecedented situation which requires compromises on all parts and landlords who refuse to budge on rent decreases provide little incentive for the tenants to work with them - turning the matter into a zero sum game.

    Instead of maintaining at least some rent income to cover expenses, this is all on the tenants. Not even entertaining the thought of a rent decrease.

    Supporting tenants who don't want to pay their fair share? Not sure what burrow you live in right now, but the world is not BAU and there is financial pressure everywhere. Investors across the board are going to take a hit and this includes rental incomes.

    What I don't get is that it makes no sense... If a LL does not compromise and a tenant gets behind and knows they won't make it up, they might as well just stop paying as they will end up blacklisted anyway and keep the money for what they need. Logical outcome.

    Instead, both could work together, accept that rent will be decreased and find something that works. However most LLs here don't want that... instead wanting the tenants to bear everything and then complaining when the tenants do not put up with that behaviour.

    I don't call #7 acting in good faith or reasonably negotiating given the current circumstances.

    It isn't even like the tenants are just refusing to pay. They made an offer but no reasonable counter offer is made. Simply LL saying nup... I am not budging.

    No sympathy for Landlords in the current crisis who lose out with that attitude.

    For those (of which a few have shared their story on these forums) who have negotiated lower in good faith to keep tenants and ensure there is a happy medium, a lot of respect to them.
     
  11. Peter_Tersteeg

    Peter_Tersteeg Well-Known Member Business Member

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    I don't think you understand the nuances of this.

    If I reduce their rent, then the Centrelink rental assistance available to them is also reduced.

    Additionally if I do claim on my landlords insurance, reducing the rent reduces the amount I can claim.

    I know that they won't be able to pay the full amount, I know that they will go into arrears. As long as they're doing what they can, I don't care about the arrears and I'm willing to forgive it. If they simply sit around and don't be proactive about getting Centrelink, getting another job, then I'm not going to forgive the arrears.

    From what I've seen so far they've done the absolute minimum to get Centrelink assistance, they've engaged a business model (Uber) that is barely profitable in the best of times and they're asking me to credit them back rent they've previously paid.

    My PM is great, but I don't think this message is getting through to them. I'm considering an informal phone call to actually talk to them so they understand that I'm happy to work with them and be very forgiving of what they can't pay, but they've got to pull their weight a bit as well.

    I know they're in a very bad place, I know they can't afford the rent. My intention is to get what I can from the government grants and insurance, not them. However I can't get that money if the rent is reduced.
     
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  12. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    We know that you're a VIP & have some quality tenants in your IPs but to have Jacinta Ahern calling on a regular basis....
     
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  13. Patrico1966

    Patrico1966 Well-Known Member

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    Supporting tenants who don't want to pay their fair share? Not sure what burrow you live in right now, but the world is not BAU and there is financial pressure everywhere. Investors across the board are going to take a hit and this includes rental incomes.

    Don't worry about my burrow, just keep up with the insults. Starting to show your real colours now..;)
     
  14. adprom

    adprom Well-Known Member

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    I understand the nuances.

    The reality is, these people won't get a job in the current situation (highly unlikely). Trying to "encourage them" won't help and is part of the mentality which is making things worse right now.

    I understand the LL insurance conundrum - and working with the tenants on this and saying hey I need to ensure I can claim on that policy so I need to do x for now, but we will arrange something later - pay what you can is in good faith.

    Quite frankly, what they have done is none of your business. This is the entire problem that I have been raising. LLs are over stepping the line in trying to micromanage their tenants finances or what options they have.

    I'm considering an informal phone call to actually talk to them so they understand that I'm happy to work with them and be very forgiving of what they can't pay, but they've got to pull their weight a bit as well.[/quote]

    Pull their weight? They literally have severely reduced income in a crisis.

    I don't think you understand the economy and situation they are now in.

    What benefits they get are none of your business.

    Interestingly the consumer protection FAQ in WA had to call out this exact behaviour:

    https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/consumer-protection/covid-19-coronavirus-consumer-protection-faq

    However a tenant should NOT be asked to provide a landlord with evidence of any savings they have, for example a bank statement.

    It isn't that complicated. LLs need to stop trying ti overstep their bounds into their tenants lives right now. If they have proven they have lost their job, then end of story as far as that goes.

    Not sure what insult was in there?
     
  15. HUGH72

    HUGH72 Well-Known Member

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    I think he understands the nuances perfectly but is choosing to ignore them. The tenants have a responsibility to help themselves first then communicate their situation.

    Asking for a rent reduction backdated to January.. poor form.
     
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  16. TMNT

    TMNT Well-Known Member

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    what an entitled, unco-operative and unappreciative attitude

    wow!!!!
    thats a new one

    might frame that one!
     
  17. Patrico1966

    Patrico1966 Well-Known Member

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    Well you go and pay it for them then. Step up to the plate and show you really mean it and then get back to the forum with the results. Love to see that. :)
     
  18. adprom

    adprom Well-Known Member

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    That is how a negotiation works, Party A comes in with an offer. Party B then counter negotiates with both meeting somewhere in the middle.

    That is not unappreciative - it is the art of of negotiation which I would think Landlords who bought a house via negotiating (or Auction) should be familiar with.

    LLs can't have it both ways. Negotiation is fine when it suits them but refuse to negotiate and claim it is unappreciative when it goes the other way.
     
  19. TMNT

    TMNT Well-Known Member

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    not sure what relevance any of that has, but oh well

    this forum is great!, it has enough majority of sensible, logical people that the odd low posting newbie with biased, unsubstantiated nonsensical comments, lose credibility pretty quickly
     
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  20. Peter_Tersteeg

    Peter_Tersteeg Well-Known Member Business Member

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    @adprom I'm not asking the tenants to provide me with any evidence of their savings. I haven't even asked for evidence of their employment status or any other hardship. I do take them at their word. What they have told me however is concerning because Uber is not a good business model in the best of times and passively waiting for Centrelink to get back to you is going to take a while.

    I also think I've got a reasonable understanding of what's happening in the wider economy. About 50% of my time over the past 3 weeks has been helping people in hardship negotiate with their banks.

    What I'm trying to do here is get everyone the maximum amount they can from the government assistance packages. If the rent assistance is all they can get and they don't pay any of the difference, I'm okay with that and I'll let the rest go. Why is this unreasonable? It's a position where the tenant doesn't have to pay anything from their own pocket.
     
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