Tenant damage and recovering costs

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by Lucy.Scott, 27th Mar, 2020.

Join Australia's most dynamic and respected property investment community
  1. Lucy.Scott

    Lucy.Scott New Member

    Joined:
    27th Mar, 2020
    Posts:
    3
    Location:
    NSW & WA
    First post. Sorry it's long.
    I've rented my house out for 17 years. Plan to move back in 3 years.

    The most recent tenant left after years so I went with the realestate to do an inspection. In short, the tenant moved her drug addict daughter in the she (the mother) moved out. As a result, bedroom carpets have been urinated on (hoping it was a dog) solid doors have been replaced with non solid doors, plaster off walls with scratches, blinds destroyed beyond repair, garden a nightmare (had it landscaped when they moved in), all plants gone, kitchen drawers missing, place was filthy. They must have have swung from the ceiling fans and they are non functional. Broken Patio window.

    So carpets need to be replaced, walls patched up, whole place repainted (stickers on every wall), blinds, landscaping, rubbish removed. Approximately $15k to fix up. Real estate property manager says carpets are fair wear and tear and so are blinds, they will only pay a portion, ie $200, cleaning alone came to $900. I sacked the realestate as they kept telling me that the daughter was terminally ill which I now know otherwise after speaking to my neighbours who were fed up with the police and ambulance, domestics at all hours. I'm also owed $1900 in water usage which the real estate didn't pass on and now tell me I can only do 30 days for the last bill.

    I can't rent the place out until its fixed up. I do have landlords insurance with SGIO, not sure what to do next.

    Any advice would be really helpfull
     
  2. Michael Mitchell

    Michael Mitchell Property Manager Business Member

    Joined:
    17th Sep, 2018
    Posts:
    759
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Make a claim, work with the loss adjuster, hope your PM did the basics right re: condition reports to substantiate your claim, however from the sounds of it I doubt it. Claim bond for water usage and cleaning but guessing it won’t even come close and insurance won’t cover those items, so try angle damage over cleaning eg. For carpets, in the hope insurance replaces. Failing that, xCAT for a costs order against tenant, give to Barclays to try recover cents on the dollar for you, better than nothing.
     
    wylie and Tom Rivera like this.
  3. Tom Rivera

    Tom Rivera Property Manager Business Member

    Joined:
    1st Jul, 2015
    Posts:
    2,136
    Location:
    South East Queensland
    Wow what a mess! There's really a lot to unpack so it's hard to give specific advice, though you have done a great job of summarizing it.

    I've got a few questions to start with:
    - How long were the tenants there? If they were there e.g 10yrs, then damaged carpets and blinds *could* be considered largely fair wear and tear. If they were there 12 months, absolutely NOT.

    - Have you contacted the insurer to discuss coverage and find out how they'd like you to proceed? Some insurers will want you to proceed ASAP with works with photographic evidence before/after, sometimes with multiple quotes on the pricey items. Other insurers will want to send an assessor first.

    - What sort of tenancy records do you have? Is there a good entry condition report with photos and routine inspection reports throughout? Not having this information could damage your claim and reduce the amount you are paid out if the insurer can't establish when the damage occurred.

    - Have you claimed the bond? If not- do it NOW, the insurer will expect you to do this and the process can drag out, especially in the current climate.
     
  4. Patrico1966

    Patrico1966 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    12th Jun, 2019
    Posts:
    399
    Location:
    North perth
    Just get it fixed, document/photo everything and get a police report done for wilful damage including any drug rubbish evidence left behind, this will assist with your claim. Rent it back out or sell it and then chase up the PM and the tenant via some type of legal action. You cant get all your money back, just have to take the loss and some of this can be covered by tax if you "word" it correctly. This type of stuff is why I kept just 2 rental properties and sold the others. Hopefully I will be back down to 1 in about 3 months.
     
    Michael Mitchell likes this.
  5. Lucy.Scott

    Lucy.Scott New Member

    Joined:
    27th Mar, 2020
    Posts:
    3
    Location:
    NSW & WA
    Thanks. I have claimed the bond but the real estate says that only a portion is applicable. They were there for five years, the house was immaculate when they moved in. I will contact the insurance company today.
     
    Michael Mitchell likes this.
  6. Tom Rivera

    Tom Rivera Property Manager Business Member

    Joined:
    1st Jul, 2015
    Posts:
    2,136
    Location:
    South East Queensland
    Wait?! After all that damage your old Real Estate says that you're not entitled to at least the full bond!? That's ludicrous! You need to disregard their advice at this stage.

    Five years is middling, there will be an allowance for fair wear and tear, but fortunately urinating is not considered "fair" wear-and-tear.
     
    craigc, wylie and Michael Mitchell like this.
  7. TMNT

    TMNT Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23rd Jul, 2015
    Posts:
    5,574
    Location:
    Melbourne
    if I rented out a house for 17 years id expect most wear and tear items to be at the end of their life, and anything thats not is a bonus,

    but malicious damage is another thing
     
    Michael Mitchell likes this.