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Tenant didn't pay gas, default on my name.

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by ADLInvestor, 15th Feb, 2017.

  1. TMNT

    TMNT Well-Known Member

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    absolutely not!
     
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  2. ADLInvestor

    ADLInvestor Well-Known Member

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    It is small considering that 1 hour with a lawyer, but i'm still just a touch bitter seeing it's our first investment property.

    I know it's probably sarcasm, but i'm by no means rich.
     
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  3. Otie

    Otie Well-Known Member

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    That makes sense now. I guess luckily it's only $400, though still hurts!
     
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  4. Lemmy a fiver

    Lemmy a fiver Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for sharing your story, sorry about your gas bill loss.
    But I guess its another reminder to us all to be more vigilant rather than just to assume.
    There's every possibility that you will never receive the debt owed to you.
    But your story may well save many over the next few years from making exactly the same mistake.
    Thats what a community is all about, education/experiences both good & bad.
    Thanks again for sharing,
    It's much appreciated.
     
  5. snoopy

    snoopy Active Member

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    Did you open an account with Origin either over the phone or signing any documents? The builder can't open the account on your behalf unless you authorise them to.

    If in doubt I would ask Origin for evidence that you opened the account.

    If they can't provide this complain to the Energy Ombudsmen.

    Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW (EWON) for NSW and there are similar bodies in other states I believe
     
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  6. dabbler

    dabbler Well-Known Member

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    I had something similar happen, but with water, had a short term tenant, the nong conveyancer at the time advised everyone that our address was that of the IP

    Tenant knew the bill was coming, but binned them along with everything else, second tenant called when water was cut off, then we all worked out what was happening, could not do much anyway, as you have to give the invoices to them in a certain time frame for water, tenant was gaming the system. Should have made the PM pay as they should have been doing meter read and asking where the bill was.

    Lucky no default.

    I am wondering why anyone could open an account on your behalf ? if you authorised it, then you would have to cut it off too, I think they knowingly cheated you, everyone knows electricity and gas etc costs. So you prob have a leg to stand on, I would chase them just so they do not think they will always get away with it, maybe a debt collection agency will take it.
     
  7. flyhere

    flyhere Active Member

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    I have similar issue with my current tenants,is the water usage bill. Since the tenants moved into the house, they only pays around $10 per time when my PM issues a water bill to them.

    She has moved into the house for more than 1 year, recently PM asked me to offer lease to them again. I said ok, but I really hope the tenant will pay out all outstanding water bills. PM said she kept chasing up outstanding water bills and she always said she would pay them but the results I got were she has not paid so many piled up outstanding water bills.

    I asked PM if we could ask the tenant to pay one week extra rent to sit there to cover any outstanding water bills because the tenant says she is a primary school teacher and cannot answer phone calls etc and she is a single mother of 3 little children. When I asked PM how the one week extra rent conversation with the tenant, PM said the tenant refused to pay one week extra rent either. I said we cannot just let her play the game again and again, may we issue her a breaching lease letter? I started such a letter topic since last lease period, but my PM told me we could do it but Perth market is not good and it would take a few months to get a good tenant into the property, she suggested me not issuing a breaching lease letter to leave my property vacant for several months.

    Now every time I receive my rent statement, first thing I always check if any water bills got paid, but I have to repeat same story to PM again and again. So now I am the one to pay their water bills, because she does not pay water bills even though she agreed to pay water bills on the signed lease agreement.

    The water bill is under my personal name, she knows it very well, she does not need to pay water and still can use water all the time because my PM deduct water bills etc directly from my account all the time when the new bills come.

    What can I do? May I call water company to cut off the water so they cannot use water any more?

    Could any of you give me some better solution, I would be very appreciated!
     
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  8. Indifference

    Indifference Well-Known Member

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    Only a small portion of the water bill is paid by tenant (for water usage) if included in tenancy agreement & the bulk of the bill (service charges) is a landlord cost.
     
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  9. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    This /\/\/\

    How much water does she use. We pay about $200 each billing cycle and the tenants pay about $80 to $140 roughly, depending on usage. So even if I was paying the full account and not being reimbursed, it comes to less than a weeks' rent for the water for the whole year.

    The $80 is for two people, and the $140 is four people but they watch the water closely.

    Of course, if it was one of my sons, that would be different. They let the water flow like... water. :eek:
     
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  10. Perthguy

    Perthguy Well-Known Member

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    Oh wow! You have really been let down by your property manager. First off, @Indifference is right, tenants only have to pay water usage. The other components are water rates and a sewerage fee. You have to pay these. Your PM should have explained all of this to you.

    Next, you can call water corp and have the water usage bill put into the tenants name. Just to let you know you are still responsible for it and water corp will notify you if the tenant doesn't pay.

    Then if the tenant doesn't pay, order your PM to issue a breach notice! Also, don't let your PM bully you into keeping a tenant who is not paying their bills. Check out the market and see what your place should be renting for. If your tenant is paying above market, consider keeping them. If not, issue the breach. My IP in Perth went vacant the week before Christmas and I had a new tenant in 3 days. Sounds like you might need a new PM.
     
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  11. flyhere

    flyhere Active Member

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    Thanks Wylie! They use about $80 to $150 roughly per bill, I only suggested one week extra rent to sit there just in case she forgot to pay water bills actually she does it all the time. If she has paid water bills, then we do not need to touch her one week rent, if not, her one week rent is there to cover her unpaid bills but she refused to accept it and she agreed to pay water usuage bills all the time and again she will not pay bills at all.

    Thanks a lot Indifference! Yes, you are right, water usuage bill is a small portion of the big water bill. But our lease mentioned tenants responsibility to pay gas bills, water bills etc, she agreed to pay these bills when she signed the lease. She pays gas bills because gas bills are under her personal name, water bills are under my personal name, the difference is here.
     
  12. flyhere

    flyhere Active Member

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    Thanks a lot Perthguy!

    I raised such breaching lease issue to my property manager last year and recently again. They are small money each time, but it's a big pain all the time because I have to keep an eye on all water bills and rents statements all the time and repeat myself to PM all the time.

    My rent is normal market level in Perth, I told PM about my finding as well but she said the current tenant is looking after my property well and it is not easy to get a good tenant to fill up my property in short time if issuing a breaching lease letter to the current tenant....

    My property is in Armadale Perth, may I know which property manager you use for yours if you dont mind to share here?
     
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  13. dabbler

    dabbler Well-Known Member

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    Increase the rent t cover roughly the water bill.....
     
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  14. flyhere

    flyhere Active Member

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    Thanks a lot dabbler!
    Yes, you are absolutely right here! May I ask for a rent increase $10 per week during a new updated lease signed recently?
     
  15. Perthguy

    Perthguy Well-Known Member

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    Russell at Life Real Estate. He just finds me tenants and I take it from there. It would be worth giving him a call. Explain the situation and see what he says.
     
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  16. Perthguy

    Perthguy Well-Known Member

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    Not unless rent increases are part of the lease. Otherwise you are locked in at that price for the term of the lease.
     
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  17. flyhere

    flyhere Active Member

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    Thanks a lot Perthguy!

    I will give Russell at Life REal Estate a call on Monday and see what he says about my situation. Thanks for your generosity !
     
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  18. dabbler

    dabbler Well-Known Member

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    If you have already renewed the lease, then no.

    Just keep issuing the water bills, make sure you provide them on time to PM, let the PM invoice and collect what they can, I would not nag the PM, I see no reason why you can't take it at the end from them, they owe this money.

    Pay the bill when you get them, do not wait for the tenant to pay the bill, so your not behind, just tenant owes and in arrears, check the tenancy laws, you may need to follow procedure and send breach notices so your able to recoup at end.
     
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  19. teetotal

    teetotal airkeeping.com.au Business Member

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    This is the most concerning thing in the whole story. What kind of teachers we've got !! And education?? Is it really an education from such teachers?? Very disappointing.
     
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  20. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    For a total of between $320 to $600 (assuming $80-$150 per quarter) I would be annoyed, but if you lose this tenant and she pays regularly and looks after the place, I'd try to stay "zen" and realise the downside of breaching her means she "could" leave and then you've lost considerably more than the water she is using and which you are paying for.

    You could risk having the PM send a breach notice to see if this tells her you actually mean business, but to be honest, if she is a good tenant, is looking after the place and paying on time, I'm not sure I'd risk breaching her over the water.

    And if you increase her rent at next increase, you could find she just leaves those taps running a bit longer to spite you.

    So, technically, you can breach her and risk losing her, or factor in that it is costing you a week's rent each year in the water she is using. And just remember you aren't "earning" that water money either, so it isn't added to the taxable rental income.

    Just my thoughts.
     
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