Property investing is not 100 per cent risk free and every now and again you get a bad tenant. Here's what happened when a tenant 'did a runner' on one of our clients...
Blogger: Todd Hunter, director, wHeregroup
It’s the little wins that make life so much more enjoyable.
We received some great news from our Mandurah property manager on Wednesday that put a huge smile on my face.
Property investing is not 100 per cent risk free and every now and again you get a bad tenant. All the checks in the world won’t discover everything about a tenant, nor tell you that their life may go through a massive change. Things that can occur are job losses, marriage break ups, family deaths etc…
So about a year ago we had a tenant do the runner on a client's house… meaning they simply stopped paying their rent and walked out. They didn’t trash the house, but they did leave it in a complete mess.
wHeregroup was on the case the minute we heard.
Have no fear, we questioned the property managers hard about their routine inspections but they provided proof the property wasn’t kept in that condition on the last inspection.
Moving on… the property managers applied for the courts to have the tenants pay for any damages and the cost of cleaning the property, along with loss of rent and and costs incurred in getting new tenants into the property.
I was in WA when this happened and went to inspect the property myself to take notes and a ton of photos. I wanted every little thing noted on the court application so the property was in as good, if not better condition, once we had all the work done.
The property was back in action within 2 weeks and a new moved in within 2 weeks after that and at a better rent per week too.
Now this was all done, the fun part started, finding these scum bags… and yes the property managers did. What the tenants didn’t think of when they executed this highly strategic move was that on the lease application form they must include their employment details along with a relatives home address and phone numbers.
So they were served with court papers, showing court appearance dates and that the owner was taking them to court for all the costs associated. With the loss of rent, cleaning, small damages and time to relet this added up to several thousand dollars.
Money I am sure they thought they would get away with…
So sure enough our property managers attended court on behalf of the owners but the tenants did not and the judge did not like that one little bit and granted the owners full compensation for all of the costs incurred.
The process from here is that the property managers then engage a debt collector to then go to the tenants and chase the money up. But these tenants had no intentions of paying so then the extreme occurred.
A court Bailiff was then summoned to go pay the scum bags a little visit and not wanting to waste time, he knocked on the door with no response. In the driveway were several vehicles, so the Bailiff simply backed his tow truck up and took to the Commodore, his Holden Statesmen, a Mercedes, a box trailer and a Toyota Ute. Yep, he literally hooked it up and drove off with their cars…
Now the Vehicles will be sold with all profits going to the owners, and again if there is any short fall, the Bailiff will be back to keep collecting.
It’s not often you hear of a owner win on a rental property, but the WA market has certainly stepped up their game and made these scum bags pay for their stuff ups.
Renting a property from somebody else is a privilege…
About the Blogger
Director and location researcher for the wHeregroup, Todd Hunter had accumulated a personal property portfolio consisting of 50 properties by the age of 31.
He is a regular commentator for Smart Property Investment.