All Topics / Help Needed! / HELP! Short Term Tenant refuses to vacate :-/

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  • Profile photo of elizabethgrayelizabethgray
    Member
    @elizabethgray
    Join Date: 2011
    Post Count: 2

    Hi All,

    6 weeks ago I allowed a ‘friend in need’ to move into a semi-furnished property I own. This was a casual arrangement (my mistake) and there is no Tenancy Agreement in place. She pays minimal rent on a week x week basis and has verbally agreed to pay the water costs (as the water would have disconnected completely had she not moved in).

    To cut a long (and nasty) story short – she has done nothing but complain about the property since she moved in and on Tuesday she told me she will not be paying the water bill that had arrived and wants to move out. I agreed.

    Yesterday I phoned her to ask for a date when she would vacate the property as I wish to offer it to a Flood Affected Family. She said she ‘didn’t know’ so I suggested that 1 week was a reasonable timeframe for her to move. I sensed at the time that she had changed her mind and didn’t really wish to vacate after all.

    She is paid up until Saturday (tomorrow), so instead of having her pay another weeks rent (and stay on longer) I offered for her to have the next few days free so that she could pack up and move on. We agreed that she would vacate the property by next Thursday 20th Jan.

    Last night she called me back to tell me that she would NOT move out on Thursday and that I couldn’t make her. She has told me she will push the rent money under my door and stay on another week, or until she saw fit to move!!

    She has been told I have to give her 2 months notice?! I have checked this today and have been told different things!. As far as I am concerned this is a Short Term Let which does not fall under the standard Tenancy Laws.

    Please help as I’d really like to offer this home to a family that would be grateful for it!

    Lizzie

    Profile photo of KlahKlah
    Member
    @klah
    Join Date: 2010
    Post Count: 40

    Obviously not rented through a property manager. Ring the police! She is squatting. Just be prepared for damages because by the sounds of it she won't be happy moving out.

    On a moral level it probably is worth giving your friend an opportunity to find another place to live. 2 weeks is probably a reasonable amount of time. It may also help minimise any further trouble. Use wisdom!

    Use a property manager next time!

    Profile photo of elizabethgrayelizabethgray
    Member
    @elizabethgray
    Join Date: 2011
    Post Count: 2

    Cheers Kaylah. She will be moving back into her Mother’s house (where is moved out from), so there is no ‘excuse’ for dragging her feet. I’d rather avoid involving the police if possible – as I’m certain they have enough on their plate at the moment.

    Totally agree about using a Property Manager – my mistake for not insisting on this procedure.

    Thanks for your feedback…

    Profile photo of Jacqui MiddletonJacqui Middleton
    Participant
    @jacm
    Join Date: 2009
    Post Count: 2,539

    I agree.  She is squatting.  Why should you pay bills for her out of the kindness of your heart?

    Jacqui Middleton | Middleton Buyers Advocates
    http://www.middletonbuyersadvocates.com.au
    Email Me | Phone Me

    VIC Buyers' Agents for investors, home buyers & SMSFs.

    Profile photo of MicahRMicahR
    Participant
    @micahr
    Join Date: 2010
    Post Count: 4

    Hi Lizzie
    Sorry to hear about that.
    I would get in contact with a smart property agent to ask them some advice.
    I do short term holiday accomodation as well but check your legal rights first. 
    I have had a similar situation with family in one of my rental properties when i ignored good advice.
    GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING……..
    Hope it all goes ok for you
    Mike

    Profile photo of TerrywTerryw
    Participant
    @terryw
    Join Date: 2001
    Post Count: 16,213

    Be very careful and see legal advice. Ring up the tenant union of your state and pretend you are a person in her shoes. Tell them the owner is trying to kick you out and you dont' want to go etc and see what they advise. Then work out ways around this. Also try to be nice just to get her out. Once she is out you can tell her off.

    You may even be able to wait until she leaves the building and then just change the locks – but seek legal advice and notify the police beforehand.

    Terryw | Structuring Lawyers Pty Ltd / Loan Structuring Pty Ltd
    https://terryw.com.au/
    Email Me

    Lawyer, Mortgage Broker and Tax Advisor (Sydney based but advising Aust wide) http://Terryw.com.au/

    Profile photo of dtrumpdtrump
    Participant
    @dtrump
    Join Date: 2010
    Post Count: 50

    Is the electricity in your name?….cut the power (maybe a last resort)

    Profile photo of sapphire101sapphire101
    Participant
    @sapphire101
    Join Date: 2006
    Post Count: 203

    For a mth to mth lease, 28 days notice in Victoria – in writing – from her or you. 60 days with a fixed term lease.
    If she doesnt pay rent in 14 days from due date, then a notice to evict thereafter.
    Avoid police they will tell you it is a civil matter – stupid advise.
    Look up landlords rights on govt website for your state.

    Good luck

    Profile photo of fredo_4305fredo_4305
    Participant
    @fredo_4305
    Join Date: 2009
    Post Count: 336

    Get a couple of big burly guys to go squat with her………………..  She will leave fairly quickly……..

    Profile photo of xdrewxdrew
    Participant
    @xdrew
    Join Date: 2010
    Post Count: 479

    All i can say to this is .. friend or no friend .. you should always run a standard Tenancy Agreement. It not only provides a legal entry clause, but also provides a legal exit clause. There is a reason why people write these nice big wads of legalese on paper. Its to make sure you and your tenant have a leg to stand on should there come to disputes.

    As it is .. regardless of the existance of a tenancy agreement or not .. the tenant still falls under the terms of the consumer protections available through the Tenancy Acts in place. This means should you wish to evict her you must issue formal notice through REGISTERED mail of the required amount of days (varies as per state). Please note that registered mail part, it means she must either sign or someone must sign for her on recept of the letter. It also provides evidence that you have sent the letter. RETAIN a copy of all correspondance from this point on, if she was to take you to court it might just save your ass.

    If the formal period of notice expires with no response from the tenant then you can go to further measures such as requesting a formal eviction. DO NOT UNDERTAKE STUPID MEASURES. This tenant is in breach of an informal agreement but she still has rights.

    If its a matter of moving her as quickly as possible, bribe her with up to a months rent (no more) for moving expenses and transit to a new place. Its not what u wanted, but sometimes money solves complex problems quicker.

    Finally friends and money are always a bad mix. Be 100% careful when you cross that line.

    Profile photo of g0biing0biin
    Member
    @g0biin
    Join Date: 2010
    Post Count: 57

    Yeh, I dont know to much about the legal side, but two suggestions I would make or agree with is.
    1.be nice.professional
    2. Record your phone conversations

    Profile photo of sonyasalsonyasal
    Member
    @sonyasal
    Join Date: 2008
    Post Count: 421

    be careful with regards to recording phone conversations. When i was going through a nasty divorce i recorded conversations that I had with my ex when he was abusing and threatening me as 'evidence' of his behaviour and attitude to me, his children and the court orders. i was told by my solicitor that unless I had his permission to record the conversations I was breaking the law!

    Profile photo of sonyasalsonyasal
    Member
    @sonyasal
    Join Date: 2008
    Post Count: 421

    BTW, has she vacated yet?

    Profile photo of TerrywTerryw
    Participant
    @terryw
    Join Date: 2001
    Post Count: 16,213
    g0biin wrote:
    Yeh, I dont know to much about the legal side, but two suggestions I would make or agree with is.
    1.be nice.professional
    2. Record your phone conversations

    see Telecommunications interception Act.

    Terryw | Structuring Lawyers Pty Ltd / Loan Structuring Pty Ltd
    https://terryw.com.au/
    Email Me

    Lawyer, Mortgage Broker and Tax Advisor (Sydney based but advising Aust wide) http://Terryw.com.au/

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