Forums / Property Investing / Help Needed! / Dealing with pedantic tenants

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  • Profile photo of rachelrodriguesrachelrodrigues
    Participant
    @rachelrodrigues
    Join Date: 2012
    Post Count: 10

    I was wondering if anybody has ever had to deal with such tenants and offer some advice on how best to deal with them.

    They have a 12 month lease on my property, with about 3 months remaining. Barely a week goes by without them ringing up and submitting a maintenance request. What will generally happen is the item will be fixed and then about a month later they will claim it is beyond repair and has to be replaced. Also, when maintenance issues are attended to they will complain about the quality of work and want the work redone.

    I recently went and inspected the property and it is in really good condition and I totally disagree with some of their requests and think they are wanting renovations done to older features of the house the are still in reasonable condition.

    Should I just ignore such requests and get the property manager to issue them with a notice to leave closer to the lease expiry date?

    I’ve tried saying no to unreasonable requests and they will spin some story to the property manager and she tends to side with the tenants,
    or in some cases has gone ahead and authorised items that I’ve said no to.

    Profile photo of BennyBenny
    Moderator
    @benny
    Join Date: 2002
    Post Count: 1,366

    Hi Rachel,
    Even as I was reading your post, I was wondering about the integrity of your Property Manager.

    … and she tends to side with the tenants, or in some cases has gone ahead and authorised items that I’ve said no to.

    If you don’t already have such in place, DO set a maximum repair cost the PM can spend without calling you to affirm a payment (anything above that figure – say $200 – they MUST call you).

    Some PM’s (with no integrity) seem to live really well by employing their “tradie mates” on a regular basis, and collecting a kickback from them for each higher-than-usual-cost repair done.

    It seems to me you really need to take back control from all of them – and that could include advising the tenants that you won’t be renewing their lease in three months time (and that you will look favourably on them leaving early too – i.e. you would not invoke “broken lease rules” – you want them out as quick as possible). And be looking out for your NEXT Property Manager at the same time (the current one might need 90 days notice in writing prior to the expiration of their service.

    It sounds to me like they have all been taking you for a ride – time to tell them to “Get off the bus!”

    Benny

    Profile photo of StevenSteven
    Participant
    @steven1982
    Join Date: 2017
    Post Count: 174

    My father had a friend who had a tenant who lived in his property for free for over 3 months, and yet when going to legal battle, the court ruled that “because the tenant doesn’t have a job and is in no condition to make payment anywhere, therefore the landlord cannot evict the tenant until the tenant finds a job”, and guess what? The tenant happily plays computer game all day without trying to find a job until the end of the lease, at which case my father’s friend promptly paid an eviction squad to boot the tenant out by force, because otherwise the tenant will just keep staying there for free.

    I think Australian laws are not very landlord friendly in this regard.

    Profile photo of rachelrodriguesrachelrodrigues
    Participant
    @rachelrodrigues
    Join Date: 2012
    Post Count: 10

    I have a maximum amount to spend without need for authorisation set at $250. I think it is poor management rather than lack of integrity that’s the issue, but all the same I intend to find another PM.

    The tenant is very demanding and forceful and the PM young and inexperienced, so they get steamrolled.

    Profile photo of BennyBenny
    Moderator
    @benny
    Join Date: 2002
    Post Count: 1,366

    Hi Rachel,
    Sounds like you have them sussed – if it is simply lack of experience on the part of the PM, then that can be overcome (but only if their Manager gives a stuff). i.e. Is there anyone more senior who can guide the current PM? Maybe you are going to flick them anyway, but it would be good to share your concerns with the Manager (if they care at all). Certainly finding a good PM is one of the thing that can assure your success in property investing. I’ve found PM’s should be at least 30 years of age before they “come into their own” – any younger than that, and their inexperience lets them down.

    The tenants do seem to be the main problem …

    Benny

    Profile photo of Colin RiceColin Rice
    Participant
    @fms
    Join Date: 2011
    Post Count: 338

    Find another PM to work with and consider not renewing the lease for the current tenants.

    Property investing generally has 3 “business partners” in the equation;

    1. The tenant

    2. The tax man

    3. Financier

    In your case its #1 and they dont seem like an appropriate business partner so have them replaced with one that is.

    Colin Rice | CDR Finance
    http://cdrfinance.com.au/
    Email Me | Phone Me

    Perth Based Mortgage Broker - Investment Property Finance Specialist | E: [email protected]

    Profile photo of Kym RyanKym Ryan
    Participant
    @kymryan
    Join Date: 2017
    Post Count: 1

    Hi Rachel,

    I can understand your frustration with the situation. You sound like a great landlord who is attending to issues as they arise but something doesn’t sound right with the situation. The fact that the property manager is siding with the tenants is a major concern as they are employed to work on your behalf. For them to go ahead with works without your authorisation is also a red flag.

    The property manager is required to advise the tenant that the property is as it was when they rented it and that you have been maintaining the home where required and they can’t expect everything to be replaced every time there is an issue with an item in the home. You need to be very careful when issuing a tenant with a notice to vacate as they may see it as a response to their requests and they can contact Consumer Affairs about their rights. It seems that your tenant needs to be handled by an experienced property manager who will carefully manage the situation with the ultimate goal to be to persuade the tenant to vacate.

    Communication and trust is very important between the landlord and agent. You are paying the property managers wages so it isn’t too much to expect some respect and good service.

    Kym

    Kym Ryan | Ryan Property Specialists
    http://ryanproperty.com.au
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    Your investment, our property management priority

    Profile photo of Nigel KibelNigel Kibel
    Participant
    @nigel-kibel
    Join Date: 2005
    Post Count: 1,425

    Great Advice Kym

    I also think part of the problem is that many Property Management companies and just a division of a sales company. Many owners of these companies see their property management divisions as an opportunity of getting more listings. Thats why you are often dealing with inexperienced property managers

    I prefer to deal with management companies that specialise in Property Management and do not focus on Sales. I can see that your company is a management company and I for one look forward to your experience and advise on this forum. Welcome and continue to share your knowledge.

    Nigel Kibel | Property Know How
    http://propertyknowhow.com.au
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    Profile photo of JackJack
    Participant
    @jackmurphy
    Join Date: 2017
    Post Count: 4

    As a Tenant myself, I would never dream of being such a pain in the a**.

    Maybe it is time to start looking elsewhere for a more favourable property management team.

    As Nigel said, many property managers are only a subsidiary of a sales organisation. A lot of Agency principals come from a purely sales background and either don’t fully understand or don’t care about property management. Under these circumstances, it is easy to see that the property management department might not be the best available. If you can ind yourself a boutique property management agency that specializes in managing property I’m sure you will have a much smoother experience.

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