Bond overdue 3 months - suretyship/ pledge

Hi,

We had become friends with our tenants and did not follow up on rent payments when they were in a financial stress situation.
We have sent reminder emails and "Form 11" but did not follow up until the wife left her husband and asked for divorce. We now find out from her that he is "owing a lot of people money" and she suggested to take certain valuable possessions from the house as "covernance" (not sure if spelled correctly, but I mean monetary securities) to ensure I will get my rent.

The husband is out of state working and informed me that my rent will be paid in full by end of the month, that's when he also have the removalist move his stuff.

I have close to 5000 AUD outstanding and since I had the chance to have a really tough word with the wife (who is currently paying back her half of the rent) I am in doubt I get his half of the rent.

Please don't tell me I should not have become friends with my tenants or I should have given them notice long ago - I got the lesson!

However, I would appreciate an answer to those 3 questions:
1. Can I take his "super expensive" fishing gear as security suretyship/ pledge) until I have received all my rent (I have no use for it, but I know that this would be an incentive on his side)
2. I have landlord insurance, however I don't know if the insurance pay me the owing rent and up to what amount; it says "included" in the cover. I am sure there must be a limit for landlord as stupid as I am...
3. Considering that amount of money is usually not owed, what kind of layer should I get? Is there a use of a lawyer, or should I just consider it as "expensive lesson learned"?

Any legal advise would be very much appreciated!

Cheers,
Anett
 
I have close to 5000 AUD outstanding and since I had the chance to have a really tough word with the wife (who is currently paying back her half of the rent) I am in doubt I get his half of the rent.

If both names are on the lease, there is no such thing as "her half of the rent". They are liable for ALL the rent and if he has left, then she is liable for all the rent. If he pays her, all is good, but she must pay all the rent to you and make arrangements with him for her own shortfall.

Please don't tell me I should not have become friends with my tenants or I should have given them notice long ago - I got the lesson!

However, I would appreciate an answer to those 3 questions:
1. Can I take his "super expensive" fishing gear as security suretyship/ pledge) until I have received all my rent (I have no use for it, but I know that this would be an incentive on his side)
2. I have landlord insurance, however I don't know if the insurance pay me the owing rent and up to what amount; it says "included" in the cover. I am sure there must be a limit for landlord as stupid as I am...
3. Considering that amount of money is usually not owed, what kind of layer should I get? Is there a use of a lawyer, or should I just consider it as "expensive lesson learned"?

I don't know the answers to the questions, but I would guess that if you are owed $5,000 then insurance may not cover you if you've failed to send appropriate notices at the right times, but you need to check your insurer.

I would not like to take his gear, but if the wife "gives" it to you, perhaps you could accept it. I don't know if that is legal or not.

The cost of getting a lawyer would possibly not be worth it. Get the wife out ASAP and get back what you can via QCAT or insurance would be my advice.

I stress that I am only guessing some of this. You need to call the RTA and your insurer first thing Monday morning and get moving on getting her out to minimise your losses (whether you are insured or not).
 
I'm with Wylie ... but want to clarify ... "taking" his fishing gear is stealing pure and simple. Don't do it.

If you went thru the correct process, took them to court and got a sheriffs order to seize, then you could take the gear then - but not before.
 
You can't take someones property without permission. I agree this would be risky. Ask him in writing. He may agree. Does the wife have any ownership rights to that property?

Insurance may not cover you because you didnt take appropriate steps.

Get a debt recovery lawyer to assist.
 
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