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From: Dianne Ferrara


reading Michael's comments on tenants and how 'creative' they can be I thought I might share my bizarre experience with my tenant (at a seaside location) and the trials and tribulations inflicted on me by VCAT!

It all started last year when having tried several despondent real estate agents I decided to manage the property on my own, I really wasn't happy with the way they had handled things. Sept last year I conducted an inspection and to my horror saw the extensive damage and vile state to which he had reduced my unit. When I politely and calmly (no exaggeration) asked him to fix the hole he had punched through my kitchen wall he turned to me and walloped me a couple of times taking a broom handle to me as well as his fists. I am not a big person, slight build 5ft 1 and I don't think that I am threatening or necessarily inspired that kind of effusive response!

This signalled the beginning of what was to be an incredibly stressful and extreme learning curve for me in the world of landlord versus tenant.

To cut a very long story short, he was given a rap on the knuckles by our very 'judicious' legal system after I had filed charges (I was really given the runaround when I tried to find out the results of the case...a story in itself), he caused in excess of $15k damage to the property, the insurance has found a pathetic loophole and believes it doesn't have to pay for damages (I am now taking them chances???) he managed to use the law to his advantage to squeeze 3 month's rent free, I had to appear in Bairnsdale, 4 hours from Melb for a number of VCAT hearings during which time I was made to feel like I had somehow done something wrong. I was actually berated by the Member on one occasion because I was seeking compensation of $15K, he obviously thought I was trying to rip the tenant off. He was so rude and brusque with me that I had to ask him to alter his tone, at the risk of having a contempt of court thrown in my face! He only gave me $5K in compensation even after I had shown him photographic evidence of the place.

I know now after having gone through this whole process that there were a few things I did wrong but by and large I came to unequivocally understand that the tenant is favoured by the system and that as a landlord you had better know your stuff right down to the last letter and dotted i or you simply don't stand a chance.

Apologies for such a drawn out story but this is the abridged version!I actually managed to get him out in June this year 10 months after my initial attempt!

I'll try to be more inspiring in my next post!

Cheers, Di
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Reply: 1
From: The Wife

Dear Di,

Your poor thing, I am gobsmacked! I cannot believe that happened to you, and that the 'officials' in this drama treated you so poorly.

I am utterly disgusted at the treatment you have received, this is the kind of thing that really turns my stomach.

I am fortunate that I have never personally experienced something like this.

It makes me think the 'old ways' of sending a big burly fella round to collect your rent, or to escort you into and around the property arent so bad an idea.

Sorry this happened to you Di, hope it hasnt swayed you to far of property investing.

Cheers, TW
~Life is a daring adventure, or nothing at all~
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Reply: 1.1
From: Sergey Golovin

Hi Di,

What did you do wrong? Why did they were so angry with you (The System).

You do not have to answer on that question if you do not feel like it.

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Reply: 1.1.1
From: Jacque Parker

Di, I too feel terrible for what happened to you. Did you have him put up on assault charges? I would have- what a beast!

Nivia is right, though- don't let it put you off property investing. The "bad" tenants are but a small minority, just as bad apple landlords are too. Keep at it, and make sure you take around a big chaperone next time, at every inspection...
Cheers, Jacque :)
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From: Anonymous


I totally feel for your side of the story. I had a tenant who decided it was a good idea to set fire to the living room with a cigarette. I have to say though that it was the agent who had to eventually kick him out, and it took a while to do so. The whole story was that his wife/partner left him and took the kids leaving him all alone in a 3 bedroom house. I didn't think that it was appropriate for one male to be in such a large house by himself anyway as I thought he wouldn't look after it and I was right! (I'm not prejudiced against males or anything however!)

The point I'm trying to make is that I have heard of landlords not only being attacked but killed by their tenants so I think the 7% or so you pay in commissions is very much worth it!

There's my two cents worth anyway.

I hope he didn't do any permanent damage to yourself physically or emotionally. I am in total sympathy for you.

Land Holdings.
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