taking advantage of a landlord

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by Xenia IM, 11th Jun, 2015.

  1. Xenia IM

    Xenia IM Property Manager

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    In April this year we took over a privately managed property where the landlord told us that the tenant was not paying but she was unsure how much in debt the tenant actually was.

    When we calculated total arrears from the landlords bank statements (there were no other records), it turned out that the tenant was around $14000 in debt, that means that the tenant was in debt for around 12 months.


    After attending a tribunal case today, it was found that the first time a breach notice was served was when we took over in April 2015 and it should have been served in May 2014, therefore the landlord was found to be in breach of not mitigating losses and this restricts the total claim she can make against the tenant.

    The claim would now need to be through magistrates court as there is no insurance.

    Further, because there is no ingoing inspection, we are unable to claim damages to property - no proof of original condition.

    don't even get me started on the non existent water invoices - the tenant was not invoiced for water in the entire term of the tenancy!

    This was obviously a very badly managed property, there was poor record keeping, no ingoing inspection reports, no landlords insurance, not even full bond was taken. This landlord went on full trust that the tenant was going to do the right thing and the tenant took total advantage of her.

    The landlord is a friend of my mother in laws otherwise I would never go near such a badly managed place with missing paperwork.

    Trying to recoup as much as possible back for the landlord through higher courts - not sure how this one is going to end up.... probably a huge loss for the landlord, a judgement against the tenant and a waste of my time!
     
  2. Terry_w

    Terry_w Member

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    Probably under market rent too.

    I bet they thought they were smart because they were saving $300 per year in management fees!
     
  3. cu@thetop

    cu@thetop Member

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    You gotta love it when a Tribunal punishes the landlord for not kicking these people out earlier! Almost Monty Pythonesque.
     
  4. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates ...and people wonder why?

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    More like a fool and their money are soon parted.

    The tribunal is right. Just because the LL is ignorant of the laws doesn't make the LL right - there is plenty of case law around about mitigating losses and if you don't you're liable.
     
  5. Hooray

    Hooray Member

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    You cant protect stupid landlords from themselves.
     
  6. thatbum

    thatbum law talking guy

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    Who said that it restricts the total claim that can be made because of an owner's failure to mitigate?

    And also that it has to go to a higher court to make the full claim?

    I don't think either of those things are true off the top of my head.
     
  7. wylie

    wylie Member

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    You said the landlord is a friend of your mother... is this the only property she owns or manages? I cannot imagine how anybody could not realise they are "missing" $14K? Perhaps she is wealthy and doesn't check her balances because she doesn't need to? Bizarre!
     
  8. willair

    willair xx

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    Sounds like the landlord had a lot of spare time and money to miss 14k for one year don't they use a Accountant or pay Tax,and still be paying all the outgoings must be some measure of success when you don't have to worry about money..
     
  9. D.T.

    D.T. Property Lookerafterer

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    I haven't tested it, but it probably affects the insurance claim as that'll likely have conditions regarding pre-existing conditions and mitigating issues etc. However, i agree with you it shouldn't restrict claims from other avenues.
     
  10. perthguy

    perthguy Member

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    I am a self manager and I don't agree that landlord got 'taken advantage of'. If a landlord is not prepared to take a full bond and lodge it properly, do regular inspections and issue breach notices, they have no business self managing.
     
  11. Xenia IM

    Xenia IM Property Manager

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    She knew the tenant was in arrears and was not paying, the only thing she did about it was to call the tenant every week or so and ask for payment.

    she had no idea it was $14K until we calculated it from bank statements using dates.

    There was also a lot of cleaning and repairs to the property, around $5000 - none of that could be claimed as there was no ingoing inspection or photos as proof of original condition.
     
  12. thatbum

    thatbum law talking guy

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    Except the landlord herself can give evidence on the stand as proof. Or anyone else who saw the previous condition of the property.

    I don't understand why you absolutely need the photos or ingoing report.
     
  13. crest133

    crest133 Member

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    Sad situation which needs to be halted, everything recorded and stabilised in legal tenancy terms with Tribunal orders to cover the necessary clarifications.
    Good luck with the mess. Needs a very capable PM on the job stat.
    Cheers
    crest133