Tenant breaking lease

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From: Hiram Ng


Howdy all,

An interesting situation I have. I am a landlord of a property in Melbourne.

A corporate tenant went 9 months into a 2 year lease and gave me 90 days notice they were breaking it. (Although they changed their minds several times within those 90 days and I also did not agree to the lease break).

Both my property agent and I expected under the Residential Tenancy Act that they have to pay rental until a new tenant was found. Now they are moving out tomorrow saying they've given their 90 days and they say they believe they don't have to pay anything else even though a new tenant isn't in yet.

The (Victorian) Tribunal gave me initial legal advice they think the tenant should keep paying, but when I rang my landlord insurance policy people they think that the 90 days was sufficient notice.

What do you think? Perplexed.

Hiram
 
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Reply: 1
From: Robert Forward


It sounds like you will have to take them to the small claims tribunal to continue receiving your rent.

This is a job for your RE Agent to do, it's what they get paid for and why we use them. Myself, I wouldn't put to much thought into what your Insurance company said, half of them are just people on phones and that's it, what do they really know about the legal side of rentals???

Talk with the VIC rental tribunal cause they are the right group to give you the correct information. Again this is the job of your RE Agent, you pay them so make them work for you.

I hope all goes well for you on this one mate.

Cheers
Robert

The Sydney "Freestylers" Group Leader.
 
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Reply: 1.1
From: Roderick Aguilar


Hiram,

In NSW, matters concerning Tenancy Agreements are handled by the Department of Fair Trading. They have a system in which disputes are resolved via the Residential Tribunal.

Best to get legal advice from your solicitor who specialises in property. If you don't have one, ring the Law Society in your State. For the Law Society of NSW the number is 9926 0333. Maybe you can ring this and get the Melb equivalent. The Law Society then asks for the area in which the contested property is in and they will post you (mail) three referrals of solicitors who practise in that area. Then you make three phone calls and pick the solicitor you like and make an appointment. I got all my legal questions answered.

Although, in NSW, you cannot (with exceptions of course) have your solicitor present on your behalf at the Residential Tribunal. You have to gather the evidence yourself and present your case.

If they are in breach of the Tenancy Agreement then you are entitled to their bond. But for damages in excess of the rental bond then I think it goes through to the Small Claims Tribunal/Court? Not sure about this as I haven't had to go that far.

Cheers,

Roderick Aguilar
 
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Reply: 2
From: John P


My reply is shorter than Rob Forward's but along the same lines. Your agent should know that the tenant has to continue paying rent until another tenant is found. If the ball has landed in YOUR court you should be very angry!!

If your agent does'nt know this, it's time to look for another agent. They need a major kick up the backside.

I had a tenant not long ago who left owing $800+ dollars. My agent has gone to court to obtain an order to garnish their wages.

Best of luck Hiram, I hope you recover your rents.


John
 
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Reply: 2.1
From: Roderick Aguilar


Hi All,

It's true that the above is the role of the Real Estate Agency as it is what you pay them for. But from my experience they are neither willing nor capable of taking the matter up. Many have never been to the Residential Tribunal let alone the Small Claims Tribunal. They try to discourage you from chasing the matter by saying, "You know that the law leans more towards protecting tenants against unscrupulous landlords." What are they saying?!... that I'm unscrupulous?!

They seemed to be on the side of the tenants. I then promptly reminded them that the tenants do not pay them, I do. In other words, they should be assisting me. Nevertheless, rather than them risk making a mistake and I lose my money, I took the matter up myself and got my money.

Cheers,

Roderick Aguilar.
 
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Reply: 2.1.1
From: Robert Forward


Hi Roderick

I agree that a large amount of management agents don't like going that far with chasing your money.

But to me it comes down to you having to manage your manager. When you sign up with a particular property manager I'd add certain clauses into the contract that make them stick to the contract. Things like 6 monthly reports (yes they are supposed to be done every 6 months but who really gets them???) and a few other things as well. And in the contract you put if they fail on any of these clauses the relinquish the management rights for the property so you simply walk in and take the management rights elsewhere and you don't pay them their commission as they have failed to live up to their side of the contract.

It's a matter of being very precise in what you want and telling them so, if they exceed your expectations then tell them so and reward them with a bunch of flowers, carton of beer or something like that. Then they will work even harder for you next time, this will inlcude also reletting your property as fast as possible. Tell me who's property will a property manager try and let first mine cause I'll give them a bunch of flowers or a case of beer or a gift voucher at a retail store, or someones that they don't get a present from.....

But this is just my way, others may do variations of what I do.

Cheers
Robert

The Sydney "Freestylers" Group Leader.
 
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Reply: 2.1.1.1
From: Roderick Aguilar


Hi Robert,

Perfect example of working smarter rather than harder! I'm also glad to see that you reward good performance and not just harp on incompetence.

This is similar to how I work but I must admit that I have applied it to my other business ventures but not on my property managers. Will be doing so in the near future. After that talk from Michael Pettett, property managers are very important in my wealth creation strategies and for minimising headaches. To be honest though, I have not found one property manager who is hungry and ambitious. Maybe, they'll just turn up when I'm not looking.

Cheers,

Roderick Aguilar.
 
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Sim

Administrator
Reply: 2.1.1.2
From: Sim' Hampel


I can't believe how slack property managers in states other than SA are... in Adelaide we expect quarterly inspections done, and we GET quarterly inspections. It has always been this way from when I was a tenant for many years, through to now also being a landlord.

As a tenant here in Sydney, the real estate agent managing the unit we rent has not performed a property inspection now in over 2 years. Admittedly, we are keeping the place in great condition... but that's not really the point is it ?

*whinge_mode = off*

 
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Reply: 2.1.1.2.1
From: Gee Cee Clay


How about instead of flowers you take the property manageress away for a lovely weekend.?



And Sim. Did you ever get that Harley in the lounge room back together?


Happy New Year


Gee Cee
 
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Sim

Administrator
Reply: 2.1.1.2.1.1
From: Sim' Hampel


We just spread sawdust over the oil-soaked carpet... we find it more homely anyway, and it certainly is easier to clean than carpet.

 
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Reply: 2.1.1.2.1.1.1
From: Michael G


Sim,

And the goats and sheep in the family room just love it I bet!

Michael G
 
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Sim

Administrator
Reply: 2.1.1.2.1.1.1.1
From: Sim' Hampel


Sheep ? In my family room ? How dare you !
I demand an apology (as do the goats).

The nerve of some people... sheesh.

 
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