Tenant wants a week's free rent after storm water damaged their belongings

Hi all, I am new here, looking for some advice.
I am in Victoria and have an IP in Cairns, QLD. I had tenants move in, in January this year on a 6 month lease. They had some gear stored in the garage during the early stages of moving in and it had been raining heavily causing the gutters & downpipes to be blocked and flood the garage causing some of their gear to get wet.

We had our PM send out a handyman urgently to fix the problem and this cost $264 so not worth claiming on the insurance as it wasn't worth paying the excess.

As I'm in another state, I rely heavily on my PM in QLD to look after things (which is their job). Anyway when I was initially told about the flooding, I emailed the PM and asked how bad the damage was to the tenants belongings. However I didn't get a response so I assumed it had been nothing too bad and since I had the problem fixed, I thought all was good.

The tenants have been behind on the rent since February due to the husband being retrenched however has since found a new job so am told by the PM they will catch up by the end of May. Totally understand as I am compassionate about the situation so wasn't fussed.

Now have just received an email from PM saying the tenants would like a week's free rent for the damage caused to their gear at the start of the lease. I have no idea how bad or what sort of damage and to what kind of items as I have never been told details or seen pictures. I understand that a Landlord should take responsibility however wondering why they did not ask when it happened and not some 4 months later.

Wondering if any of you have some advice? The rent is at $360 p.w. Mind you, I have still not made a cent since the property has been rented out as I'm still paying for pool cleaning and pool pump repair for the property.

I feel like I should ask for pictures and more detail before making a decision. I don't want my tenants to be upset however I feel like I have been very accomodating so far. Appreciate any advice :)
 
I can see Dazz having fun with this one.

Can I just ask why the storm is your responsiblity? Did the tenants not have contents insurance? If not, that's their problem I would have thought. I am a new landlord myself and think I'm pretty nice, but after reading this board for some time now, I can see you have to be tough at times otherwise, unfortunately there are people who will take all they can get. My guess is you need to start getting tougher, and I don't think you are responsible for any of the damage, and if you're not, don't let them walk all over you.
 
Did you cause the rain? I'm guessing not! Why on earth do you think you should be paying compensation? They should have covered themselves with contents insurance. And they would not be able to claim 4 months after the fact with no evidence of damage and value of goods.

I'm guessing that they are taking advantage of the fact that you were nice about the arrears when the Hubby was off work. Now he's back working they are looking for excuses to not pay what they owe.
 
Since the internal flooding was caused by blocked downpipes and gutters, you are probably responsible, at least partially. I would seek some sort of proof of loss after this time. What does your PM advise? They are the professionals you pay to manage your property.

Note to self - be sure to keep up maintenance to avoid future problems, particularly in an area prone to tropical downpours.
Marg
 
You are right guys, it should only be fair if they can provide me with proof otherwise I might stand my ground on this one. PM hasn't given me any advice, just asked me the question yes/no? *sigh*

P.S. Tenants are also asking for $150 deducted off the rent since they mowed the lawns at the beginning of the lease (large area). I did ask my PM to arrange a mowing company to mow the lawns for $150 so I assumed that was done & I was still waiting on the receipt to show up.

Again, four months later I'm now told the tenants mowed it themselves and want the $150 off. PM says it's a good deal. If the mowing company had done it for me, at least I could claim it at Tax time with the receipt from a company. :confused:

*more sighing*
 
The tenants have most likely getting advice from their friend and family.
Don't even consider giving them a free week of rent.
A garage is for a car, not for what they used it for.
Give them a notice for rental arrears.

Don't feel sorry for them...look at how they just repaid you for your compassion.
What a slap in the face.
Don't worry about your PM either. It's not their money, when they suggest being easy on the tenant.
 
I suppose it may be possible they could be doing a dodgy, but it's more likely they didn't have their contents insured in the first place. I think they just don't want to pay what they owe and my mind is made up on what I'm going to tell my PM (Thanks guys).

However I'm still inclined to allow them their 'mowing fee'....still not sure about that one. :confused:
 
$150 of the rent is the same as a tax deduction (ie $150 less rent to pay tax on). However, sounds like you have a lazy PM, I'd fix that problem first!
 
Instruct the pm to tell them you will need a list and photos of all items damage so you can give it to your insurance company who will probably send an assessor around to inspect the goods.

If you were going to pay $150 to mowing company and they did the same job instead I think that is a fair claim, but let them know you need a tax receipt so you can claim.
 
Hi Raths187,
How about getting a new Property Manager?
One who is working for you, not for the tenant?
It's easy - you just find another one, tell them you want to change, and they handle it for you.
These people are taking your fees and not doing their job.
It really gets my goat.
Cheers, Medine
 
You are right guys, it should only be fair if they can provide me with proof otherwise I might stand my ground on this one. PM hasn't given me any advice, just asked me the question yes/no? *sigh*

P.S. Tenants are also asking for $150 deducted off the rent since they mowed the lawns at the beginning of the lease (large area). I did ask my PM to arrange a mowing company to mow the lawns for $150 so I assumed that was done & I was still waiting on the receipt to show up.

Again, four months later I'm now told the tenants mowed it themselves and want the $150 off. PM says it's a good deal. If the mowing company had done it for me, at least I could claim it at Tax time with the receipt from a company. :confused:

*more sighing*
Quite simple,ask the tenants for a receipt for the lawn mowing,end of story,willair..
 
Ha-Ha Dazz, please don't rub it in.....

No really, when I have to practically beg my PM for my monthly statements to know what's going on with my money I do sense something is wrong however that's a whole other thread!

The tenants lease expires next month and I will have a new PM if the current one doesn't lift their game. Who knows maybe I'll have new tenants as well if they're mad at me for not controlling the weather :rolleyes:

Yeesh! why can't it ever be simple?

Cheers guys for your advice so far, I am a full on novice.
:D
 
A natural disaster isn't anyone's fault. Maybe God i guess, tell them to sue him. If they had let the insurance company know about the flooding immediately, and provided evidence such as photos or have the assessor inspect, then they'd be covered - not your problem.

I'd only let them receive $150 off the rent for mowing, with written confirmation from PM that lawn was never mowed by a contractor.

What if hubby didn't find a job yet :confused: Would they say "We can't pay the full rent if one of us have no job, so the least you could do is let us pay half price?"

Lease is expiring?!? Perfect :cool: What i'd do?

1) Find new PM, someone who is appauled by what has been going on.
2) Tell them you want to send notice, and get someone decent in there.

There are plenty of tenants around that are happy to pay thier rent on time, and not make dodgy claims to get out of paying rent either.

I didn't know there were PM's out there that were so bad, that you would have to even ask, let alone beg them for statements :eek:

OR

1) Keep current PM
2) I'll take 6 months off and holiday in Cairns, and you can be my super sweet and extra generous compassionate landlord! WILL BE BEST HOLIDAYS EVA :D
 
The tenants lease expires next month and I will have a new PM if the current one doesn't lift their game. Who knows maybe I'll have new tenants as well if they're mad at me for not controlling the weather :rolleyes:


:D

No maybe. New PM and new tenant is what is required here. Nothing more. These tenants are just looking for excuses to not only get out of paying, but to also guilt you into not listing them on the data base. Toughen up! Did you buy the place to be a charity for the 'poor' tenant, or for your own benefit?
 
No maybe. New PM and new tenant is what is required here. Nothing more. These tenants are just looking for excuses to not only get out of paying, but to also guilt you into not listing them on the data base. Toughen up! Did you buy the place to be a charity for the 'poor' tenant, or for your own benefit?

Exactly.
You may think some of us have no heart,and are mean.
We have been doing this long enough, and have heard the excuses over and over and over ..... we don't really care.
They signed a contract, and we signed a contract.
If you want to survive, you are going to need to say NO.
Tenants are not your friends.They don't give a rat's a** about you.
All they want is to live in your property for the least amount of money.
It's up to you to make sure they pay the most for it.

Your PM doesn't sound good, but none of them sound good to me anyways.
 
Yeesh! why can't it ever be simple?

It can be with the right PM and right tenant. I've had my place one year now, good PM and excellent tenants (who ask for very little, always pay 1-3 months in advance, and look after the place). I agree with the others, you need a new PM (this one sounds USELESS!) and a new tenant.

With the lawn mowing, if you must give them the $150, ask for an invoice. You can claim a tax deduction (but as someone else pointed out, end result is the same if you receive less income anyhow), but also ensures they don't get out of doing a dodgy and claiming the $150 cash in hand. It's income to them too and they should pay tax on it. They sound like they're using any excuses they can to pay as little as they can. As also pointed out, you don't run a charity and your generosity and kindness is being taken advantage of. The PM should be pulling them into line and not bothering you with this nonsense.
 
Ha-Ha Dazz, please don't rub it in.....

No really, when I have to practically beg my PM for my monthly statements to know what's going on with my money I do sense something is wrong however that's a whole other thread!

The tenants lease expires next month and I will have a new PM if the current one doesn't lift their game. Who knows maybe I'll have new tenants as well if they're mad at me for not controlling the weather :rolleyes:

Yeesh! why can't it ever be simple?

Cheers guys for your advice so far, I am a full on novice.
:D
It all comes back to control,you are either in control or someone is controling you,you own the property not the slack PM,all they do in real terms is collect the rent,try and act important,and half the time do nothing but pick up the rent,bank the funds slice 10% from you
for 5 minutes work every few weeks not a bad job if you have over 1000
investors under management-$$$$-and for some high flying Brisbane
Agents that's about all that is keeping them above the waterline..
Once you do the numbers on sales volumes per area,per agents that work the area only 10% of agents make what the other 90%try to make.. willair
willair..
 
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