Two landlord issues - for anyone interested.

We have had two things happen this past week which I thought I would share because I am interested when real life issues pop up and are put here on SS so that I know how others would deal with these things.

We self-manage, so both these issues have come directly to us as owners. I don't know how they would be treated if they had been directed to a property manager, and would love to hear the opinions of the PMs here in this regard.

1. Urban Cowboy did insulation quotes on several properties for us back in January. He had a lot of trouble getting access to the "princess" tenant property. He was not getting calls returned, and had real issues getting into the roof to measure and quote. This held up all the quotes and finally, when he gained access, he was able to get quotes to us for several houses, which we accepted.

The day we accepted the quotes (or the day after?) the government froze everything, so nothing more has been done. We were hoping that as we had accepted the quotes, that we may still be able to have the jobs done, but as time goes by, that looks less likely, so we will go back to the drawing board and wait until the government offers another scheme. Meanwhile, the tenants in those houses are no worse off. We don't plan on paying for insulation ourselves.

The one tenant who has asked twice now about "when is the insulation coming?" is...... guess which one?....... the princess tenant who blocked access.

Just this week my brother got the question again when he was mowing the yard. He plans on letting them know that as it took several weeks to gain access, that the reason they (and everyone else who was looking forward to having insulation) will now miss out is PURELY because they blocked access until they were good and ready. At the time, Urban Cowboy and I discussed delivering an "entry" notice, but it didn't come to that.

I take a small delight in knowing that these tenants are the ones who are now probably wishing they had been more co-operative :p.

2. Received a letter Friday demanding payment of $638 for half of our share of 20m of fencing that is to be "repaired" at a total cost of $6388. Of course, this is 72m of fencing around a unit complex of which 20m joins our back yard, and is not a repair, but seemingly a brand new fence. We popped over to the IP to see that the fence is perfectly fine, with two palings needing re-nailing but with, I reckon, another ten years left in it. It is a sound, solid timber fence. The neighbours, seeing us in the yard, also expressed their shock at the tone of their letter and immediate thoughts of "get stuffed".

I spoke to the neighbours last night, and they also are not prepared to pay for replacement of the fence at the rear of their property. We have a letter ready to go to the estate agent, who I believe, may not have even seen the fence, but is writing to us on behalf of the body corporate of the unit complex behind our houses.

We plan on sending a couple of photos with our letter to show that the fence is in good condition. I believe there may be parts of the fence that require fixing/replacing, but certainly not the 20 metres at the rear of our property or the neighbouring property. To replace this section would mean pulling down a perfectly good fence. It is not brand new, but certainly has a lot of years left in it.

If they want a brand new fence for reasons of aesthetics, they can jolly well pay for it themselves.

I don't know if we will have a fight on our hands regarding the fence, but I believe photos proving the fence is fine should stand us in good stead.

To be honest, the most upsetting part is the way the letter of demand was written. The estate agent needs a lesson in good manners and letter writing. If the letter was nicer, the outcome would be no different, but the tone of the letter made me initially think "get stuffed" too, like the neighbour, so it wasn't just me :).

I would love to know what would have happened if I had a limit of say $700 on repairs with a PM. Would they actually go and look at the fence? I would hope so, but curious now?
 
Hi Wylie

First issue - insulation: fob it off - tell her that it will no longer go due to unforseen circumstances.

Secondly - fencing - so it hasn't been replaced yet.

They need to:
1. be notified in WRITING
2. provided with (at least) two quotes

If the fence is still in a good condition - as you say - you can take the picture and log it - then respond that you will not replace the fence. If the other party wishes to proceed, it will be at their cost.

If they can justify that the fence no longer serves it's function - or may cause damage to persons or property - and they follow the procedures above - then they can take you to the Magistrates court under the QCAT system to seek remibursement...but as the fence is still in good/safe condition - no need to replace.

For more information: Fencing Fact Sheet - Qld Justice: http://www.bsa.qld.gov.au/SiteColle...th your Neighbours about Fences and Trees.pdf

If they have given the go ahead and paid for it, they can't do anything about it now - you do not by law have to pay for it and they have no legal recourse to seek your payment.

Hope this clarifies helps.
 
We had a neighbour who demanded a new fence. The old one was probably in a similar condition to your one. It had a few holes dug underneath it and a few palings that had come off. Both the holes and the missing palings were from their dog.

We said that the fence was fine, it just needed a repair in one section. They then went ahead and got a new colourbond one to match the one on the other side of their home. The first we knew about it was a letter they sent to our PM wanting payment. The PM was great, she sent them back a letter and told them that we had not agreed to it and would not be paying. So........we now have an ugly green fence at our IP, but didn't pay anything for it.
 
First issue - insulation: fob it off - tell her that it will no longer go due to unforseen circumstances.

Thanks lura. I was hoping you would reply to this. Not only are we telling her it will not be happening, we will tell her the reason it didn't happen before the plug was pulled was due to her not allowing us in to measure :D. I know it is naughty of me, but I kind of think that is karma biting her.

Secondly - fencing - so it hasn't been replaced yet.

They need to:
1. be notified in WRITING
2. provided with (at least) two quotes

If the fence is still in a good condition - as you say - you can take the picture and log it - then respond that you will not replace the fence. If the other party wishes to proceed, it will be at their cost.

Thanks lura. They sent their rather rude letter of demand, together with two quotes, and it has not been started yet.

If they can justify that the fence no longer serves it's function - or may cause damage to persons or property - and they follow the procedures above - then they can take you to the Magistrates court under the QCAT system to seek remibursement...but as the fence is still in good/safe condition - no need to replace.

For more information: Fencing Fact Sheet - Qld Justice: http://www.bsa.qld.gov.au/SiteColle...th your Neighbours about Fences and Trees.pdf

If they have given the go ahead and paid for it, they can't do anything about it now - you do not by law have to pay for it and they have no legal recourse to seek your payment.

Hope this clarifies helps.

The existing fence (at least the bit that adjoins our property and the neighbour's property (40 metres in total of the 72 metres to be "repaired") is fine and absolutely not needing replacement (or repair - except for two palings that need re-nailing).

With our photos tucked away, even if they take us to QCAT I believe they don't have a case.

I am curious to know whether this would be something that you, as a PM, would investigate, or pass on to the property owner? I would hope the latter, as it is unnecessary expenditure. Am I a control freak :eek:?
 
We need to build a new fence and will be replacing a back fence at the same time (it is far beyond repair and the rear neighbours know it) but it will cost us $2500 for 60m of fence (supply only). Barely $300 from the neighbours.

Fortunately this is a long way off as I'm not building fences at 8 months pregnant, or for at least a couple of months after.
 
Wylie, I would take great pleasure in telling your "princess" tenant it is her fault she is not getting insulation. Also tell her that all your other tenants are not pleased with her either.

We were lucky, we managed to get the rebate to insulate our IP which had no insulation.

Our PM always notifies us before any expenditure, it has taken me a couple of years but she is well-trained now. As far as the fence goes, take plenty of pictures and politely decline to contribute.
Marg
 
Best practice for fencing- PM

Wiley, fencing is a big issue - because it is never $100 or $200, it is thousands! So best practice is for the pm to visit the site. The process is time consuming and slow, but if you are the instigator and you do not follow - you end up wearing all the cost.

I have had clients receive many a good fence as a result of the lack of understanding from the neighbours. If the neighbours have not advised me...and then send me a bill for my client - I just send them all the information and kindly advise that i have forwarded to my client for consideration but they are at no obligation to contribute for the reasons....and give them the fact sheets and any other information i have on the matter.

If i am part of the instigating party - I am fussy and make sure I log everything, photos, letters, emails, faxes...the works. I make sure I have written undertaking by the neighbours first before I issue any work orders.

Then I go back and take photos for my clients - I deal with a fair few interstate owners so lots of emails and photos are necessary.

I'm in the process of writing to a neighbouring property to instigate this process now - clients will be up this Friday.

I am also in the process of coordinating and if they want to go ahead - project managing their kitchen renovations - hoping to keep the tenant in the property during this time...

Owners understand things will cost, I know what gets most owners - in here and everywhere else, is the lack of empathy property managers have when it comes to spending owners funds...
 
Thanks lura. It is great to have you here to give a "real life" perspective to these things.

We had an issue within the past year with neighbours of another property who removed the fence and had started building their "dream" (expensive) fence before even contacting us. They didn't give us quotes either, so they did everything ar$e about. We went to Caxton Legal for some advice, and they told us we were not obligated to pay a brass razoo as they had done nothing right.

We did agree to split the cost of a chainwire fence (common to the area, but timber is common too). Neighbours were not happy, but accepted our $1000 (they had asked for over $2,500).

We know we had no obligation to pay anything, but we chose to do so because the fence was in a bad way, and we would have happily paid to share the cost of a "standard" fence. They wanted a Rolls Royce fence, which they got, but we paid very little towards it.

They were really quite aggressive, until they realised they were totally in the wrong, and then they were happy to be meek and mild and politely accept our $1000.

I would not have felt good had we refused to pay anything, but realise that we were within our legal rights to refuse outright.
 
Just dispassionately follow the process, wylie. Respond to the letter of demand with a polite letter saying that you don't believe the fence needs replacing, and let them follow up with a request for a Tribunal hearing if they want to. :)

Edit: My PM certainly wouldn't cough up for a new fence without consulting me, whether it was within their authority or not.
 
even tho my lease says that the pm has discretion for spending up to $200, she always calls me to check ... mainly because the legit requests are usually over $200 - and the stupid ones are so we can have a great big belly laugh together before she tells them to go away.

did i tell you how much i love my pm! :D
 
Yeah, i don't like spending my clients money either and they all get and email or phone call before I do anything.

I always make sure i understand what the issue is about, find out from my contractors how much it would cost roughly and if there is a cheaper alternative...then let my clients know:

1. what I have been advised
2. What I have found out
3. How much it will/may cost
4. Where they stand legally
5. What my recommendation is
6. Ask for directions.
 
Top