Wednesday, 20 May 2015

What Do You Do When You Have Bad Tenants?

Many people get into property investment thinking it sounds like a no-brainer – with the Melbourne population increasing every year and house prices rocketing, it seems that once you’ve got the property, there’s no way you can lose.

However, the reality of being a landlord is often much more difficult than people realise. As a practicing lawyer and solicitor, Glenn Duker has seen his fair share of people who have found this out the hard way! In spite of the property market, there is always the possibility your property may be vacant for a certain amount of time each year. Necessary repairs can take up more time and money than you expect. And then there is the worst case scenario, the nightmare tenant: disrupting the neighbours, destroying your property, and not paying the rent. If you end up in this situation, dealing with the problem can be much harder than you expected. Even worse, if the process goes wrong, the resulting dispute can end up in front of tribunals or the court, dragging on for a long time and costing a lot of money.

The bottom line is that once you get such tenants, there’s really no way out without taking a loss of some kind. There is a due process landlords must follow which takes at least 4 weeks, in which time the cost of unpaid rent and property damage can really mount up. If you evict tenants forcefully without following this process, you can be charged a fine of up to $20,000.

To avoid this situation, you should be very thorough with your screening processes before pen is put to paper on the contract. Check the National Tenancy Database, run background checks, and always ring references and check these numbers if you can. If you still end up with a problem, act promptly, be tough, and get the proper processes underway as quickly as possible.

If you need professional legal advice or assistance with a tenancy problem, you can trust Glenn Duker, lawyer and solicitor, to help.

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