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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    582

    Default Woman 'wilfully failed' tenants, landlords (JKM Property Mgmt)

    By FELICITY WOLFE - Waikato Times

    Tenants and landlords have been battling a Hamilton property manager after thousands of dollars worth of bonds were not lodged and rents were not passed on to property owners.

    JKM Property Management director Joce McLean left a string of landlords and tenants out of pocket after failing to lodge bonds with the Department of Building and Housing (DBH), as required by law.
    Former tenant Monique Ferrier, who found her bond had not been lodged, is still owed $750 in Tenancy Tribunal damages after Ms McLean failed to appear at a hearing in March.

    Ms Ferrier told the Waikato Times she had paid the bond in two instalments but was only given a receipt for the first one of $825.
    The tribunal's adjudicator said Ms McLean had presented herself as a professional property management firm and had "wilfully failed" to meet the requirements of the Residential Tenancies Act. Ms McLean did not attend the hearing in March and had not paid the $825 or the $750 because no-one had told her about it.

    Ms Ferrier said the property owner, John Dunn, had paid the $825 bond out of his own pocket after failing to receive any money from Ms McLean.
    She said the experience of renting through JKM had strained friendships with former flatmates and left her out of pocket as she tried to cover their bonds.

    "I thought the exemplary damages would cover it [the outstanding, un-receipted portion of the bond] but I haven't got that," she said.
    The Waikato Times was told by three landlords that they had been shortchanged over rental income when using JKM to manage their properties.

    One landlord couple, who did not wish to be named, said they first became aware of a serious issue with the management of their studio apartments when Ms McLean fell about $30,000 behind on payments.
    "We thought she had got herself in a muddle and we were prepared to work with her to sort things out, but when we approached her, she became evasive."

    On further investigation they found that bonds had not been lodged with the Tenancy Service, although tenants had paid the bond money. Ms McLean became hard to contact when payments fell behind, making it clear she did not have the money to make full reparation.

    Eager to change property management, they negotiated a $10,000 settlement from her, but say it was well short of their total losses.
    Another landlord, Andrew Loeser of Auckland, had to call Ms McLean several times as rent money was not being paid through from his Hamilton property.

    He was recommended to JKM through investment advisers who admitted they did not know much about JKM but said it was a business that prided itself on personal contact.

    He said JKM was one of a number of options presented and he chose it for the promised personal contact.

    "The sell was look, she is going to really look after the tenants and knows the area," Mr Loeser said.

    Ms McLean had convinced him and three other absentee landlords to set up a body corporate which her experience as an accountant would help her in manage.

    Mr Loeser said the first couple of months were fine but he then noticed rent had not been paid, which Ms McLean put down to her leniency with tenants.

    "She said perhaps she had been too lenient," he said.
    Weeks later there was another shortfall but Ms McLean said she had trouble getting money from the tenants and wrote cheques to cover it.
    Eventually, with $1000 owed, Mr Loeser drove to Hamilton and introduced himself to the tenants.

    They were leaving because they were unhappy with JKM and had been paying their rent on time.

    He then called the insurance company Ms McLean said she was using for the body corporate but was told the insurance had lapsed.

    New tenants who moved in mid-2009 also began to complain of Ms McLean's behaviour, which included turning up days early to collect rent.
    When they discovered their bond had not been lodged they were "really freaked", Mr Loeser said.

    At this time he and the other property owners, who had similar problems, dropped JKM.

    Mr Loeser said he was still owed about $1000 rent and $500 or $600 which he had paid into a body corporate account but was writing the money off as a bad experience.

    He said Ms McLean had been good at making him feel sorry for her because of the mistakes she was making. "She always made it seem that we could work together to sort it out," he said. "But there were so many mistakes happening ... you do not expect from someone with an accounting background. ."

    Ms McLean said she had no knowledge of the mediation or the tribunal hearing with Ms Ferrier. When she started managing property in 2007 she did not realise bonds had to be lodged, but said the money was not missing and had either been returned to tenants when they left, used to clean properties or paid to landlords to cover the final weeks' rent.
    Ms McLean said she had been sorting out issues since a car accident in June last year forced her to close JKM.

    There had been developers and landlords who had taken advantage of her naivete, overstating the rental potential of their properties.
    She had guaranteed rents to landlords but said she was not fully informed of the situation with flats in Hillcrest.
    She said two companies set up after the accident were not related to property management but she did not say what they were for.
    "[It is] not like I'm enjoying myself since the accident ... I can't do anything and lost my business last year," she said.

    Ms McLean is listed on the Companies Office website as the director of McLean Property Management Ltd; JC Property Management Ltd; and Joce K McLean and Associates Ltd. She listed JEA Holdings Ltd and JAKK Ltd in August 2009.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/pers...andlords#share

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    4,751

    Default

    what is it they say

    don't put down to malice

    what can better be explained by incompetence

    but still...
    people keep trying to rewrite the world as themselves

    like that'll work...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Whangarei
    Posts
    5,267

    Default

    One landlord couple, who did not wish to be named, said they first became aware of a serious issue with the management of their studio apartments when Ms McLean fell about $30,000 behind on payments.
    First noticed! hahahhahaha

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    4,020

    Default

    This was not incompetence, it was out-and-out criminal.

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by drelly View Post
    First noticed! hahahhahaha
    Exactly!

    The stupid owners are partly responsible. How can you let ANYONE get $30,000 behind in payments.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Hastings
    Posts
    10,405

    Default

    An amazing story! As always, I expect it
    makes the better LLs among us cringe.
    .

    Try Radenbrea Studios for hand-made designer jewellery. Especially if you're looking for a great Christmas gift idea for your lady love.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    1,464

    Default

    $30K - might just be a months rent.
    Not everyone is a one horse wonder.

    The real question is - why hasn't she been arrested by the police for fraud yet?
    Perhaps if she drove 61 in a 50 km/hr zone or tried to defend herself against burglars - then they'd be on to it.
    The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates and a monthly salary - Fred Wilson.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PC View Post
    $30K - might just be a months rent.
    Not everyone is a one horse wonder.
    True. I didn't read the article properly, it says "studio apartments" which I read as "studio apartment" (singular).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Bay Of Plenty, NZ
    Posts
    3,603

    Default

    The real question is - why hasn't she been arrested by the police for fraud yet?
    An interesting (rhetorical) question. Why hasn't she? The owners need to lay a complaint with the Police, as IMHO, it's gone beyond TT jurisdiction.

    As it states, she WILFULLY FAILED the tenants andpocketed the money, therefore it's "theft as a servant".

    This is the type of PM who gives the private renting market a really bad name.
    Patience is a virtue.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Hastings
    Posts
    10,405

    Default

    As a servant? Does that apply
    to contractual relationships?
    .

    Try Radenbrea Studios for hand-made designer jewellery. Especially if you're looking for a great Christmas gift idea for your lady love.
    Want a great looking concrete swimming pool in Hawke's Bay? Designer Pools will do the job for you!


 

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