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Landlords hit hard by wayward tenants

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  • Landlords hit hard by wayward tenants

    Landlords hit hard by wayward tenants

    4:00AM Sunday Sep 06, 2009
    By Heather McCracken
    Despite paying hefty fees, some property owners are being left with huge clean up bills once tenants leave. Photo / Rotorua Daily Post

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    Landlords are hitting back at property managers after paying thousands of dollars in fees only to have their houses trashed by tenants.
    One couple is trying to get back $2000 in management fees after finding their house filled with rubbish and crawling with ants and maggots.
    Another landlord, Daron Brinsdon, spent $4000 on repairs at his East Auckland rental after a tenant trashed his house before being evicted for rent arrears. The renter kicked in doors and walls, spraypainted obscenities across the house and smashed windows and gutters.
    Brinsdon questioned how the property manager approved the tenant, despite his violent criminal record and substantial debts.
    "I'm paying this rental manager to do due diligence to select the right tenants and give me piece of mind," he said.
    "People living around this rental property were fearful of their lives."
    Landlords Grant and Donna Bullock are considering legal action against their rental manager after tenants caused $5000 in damage at their Tauranga property.
    They said the manager should have picked up the problems months earlier.
    Real Estate Institute of New Zealand president Mike Elford said the industry had lobbied unsuccessfully for tougher controls.
    "There are unlicensed property managers out there and it was an issue the institute took to the Government," he said.
    New legislation to come into effect from November will bring in tougher disciplinary measures for real estate agents, but they won't apply to property managers. A landlord's only recourse is through the Disputes Tribunal or action under the Fair Trading Act.
    Elford said houses being trashed by tenants was "regrettable and unfortunate," and the institute would investigate if the property manager was a member.
    Independent Property Managers Association president Usha Ganda-Wilson said there were always two sides to every story.
    Owners also carried a responsibility to check with their manager if they hadn't received inspection reports or rent, she said.
    Some landlords asked managers to skip inspections in order to save fees.
    But Ganda-Wilson said, in some cases, insurance companies would not pay out on claims if the property had not been regularly inspected.
    The Justice Ministry review of property management services found no need for extra regulations, and said the industry was taking steps to improve the service.
    But it found landlords were unsure what to expect from managers or what to do when things went wrong.
    Last year 25 landlords applied to the Tenancy Tribunal to have renters evicted because of substantial damage.
    Almost 3000 applications were received from landlords for compensation for damages.
    * Tenancy tips
    Choose a reputable property manager who belongs to an industry body.
    Check how long they have been in the industry.
    Ask to see references from previous landlords.
    Tell them how you expect your property to be looked after.Read the contract, and make sure it includes details such as how often they will inspect and report on the property.
    Check if rent or an inspection report is late.
    Source: Real Estate Institute/Independent Property Managers Association
    Latest breaking news articles, photos, video, blogs, reviews, analysis, opinion and reader comment from New Zealand and around the World - NZ Herald
    "There's one way to find out if a man is honest-ask him. If he says 'yes,' you know he is a crook." Groucho Marx

  • #2
    "I'm paying this rental manager to do due diligence to select
    the right tenants and give me piece of mind," he said.
    Well I hope he gave him a peace of his mind, after that!