When tenants turn really bad

Werent note: This give landlords some idea of what can happen (though no fault of his own) and how a good property manager can deal with it. Good on you Josh! Highlights are ours

BOP Times 15th Apr 2013 9:59 AM

A house covered in dog excrement, missing light fixtures and curtains, holes in walls, and piles of furniture and rubbish are just some of the things Tauranga tenants have left landlords to deal with.

BeHome Realty property manager Josh Fitzgibbon told the Bay of Plenty Times tenants from hell were the exception but he had dealt with his share of horror stories in Tauranga.

In one case tenants left a dog inside a house after they had moved out and it had defecated through the home.

Mr Fitzgibbon had to take the dog to the SPCA and see that it was looked after. Another tenant, who had fallen behind in rent, moved out before a Tenancy Tribunal hearing but the house was damaged and full of rubbish and furniture.

The man had given false employment details but Mr Fitzgibbon tracked him down and threatened to dump it all at his workplace if it was not cleared.

The former tenant removed the rubbish within a few hours but did not pay for the damage or the outstanding rent.

The worst situation he had come across was a woman who forged the documents necessary to rent the house.

“She was a front for a gang. Within the first weekend I got a call from a neighbour saying there were gang members drinking in the carport and there were about 10 kids running around and people urinating everywhere.”

Mr Fitzgibbon made an application for an emergency Tenancy Tribunal hearing to have the tenancy declared null and void due to the false information supplied.

The tribunal agreed and the tenants were evicted, with the help of the police, within two weeks of her moving in but the damage had already been done.

“They just left the property a mess. They’d had a fight in the house. There were big holes in the walls. We found a big bag of marijuana.”

Mr Fitzgibbon said he was forced to go to the Tenancy Tribunal about six times a year to deal with problematic tenants although it was usually for people who were not paying rent or had done more damage than the bond would cover.

Each year two or three tenants took issue with not getting the full bond amount back and took the property management company to the tribunal, Mr Fitzgibbon said.

The increasing cost of living was making it harder for families to stretch money to pay the rent and feed their families so it was no surprise there were so many tribunal hearings, he said.

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