Property disaster story (with a happy ending)

If you’ve ever seen an advert for A Current Affair – tenant trashes house story and cringed.  Then this post is probably for you.  Working in the industry for over 14 years now, I’ve pretty much seen it all, but this was one of perhaps my top 5 in terms of a poorly managed investment.
 In brief
Location: Werribee                       Rental: $999pcm (not much right)
Total cost of repairs / loss of rent: $7000+!!!
Insurance (Allianz) covered: Less than $2000.
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This property had been managed by a local agent for some time. In an area referred to as the ‘Bird Cage’ by locals, tenants were put in with as far as what I can see – no reference checks.  Our agency took over the management mid tenant.  First routine inspection we completed was in January, 2016.  Check out some of the pictures;
Needless to say, we advised the owner to issue a 120 day notice to vacate for no reason. One would think we would be able to issue a breach notice and evict them that way (but, if you’ve ever been in that situation you will know that a tenant only has to give some sort of sop story at VCAT to be given another chance, and another chance, and another… anyway.  Best option was the 120 day notice.
Fast forward to the end of May and surprise, rent has not been paid on time throughout the process and by the time we get a hearing for possession (Because again, surprise, the tenant did not vacate). It took until 19th of July to go through the VCAT hearing process, obtain a warrant, contact the police and book in an eviction.
The property was left like this…
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Pretty scary hey! Has to be an insurance claim.  Carpet even has… poop on it.  Takes another 2 weeks to get the insurance assessor out who then proceeds to advise that the carpet and walls are all poor housekeeping which is not covered.  We even had professional quotes that advised that the carpet was not able to be saved regardless of the cleaning / industrial steam cleaning.  It had to be replaced – as a landlord – would you lease out your property like that?  Of course not.
So, for the landlord we arrange the best value quotes, get the works done (insurance take another 2 weeks to replace the internal doors, clothes line, fix the broken window and smoke detectors – because that’s all they covered) and now in September, works are due to be completed by the 27th and, we have a tenant booked in for the 28th!
Wait, how did you get a tenant you ask? Here’s the thing.  Personalised property management is there to offer a service to landlords – we work for you.  But doesn’t it make sense to take care of tenants too?  Good tenants make our job much easier, so of course we want to look after them.  Our potential applicant here missed out on another one of our properties (applied a fraction too late), so knowing that this property was coming up, we had him pre-approved by the landlord and, took him through via private appointment (after the rubbish was removed, walls painted, gardens done… just waiting on the carpet, but the paint smell helps hide the horror).
Our new tenant – “A lot of property managers come across as quite intimidating, you have a fantastic “house side manner” and it has been a pleasure dealing with you!”
So, what was originally a disaster house poorly managed that then took over 6 months to get back into shape – it’s leased as soon as it’s liveable, for $1217pcm (instead of $999) to a lovely single dad who looks to be a long term no fuss tenant!
Until the next management transfer disaster story!
Has your investment property suffered from poor management? Or has a disaster occurred – sometimes you can have great tenants then all of a sudden something goes wrong! (messy divorce for example).  I can help.  With 14+ years of experience, specialising in the difficult challenges that property management can give, well versed in the legislation as a licenced estate agent – what are you waiting for?  Shoot me an email or give me a call – 0497 888 087.  It can’t hurt to chat!