Dealing with Unreasonable Tenant

UPDATE - Thank you all for your comments here, they all have a point & I appreciate in great deal for your contribution of opinions into my case

I sent her a quote for bond cleaning as the carpet wasn't steam cleaned & disinfected, however she refused to take it off the bond & lodged a claim for full bond. Now I have 2 days to respond to this before it goes to the next level. Given the frustration & troubles she brings, I may agree for her full bond back & hopefully the RTA will consider the fact that I lodged the bond and allow her to get a full bond back when they look at her complaint.

UPDATE
She has now moved out, but did not have a proper bond cleaning done before moving out. The property was left reasonably clean though (Thank God!). There are few issues that she refuses to fix such as glide sliding security door off rail, crack on glass, wall paint srcatches etc. Should I just give her the full bond back on stay insistent on asking for a bond cleaning & other small issues to be addressed? Very likely she has now lodged a complaint to the RTA.

Hi there, we have a tenant renting our adjacent to our main house, a single mom with a 3yo. When she moved in 9 months ago, she did not have enough money to pay for the bond upfront so I allow her to pay over 4 instalments together with the regular rent payments. Now somehow she thinks her bond is the total first four payments. Since this was dragging on over an 8 week period, I forgot to lodge the bond with the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA). Fast forward, in the last couple of weeks, she turned to be very demanding and pushy type. For example I said I would spray the pesticide around the flat as she has complained about cockroaches, in fact she left the kitchen and the property in very messy state. As I was busy at that time, I asked her to wait or she can do it herself with my supplies of the chemicals, and this is from my courtesy but not bound by the rent contract. She then replied saying I'm being rude and threaten to leave. I said ok, I just need 4 weeks notice as her rent is now in periodic term. She threatened to make a complaint to the RTA about me late in lodging the bond, but I have already lodged before she lodged her complaint. All I want now is for her to move asap & leave the property in its pre-rental condition. The bond is now in hand of the RTA. I'm worried about being penalised by the RTA for late lodging the bond, which will definitely be after she moves out & potentially get her bond back as her complaint would not be looked at until the new year. This is my first time renting out so I have no idea how to deal with RTA investigation. "Hope you are prepared for what coming for you" she said. Hopefully someone with similar experience can give advice or helpful comment on this! Many thanks in advance!

Poll Options expired

  • 28
    Leave it as is, give her full bond back.
  • 17
    Stay insistent to claim as much as possible from the bond.

Comments

  • +113 votes

    she did not have enough money to pay for the bond upfront

    You should’ve stopped right there.

    • +12 votes

      Hindsight :(

    • +1 vote

      Seems now you can pay bond as instalment too:

      https://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/housing-and-property/rent...

      Can an online bond be paid by instalments?
      Yes. You will need to indicate that the bond will be paid by instalments during the initial online lodgement process and enter the initial instalment amount. Once the bond is finalised, as the landlord, you will be able to create a request for the tenant to pay an instalment. The tenant will be notified by email and can pay the instalment in RBO by Visa, Mastercard or BPAY.

    • +2 votes

      Nah this is a bollox answer. People have many different personal situations and you can't just block then out like that - there's got to be some good in the world. It's just a shame this one has gone this way.

      • +3 votes

        If you try and solve the whole world's problems, they will become your problems.

        Do you think someone will pay it forward and help you if the situation is reversed?

        You need to set boundaries because people like this are always looking to take advantage of good hearted people

      • +1 vote

        you can't just block then out like that

        Yeah, you can. People own investment properties to make coin, not provide public housing.

    • +1 vote

      Yes :-(

      Basic thinking would have gone a long way tbh… People would walk all over you and find every loophole and excuse to make your life miserable if you let them.

  • +3 votes

    There is govt bond loan for people who can’t afford the bond.

    • +23 votes

      People that can’t pay the bond can’t pay the rent. Op is learning it the hard way.

      • -12 votes

        Sweeping generalisation.

        • +9 votes

          Perfectly prudent generalisation until we invent crystal balls.

        • +6 votes

          pretty accurate generalisation and one you should ALWAYS adopt when renting out a property. It is a business not a charity.

          • +2 votes

            @gromit: Not even a business/charity issue - by making concessions for late payments or lower than necessary incomes, landlords are actually contributing to these tenants living beyond their means and causing undue stress to the tenants as well as themselves.

        • +3 votes

          This is one of those sweeping generalisations that make sense.

      • +6 votes

        Yeah that's unfair, I had to borrow money for my bond but haven't missed a payment at all. Couldn't afford a grand plus in one hit but I didn't have any other choice.

      •  

        My bond was paid with a housing loan. Never missed a rental payment in the 8 years I stayed in that place. It's a lot harder to find $1500 + 2 weeks rent as opposed to just 2 weeks rent.

  • +6 votes

    Unfortunately it seems she has done this in the past and knows 'the game'. Which is why she threatened you. And,with a small child,she holds all the cards. Be civil, and try and get some trusted advice before it gets messy.

  • +1 vote

    Don't worry about it. Just make sure she leaves and you can bring in a paying tenant.

  • +3 votes

    Bikies

    •  

      Out of curiosity… anyone know if this is actually an option in this day and age? Also, I'd heard that IF you do 'retain their services', they have a tendency to keep coming back for more of the… 'payments for services rendered
      (as defined post-job by themselves). Doesn't seem a wise road to go down anyways, but I'm assuming you jest' for the most part. Sure could be tempting though for some depending on the circumstances. Especially where the courts and police can have little to no options to 'correct' a situation wherein someone has genuinely been taken advantage of.

      •  

        No sane person would truthfully answer that

      • +1 vote

        Not Australia but here's an informative review of hiring bikies for a concert i USA: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altamont_Free_Concert

      • +1 vote

        You into footy? Just google Ty Vickery and Jake King's little "arrangement" regarding a debt.

        Retaining "bikies" is more common than you think.

        •  

          Well, that certainly is one example. Hard to know if or how common it might be though. Safe to assume it could be happening but just as safe to say may be quite rare.
          Still, interesting read. Thanks for adding that zeg'.

      • +1 vote

        Yes, they are an option but it's a slippery slope as they will keep evidence against you and ask for return "favours".

        •  

          Very well put brad. As tempting the idea is even if just a passing thought when in a particularly dire situation this is far better they way to get past such an 'idea'. Bit like dealing with 'loan sharks'… a long and slippery slope.

          •  

            @Chris Farley: Yes, Mum's side of the family were SP Bookies from the 1930s-1990s. Not a nice business and I remember my Uncle telling me how upset he'd get having to have someone's ankle broken if they wouldn't pay their debts.

            One of my work colleagues has "associations" with OMCs and is constantly being pulled over and licence checked (serves him right).

            And a close relative of my GF has also been heavily involved with OMCs but is trying to be a "model citizen" but they won't leave him alone. Plus he was telling me that one of the senior members has sent his family to Lebanon for safety (WTF?) as the the OMC he used to be in hasn't taken kindly to his transition to "legitimate businessman" and he's known to Police & Border Force so every business trip needs an extra hour to enter Au as they search his bags (and him - bendover mate).

            It's been an eye opener for me!

            • +1 vote

              @brad1-8tsi: I can imagine they'd have many a story to tell and could likely write a book about their experiences! As for the bikies' matters of loyalty to such… organisations would surely mean a near lifetime of commitment once part of the group so those that do join up would do well to have a good think about this. I believe many do join as is a pseudo sort of 'family' but the overall and long term price(s) to pay… hmmm, not for the faint hearted.

              Could end up dead, could end up incarcerated for years for required 'deeds' done. Between the (no doubt mandatory) ego's involved within personalities in the group, severe hostilities would rear their ugly heads fairly often too. Hard enough to deal with 'team leaders' and 'managers' at legit' companies, let alone hard headed, hostile and unethical souls with little to no soft skills in dealing/working with people.

              Have a great Christmas brad.

            • +2 votes

              @brad1-8tsi: Well it's been an eye opener for him every return trip as well I'm sure.

  • +16 votes

    "Leave the property in pre-rental condition"

    0.000000% chance

  • +8 votes

    I think you have realised that self management is not for those who do not know the RTA inside out. Respectfully, I would find a good property manager and stick to your day job.

  • +8 votes

    Self managed and no landlord insurance? Oops.

  • +5 votes

    If the landlord/agent does not deposit the bond within the required period, they can be fined up to $2,200.

    https://www.tenants.org.au/factsheet-03-bond

    Hope it works out for you. Maybe you can explain the situation with how the bond was paid over multiple weeks.

  • +20 votes

    Unless you're hard up for cash, I would gladly cop the fine. Heck, I'd show her an email of myself admitting to the late lodgement and detailed history of the unusual bond payment.

    Take control of the situation and remove any leverage, perceived or otherwise, that she has on you.

    Assholes like your tenant will use unions, associations, mobs or some third party to blackmail you. Nip it in the bud.

    • +1 vote

      Agree, I doubt they will fine you since you did lodge it without a warning and it was an unusual scenario, admitting to a mistake before being caught is admirable

  • +1 vote

    Did you bother to put any of this arrangement and amendments in writing?

  • +2 votes

    OP has done nothing wrong.
    As long as everything has been receipted properly.
    Tell the bitch to GET OUT!

  • +8 votes

    Yeah lease over - cut your loses terminate the tenancy, keep the bond until you are happy the place is cleaned properly.

  • -1 vote

    a single mom with a 3yo… did not have enough money to pay for the bond upfront

    Yeah no good deed goes unpunished. And guess who gets the sympathy at xCAT especially around Christmas?

    Discrimination against tenants should be legal if they are also going to receive positive discrimination under the law.

  •  

    I've given her 4 week to leave notice which ending on 22/12, her rent paid until next weekend 8/12. She has started moving her stuffs but would refuse to tell me the exact moving date when I ask her. I would stay silent from now and if dont hear from her by 8/12 she'll be liable for the final rent up until 22/12. I've done nothing wrong except for late lodging the bond to the RTA & afraid that will bite me big time.

    • +23 votes

      If I you, I'd stop saying:

      late lodging the bond

      You were resolving a dispute with the tenant regarding the correct amount of the bond before lodging it, it was lodged as soon as this was sorted. There was no late lodgement that I can see here.

      • +1 vote

        ^exactly this. You were not late. I hope you have something in writing and with any luck she will have black marks against her for doing something like this before (I assume there is some kind of RTA shitlist).

      • +2 votes

        Yep, as I tell my kids when they say this kind of thing: "Whose side are you on??" -lol.

    •  

      You are on right path if be nice to a point if out by 8/12 let her go. as some who has few rental people management is big part of my life. i done way to much charity for people. let people pay bond off before.

  • +15 votes

    single mom

    With an attitude like that, I wonder why…

  • +1 vote

    I allow her to pay over 4 instalments together with the regular rent payments. Now somehow she thinks her bond is the total first four payments.

    Maybe it's just me, but I can't quite understand what the instalments were and when they finished. I susppect you'll probably have to explain all this to a tribunal soon, so it's probably a good idea for you to practice explaining this clearly.

    Assuming your tenant was supposed to pay monthly, and let's say hypothetically the rent was $1,000 per month, does that mean their payments to you were:
    1. $1,125 (rent + first quarter of bond)
    2. $1,125 (rent + second quarter of bond)
    3. $1,125 (rent + third quarter of bond)
    4. $1,125 (rent + fourth quarter of bond)
    5. $1,000 (rent only, because bond has been paid)
    6. $1,000… etc.?

    Is this correct, or if not, could you clarify what their payments were? (You don't have to use the actual numbers if you don't want to.)

    • +2 votes

      Yes something like that. For example:

      First payment were $200 (fortnight rent) + $100 (1st quarter of bond)
      Second payment were $300
      Third payment were $300
      Fourth payment were $300
      From 5th payment onward were $200

      And she claimed the bond as … $1200 instead of $400!

      •  

        Thanks, that makes sense given that you said this dragged out over an eight week period.

        Given that she claims the bond is $1200 instead of $400, do you have any written agreement between you to say what the fortnightly payments and bond amount should be, or anything to that effect?

      • +7 votes

        well I would say you are fine with the bond being $1200, but that now means you are $800 in arears on rent.

  • +2 votes

    She then replied saying I'm being rude and threaten to leave.

    you had your chance to beg her not to leave.

  • +5 votes

    Hey OP. I may have missed it, but it appears all the tenant has done is left the kitchen messy and asked for some pest eradication. I mean, I’ve had a rough week at work and am scared to walk into my kitchen (it’s definitely a tomorrow job). Can’t work out what the problem is based on your post.

    Also, responsibilities for pest control depend on many factors and may be landlords responsibility.

    • +2 votes

      Pests loves leftovers. The tenant should stop making a mess and may be the pest may stop coming around.

      • +2 votes

        Pests loves leftovers

        True

        The tenant should stop making a mess and may be the pest may stop coming around

        Also may be true. However, tribunals will consider associated factors such as conditions of property at commencement and may look at contributing factors in local area surrounding property.

        We all have bad periods in life. I’ve had a shocker of a week and am dreading cleaning my kitchen and bathroom. But, heck, my Sunday is sorted.

        •  

          I sprayed pesticide before she moved in & said would do it again down the track if necessary. However she didnt understand this is my courtesy & only when I'm available to do it. She said it's my duty to do it, so I said you either do it yourself (I supplied the tool & chemical) or wait until I'm free to do it. She then said she's not happy about it & want to leave. That's just one of a few incidents.

          • +3 votes

            @MiaSanMia: There’s nothing in what you have described in that to indicate a ‘pushy’ or bad tenant. Also, seems based in on what you have just said is that you sprayed before she moved in and gave a commitment that you would spray again if needed.

            Seems that there may be a known issue and at the very least you are not adhering to your commitment. Renting out a property is a business. How busy/tired you are is no excuse.

            She asked you to spray it. You didn’t. She can lodge in tenancy tribunal or leave.

            If she lodges, then they will decide who’s responsible. There’s no need for your so called courtesy.

            If she leaves, she may be in breach of rental agreement (depending on what it was) and you could pursue that.

            The matter of bond lodgement is a completely unrelated matter. If she reports you and you’re found to have done the wrong thing, not really the tenants fault, is it?

  • +3 votes

    how can u forget to lodge the bond? was the money forgotten in your high interest savings account? sounds like you need an agent to handle your next single mom problem.

    no point worrying about the rta now. take it as it comes.

  • +2 votes

    Many Years ago I used to work for Retravision.
    I had to do a deliver of a microwave to a house.
    I knocked on the door to a very young lady - guessing she was around 16 or so
    When I went in I almost threw up.
    Over the floor there were dirty baby nappies, Open tins with sharp edges of baked beans etc all over the floor and a baby crawling around amonst it all.
    never to this day have I seen anything so bad.
    It stunk real bad and the teenage mother didn't seem to care about the baby crawling among all the sh)t
    Had to watch where I placed my feet each step…
    I carefully placed the microwave on the bench where she wanted it and carefully stepped my way out.
    Microwave was paid for by the landlord.
    Needless to say I had to wipe my shoes on the way out before hopping back into the ute.

  • +7 votes

    Paragraphs

  • +2 votes

    I have no advice in this situation. Other than following all steps required to evict a tenant.

    My advice for the next tenant… The 6-9% charged by Real Estate Agencies is a surcharge for dealing with all types of problems that can occur. They aren't stealing your money. They are charging you for their experience and expertise in managing these situations.

    • +1 vote

      I have seen this many times. Landlords trying to save $20-30 p/w in management fees end up thousands of dollars out of pocket due to poor knowledge of tenancy and real estate legislation, as well as the lack of practical experience in dealing with difficult tenants (and properly vetting them as well).

  • +4 votes

    Honestly despite what left wing biased media/idiots on shows like The Project say Landlords of residential properties have very little rights the law doesn’t protect you and you will find the court usually rules unfavourably generally unfavourably against landlords esp if this tenant has a child good luck!!

    It is a different story of commercial properties but in domestic being a landlord is f***en shit. It is why property managers exists they do almost nothing but acted as a 3rd party to vouch for bad tenant behaviour and get paid 5-10% of the rent whilst you take ALL THE RISKS.

    Most ppl here will probably hammer you for renting out a property to some1 who cannot afford a bond but chances are you felt sorry for her because she has a child.

    My advice is this learn a lesson don’t feel sorry for people when it comes to your money remember it might be a rental property but it is still business and feelings and business DO NOT MIX.

    I had to learn the hard way too tenants that I originally felt sorry for but they took advantage of it ended up costing me a bucket load of cash they walk away you lose out big $$

    She sounds like she will move out but don’t expect the house to be in any good condition and don’t expect to get the bond because the system hates landlords.

    Cut your losses start again get her out hope that she doesn’t break anything that’s expensive to fix!!

    • -1 vote

      Didn't you know that all landlords are evil and are meant to be registered charities

  • Top