As a landlord, you need to to know your rights and the solutions that are needed if a tenant damages your rental property beyond general wear and tear. At Leased, we’re experts in property management and are here to give you all the advice you need for any situation that may arise. Below you’ll find all the information you need to help you cope with nightmare tenants.
Ask Them To Fix It
Most tenants won’t cause you a problem. If they’ve caused damage, then they’ll usually be happy to fix it. They won’t want to lose their deposit or be asked to leave. If they are happy in their home, then they’ll want the opportunity for the tenancy agreement to be renewed at the end of the contract period.
You may find that on a further inspection that your tenant still has not fixed the damage. No doubt, you’ll find this frustrating, but keep calm. Talk to your tenant and find out why. If your tenant keeps ignoring you and is creating further damage, then you’ll need to take further action.
When you begin a tenancy agreement, you’ll have asked them for a deposit. This is usually 2-4 weeks rent in advance. Within the agreement, you should have stated that if there is any damage to your property or any monies owing, they’ll forfeit their deposit at the end of the tenancy.
By withholding the deposit for damages, you’ll be able to pay for any small repairs to your property at the end of the tenancy.
If it feels like you’d be better demolishing your property and starting again, this is where you’re going to need more than their deposit to help you out.
Small Claims Court
If you enter your property to find the cost of repairs outweighs the bond withheld, you have a few options available to you.
If you find yourself in this situation, you can make an application to the New South Wales Civil And Administrative Tribunal. Every state has its own tribunal courts to deal with these issues.
Making a claim online is easy. If they don’t show up to the hearing, then a judgement can be made in their absence. They’ll then receive notification that they have to pay for the damage, and this will be lawfully binding. They’ll have to pay unless they want to receive further action from the court.
To end a tenancy agreement early, you have to provide a good reason and a tenant that is damaging your property is just that. You’ve asked them time after time to be tidy, clean and not cause damage. But here you are again and they have made no effort to change.
As a landlord you have the right to begin eviction proceedings. You’ll need to provide the tenant with a written letter stating why and when they have to leave which must be delivered by hand or registered post. You must have proof that the tenant has received the letter.
If your tenant decides to ignore your eviction letter, you will have to apply to the court for further action.
If you’ve asked a tenant to leave your property and they refuse, the only option left is to seek legal action. You’ll have to find yourself a good solicitor and take legal advice. They’ll be able to guide you through all the steps for gaining a court eviction notice.
At this stage, the judge will be able to summon your tenants into the courtroom. You’ll both have the opportunity to put your side of the story before the judge, and hopefully, you’ll have some pretty compelling evidence. You’ll need recorded visits, correspondence and photographs to strengthen your case.
If your tenants lose, they’ll also be responsible for your legal fees, as well as having an enforceable eviction notice. They’ll have to leave your property by the date that the judge says, or they can be forcibly removed.
Being a landlord is not always easy and sometimes you’re going to experience problems. But remember, a problem shared is a problem halved. At Leased, we’re here to help you with any difficulties that arise. While we can’t always avoid problems, we can work together to fix them. Contact Leased today and experience the expertise of our specialised property managers.