ICON_PLACEHOLDEREstimated reading time: 3 minutes
Generating an additional income through renting your home or a room, especially in the current economic climate, is alluring. As this form of investment secures you the opportunity of sourcing a stream of passive income. However, when managing tenants, things can get out of hand. What happens when your tenants turn violent, and what is the most suitable path to take?
A Newcastle resident recently dealt with aggressive tenants, enduring a merciless beating from a couple living on her boyfriend’s property.
Wishing to remain anonymous, she explains her ordeal unfolded on Sunday, 31 January 2021, when an argument broke out between her and the boyfriend’s tenants. “While we were arguing, the tenant told me that he would get his wife to sort me out. Before I could say anything in return, his wife came out of their room, carrying a knobkerrie.”
The woman allegedly forced her into the kitchen, where she proceeded to beat her with the weapon. “My boyfriend tried to stop it, trying to get the weapon out of her hands. But while he was trying to stop her, the husband grabbed the pan I use to make my rotis with and hit me as well.”
Battered and bruised, the woman has since opened a case at the Newcastle Police Station. Her boyfriend has also since attempted to have his tenants evicted but to no avail. She says, “They refuse to leave and have threatened to take us to the rental tribunal.”
Looking at the situation, the Newcastillian – Online News approached Tracey Reineke of Newcastle SEEF Properties.
Being a veteran in the real estate industry, Reineke stresses assaults on landlords are not a common occurrence in town. However, she has seen her fair share of bad tenants. “We have had bad experiences with tenants in the past whereby they (tenants) have tried to put home purchases off from purchasing a home.”
Regarding evicting the couple, she explains that as the assault victim’s boyfriend is the landlord, he will now need to create a paper trail of all communications between himself and the tenants. This includes any issues they might face.
“Renting out property is an investment, which is why it is important to have a paper trail. This can include issues such as late payments. If a tenant is late with their rent, the landlord must send them a letter, stating as per their lease agreement that the rent is late.”
This is the first step in taking the matter to a lawyer when it escalates, and the tenant infringes further on the lease agreement.
Moreover, in regards to property damage, Reineke affirms it is paramount a deposit is received as the deposit is intended to go to the landlord if there are any damages to the property post the tenant vacating the premises. With an array of legalities involved in renting a property, Reineke stresses a bad tenant can ruin a person’s life and cause sleepless nights. But this does not mean one should stop renting.
She points out, “Renting is important to one’s investment portfolio. But doing it by yourself is not always a good idea.”
Therefore, she encourages potential landlords to make use of established real estate agents. “Also, when building a complex with flats, it is important to have a body-corp established to deal with all tenant and landlord issues.” Landlords are also encouraged to familiarise themselves with property law, establishing an airtight lease agreement, and following the correct procedures before attempting to evict a tenant.
What are your thoughts on the matter? Have you had any nervy encounters with tenants? And what advice do you have?
Share your views with us in the comment section below.