Just called an owner-manager to update some details on a defaulting tenant for my database. He was surprised I had located him, and I let him know it was because I had read in the West Australian that his former tenants were listed for court next week. The owner said that the tenants had left, he suspected drugs, and the clean up bill was $5000. He was going to apply for bond only and not chase the total debt. I asked for the tenant's dates of birth but he didn't know them. I thanked the owner for the information as it would help me protect other HouseSmart owners from these tenants.  Then I asked if he had ever considered using property management services.  He said no, they are useless and then the line went dead.  Here is the irony of the situation – this owner-manager did not obtain dates of birth of his deadbeat tenants, hence it is highly unlikely he did even the most basic tenancy screening on them. He has now had a cost of $5000 to incur, which would cover perhaps 2-3 years of management fees! Oh well, at least no HouseSmart owners will be getting his ex-tenants.


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Last year you had to pay for smoke detectors and RCD's. From 2011, new homes now have to meet six-star energy ratings which will cost an extra $800-$7000, with required features including double glazing and additional wall insulation. The precedent has been set and property owners can expected further costs as they are now viewed as providers of social housing rather than private property owners.


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From January 31 the NSW Residential Tenancies Act 2010 will come into effect. The legislation tips the balance to the tenant's favour, with measures including landlords being unable to withhold consent for minor alterations, share houses being recognised, landlords forced to increase water efficiency if they wish to claim water consumption, extended tenant notice period from 60 to 90 days. If WA landlords are not diligent in fighting proposed changed to the RTA 1987, they will face a similar fate.


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