Correspondence with Property Manager LJ Hooker Belmont WA – Tenant leaves

Having recently received my bond and completed my transactions with LJ Hooker Belmont WA, I thought I would share my last agent property manager facts.

On 24th January 2013, my LJ Hooker Belmont WA Property Manger informs me that the tenant “has admitted that he cannot pay the rent”, owes $1850 in unpaid rent and a large amount of damages to the property.

On 31st January 2013, the keys are returned and the next day the property manager and I visit the property for the first time since vacated.

The place was in a mess, but what surprised me the most was the damage to my property that was never reported in any off the LJ Hooker property inspection reports. I could only assume they did all this while they were vacating the property;

  • Broken dinning room glass window, boarded up with graffiti on the exterior
  • Installed a door latch on one of the bedrooms
  • Installed at least one screw in the wall to hold up picture frames
  • Large holes in the wall, possibly from a self-installed shelf
  • Plenty of blu-tac around
  • Broken glass ceiling lamp shades
  • Globes missing
  • Missing door handle on interior door
  • Cigarette burn marks in the bathroom, living room and on window sills.

In total my insurer AMA Insurance broker and CGU quoted the repair work at $4,270. During inspection I also discovered the tenants pried the shed open and stole my wheelbarrow and vintage model Singer sewing machine.

The real kicker is I am now self managing and getting $420 a week, that is 20% more than I was getting with LJ Hooker Belmont or over 30% more if you don’t include their 9.25% of management fees.

Enjoy the photos.

Trash left at the front of the property
Dinning room window boarded up
Broken glass lamp shade
A used condom
Ruined my Jarrah floors
Missing interior door handle
Cigarret burn marks and ash
Trash left outside
Trash left outside

Correspondence with Property Manager LJ Hooker Belmont WA – Property Inspection

It has been a while since posted about my rental property and management by Property Manager LJ Hooker Belmont WA, mainly because I became complacent with the service which seemed to work.

Recently I received my quarterly routine inspection report which I thought was worthy of sharing.

“the home was presented in an average condition and is being maintained to a fair standard.”

Let’s see what a fair standard constitutes;

Exterior Front

Mulched area and driveway, weeds need spraying. Garden needs mowing Windows need a clean.

Exterior Back

All gardens need a mow. Weeds between paving need spraying. Broken pallets and general junk need removing.

Family Room

Generally clean

Dining Room

Tiles need a clean. Lampshade is broken.

Kitchen

Cupboards, stove, tiles and exhaust fan all need a clean

Laundry

Tiles need cleaning

Bedroom 1

Walls need a clean. Fan missing the light shade.

Bedroom 2

Windows need cleaning

Bedroom 3

Fan needs cleaning. Blutack to be removed from the wall

Bathroom

Shower recess needs cleaning. Tiles need scrubbing around toilet. Tap leaking to basin. Towel rail needs to be replaced.

Overall

The whole place needs a good tidy up. It is best to do that now before it gets out of hand.

I especially like the last line; “It is best to do that now before it gets out of hand.” You mean it is not out of hand yet?

Multiple items easily breach the tenant agreement and should result in termination.

routine-inspection-september-2012.pdf

Correspondence with Property Manager LJ Hooker Belmont WA – Tenant in Rent Arrears

On 1st October LJ Hooker Belmont WA informs we that the tenant had not paid rent for 2 weeks,

“the tenant has only paid to the 16/09 and has been breached and I spoke to him and he is coming in on Tuesday and Wednesday to pay the backlog.”

I asked about when a Breach Notice for Non-Payment of Rent was issued and LJ Hooker Belmont WA seemed to suggest that it has just been that day (possibly after I asked about it). There is an additional 17 days that must be waited prior to termination (two weeks plus few days for breach delivery in the mail), this meant that the breach expired on the 17th October, the two week delay in issuing the breach by LJ Hooker Belmont WA meant that I had to wait 1 month before even issuing a Termination for Non-Payment of Rent, and if the tenant refuses to leave, a court case can take another 10 to 14 days (quoted from LJ Hooker Belmont WA). Now don’t forget the bond only covers 4 weeks of rent.

On Saturday 1st October, LJ Hooker Belmont WA informs me;

“I spoke to him and he is coming in on Tuesday and Wednesday [4th and 5th October] to pay the backlog [$680]”

On Thursday 6th October I receive an email;

“Your tenant has paid rent $550 today… and is now $310 in arrears.”

On Friday 7th October I receive another email;

“He has assured me he will pay $400 on Wednesday [12th October] and $400 each week until he has caught up again.”

On Friday 14th October I receive another email;

“The tenant paid $250 today and paying $740 on Wednesday and this will take him upto [sic] the 21 October. “

On 18th October Termination for Non-Payment of Rent is issued by LJ Hooker Belmont WA, the tenant has till the 27th October to vacate.

On 27th October LJ Hooker Belmont WA informs me that Jacaranda Community Centre has approved payment of the tenant’s rent arrears.

On the 4th November LJ Hooker Belmont WA that the tenant has paid all rent arrears and is up to date with payments.

Now this was one of the added advantages of having a Property Manager, they know who to contact, Jacaranda Community Centre is a community service centre for the City of Belmont who assist with people in financial hardship, and in this case they paid all rent arrears and brought the tenant up to date with payments.

I also decided to take up Landlord Insurance, which LJ Hooker Belmont WA advised from the very start to do, I went with AMA Insurance, for about $150 a year you are covered for about $17,000 of lost rent, not bad at all.

Correspondence with Property Manager LJ Hooker Belmont WA – The Hidden Charges

I received an email from the L J Hooker Belmont WA Principal / Licensee when I enquired about the monthly Postage and Petties Fees, here is a list of all the items you are charged separately for (not included in the property management fee);

  • Phone calls to yourself and your tenant and to arrange tradesmen for your property,
  • Correspondence posted to yourself and your tenant (things like routine inspection notices, breaches, tenant invoices),
  • Printing and stationery cost,
  • Bank fees charged for the collection of rent and transfer of funds by BankWest, and
  • Access to the internet for use of email.

With all the items listed, I am surprised that LJ Hooker Belmont WA premises water and electricity is not also charged.

Calculate Stamp Duty with Excel

A quick post of how to calculate the Stamp Duty of a property with Excel, in my example I am using the Western Australia Residential Rate Dutiable value.

Stamp Duty
Cutoff [$]  Rate [%]  Duty [$]  Formula
0           1.9       0    0
120000      2.85      2280      =C3+(A4-A3)*B3/100
150000      3.8       3135      =C4+(A5-A4)*B4/100
360000      4.75      11115     =C5+(A6-A5)*B5/100
725000      5.15      28452.5   =C6+(A7-A6)*B6/100

Property Value        500000    
Duty                  17765     =VLOOKUP(C9,A:C,3,TRUE) + (C9-VLOOKUP(C9,A:C,1,TRUE))*VLOOKUP(C9,A:C,2,TRUE)/100

Download the Excel WorkBook.

Update, next day
This also works for Individual income tax rates;

Tax Rates            
Cutoff [$]  Rate [%] Tax [$]  Formula
0           0        0        0
6000        15       0        =C3+(A4-A3)*B3/100
37000       30       4650     =C4+(A5-A4)*B4/100
80000       37       17550    =C5+(A6-A5)*B5/100
180000      45       54550    =C6+(A7-A6)*B6/100
            
Income               100000    
Tax                  24950    =VLOOKUP(C9,A:C,3,TRUE) + (C9-VLOOKUP(C9,A:C,1,TRUE))*VLOOKUP(C9,A:C,2,TRUE)/100

Correspondence with Property Manager LJ Hooker Belmont WA – Dogs, Stickers and Powerpoints

In August I receive an email from property manager LJ Hooker Belmont WA;

“The tenant has informed me that the door handle from the passage leading into the lounge & Bedroom 3 can not be opened from inside the passage area and when you are in the Bedroom, this could be a fire hazard. “

As I was back in the country I managed to make an appearance and resolve this myself, I also noticed a number of things I wasn’t happy with.

Dogs

Firstly, the dogs stated in the tenant agreement were not Chihuahuas, but Staffordshire Bull Terriers (Staffys), I am not sure how you mix up the smallest breed of dog with a medium sized dog, but I assumed they were labelled as Chihuahuas so I was more inclined to be okay with it. When I spoke to LJ Hooker Belmont WA about this, they claimed the dogs must have grown in six weeks, interesting.

The breeds didn’t bother me but I requested the lease to be amended with the correct breed types. LJ Hooker Belmont WA first claimed that since the lease was already signed it couldn’t be amended, okay then, please notify the tenant of a breach in the Residential Tenancy Agreement. A few days later LJ Hooker Belmont WA forwarded me the updated lease.

Stickers

Secondly, on inspection the tenant had stickers on the walls, I informed LJ Hooker Belmont WA that the tenant was in breach of the Tenancy Agreement. LJ Hooker Belmont WA claimed Blu-Tack was okay, I had to show them the Tenancy Agreement;

“The Tenant shall not make any alterations or additions to the Premises or to alter any fixtures or fittings, furniture or chattels, or place any sign on, or paint the Premises, use Blue Tac or any other adhesive material, or drive any nails for screws into or deface any part of the Premises.”

LJ Hooker Belmont WA then claimed that the courses they were on wasn’t always up to date, I didn’t understand, had they never read a standard REIWA Residential Tenancy Agreement. I never followed up if this was resolved, though the Blu-Tack was never the issues, the issue was the tenant breached the Tenancy Agreement and I was never informed.

“Check the light”

LJ Hooker Belmont WA informs me via email;

“Could you pls let me know when someone can check the light and door locks to the property.”

I know about the door locks, but this was the first mention of a light, let me get this straight, I need to send somebody out, at my expense to “check the light”, no description of the problem, where it is located, what the tenant has tried. I ask for further clarification, LJ Hooker Belmont WA updates me with;

“Just been to the property and it’s the power point in the patio as he has an outside fridge waiting to be connected.”

I arrange for my electrician to visit the property, on return he emails me with;

“pointed out to Tenant that those 3 power points are for lighting only and can’t be used for plugging in a fridge”

So the Tenant unplugged the outdoor lighting, tried to plug in a fridge and then complained that the powerpoint was not working, I wonder why.

Correspondence with Property Manager LJ Hooker Belmont WA – Tenant Maintenance

Less than a fortnight after the property was tenanted,  property manager LJ Hooker Belmont WA sends me an email;

“The tenant has informed me that crackling noises are coming from the power point in the main bedroom when plugging any appliances in.  Also light/fan to dining is blinks and switches off after a while.  Can I send an electrician.”

They send a second email replying to my request for a quote for the work;

“The approximate amount is $350 + GST, just to replace a power point is $140 + GST, just to buy a fan is also approximately $130.  Labour is $99 per hour.  But the approximate amount to do the job is $350+ GST

Expensive, I thought, luckily I had a relative that I could use to perform the repairs.

Strangely, in the same emails, LJ Hooker Belmont WA informs me the tenant does not have a front door key, that’s interesting as section 5.3.8 of the Exclusive Management Authority for Residential Premises Terms and Conditions, states “the agent will arrange for any device or keys to the Premises to be provided to the Tenant for the purposes of entering the Premises”.  Odd that I was informed this after the tenant had already signed the lease, maybe a backdoor key was all that was required.

Correspondence with Property Manager LJ Hooker Belmont WA – First Tenants

On 12 July property manager LJ Hooker Belmont WA sends me a tenant application, the first I have received;

I have an application to the above property.  Single dad with a 9 year old son. 

Great! I thought, finally back making some rent. A Residential Enquiry Database Report from TICA was also included in the email.

A follow-up email by LJ Hooker Belmont WA was a request from the prospective tenants if they could make some modifications to the property;

The tenant requested if he and his son can put a vegie [sic] garden and fix the chicken pen up.  He has to [sic] small dogs (Chihuahua) and would like chickens.  I didn’t think that would be a problem.

Not a problem at all, I replied, happy to oblige.

By 23 July the tenant had moved in.