'They tried to bully me': Angry tenant speaks out
PROPERTY managers are under fire as more and more tenants are speaking up about their alleged unprofessional dealings with their real estate.
Vickie Sullivan is a South Burnett property owner, however she was a renter in the region for many years.
She said it was due time to speak up after seeing too many people kicked out and forced to leave their rental properties because of "bullying" tactics by the real estate.
Ms Sullivan said she did not appreciate what she saw as bullying tactics and under-handed things she experienced as a tenant.
"I received threatening texts," Ms Sullivan said.
"They tried to bully me so they didn't have to return my bond."
Ms Sullivan did not name the real estate agent she had issue with, and said like most things, there were some good real estate agents and some bad ones.
"The bad ones are very bad," she said.
Ms Sullivan said her property manager at the time was trying to blame her for issues with the house.
"The house I was renting was not liveable due to lack of maintenance, but they tried to say it was my fault," she said.
"I've taken a couple of them to court and won."
Ms Sullivan thought some agencies had unrealistic expectations of their tenants.
"Some of them expect you to leave the place better than when you first went in," she said.
"They're not very approachable, it's their way or no way."
Processes in place
Principal at Faunt Estate Agents Rentals, Janelle Baisden-Emmett said she felt for tenants like Ms Sullivan and whilst she couldn't speak on behalf of other agencies, her team followed a thorough process to protect both their tenants and themselves.
"We discuss the vacating process right from sign up," she said.
"Communication has to be the key."
Mrs Baisden-Emmett said while they informed their tenants to contact the RTA to discuss any issues they may have with their real estate, she always tried to make sure it didn't get to that point.
"We understand vacating can be a very stressful time, so we are very focused on making every effort so the tenant doesn't have to go through that," she said.
Mrs Baisden-Emmett said it was in the tenant's best interest to be honest with their real estate.
"We encourage our tenants to be honest, if something needs fixing they should tell us right away," Mrs Baisden-Emmett said.
"That way neither party will be surprised on the exit report and we can work with the tenant to give them the best options."
Ms Sullivan said when she was still a tenant, some real estate processes were rather confusing and needed to be improved.
"Their systems need to be looked at," she said.
"I received notices that shouldn't have been sent."
Mrs Baisden-Emmett said there was no doubt some systems needed to be looked at.
"I'll be honest, our software produces automatic messages which sometimes go to tenants who shouldn't be receiving them," she said.
"But we are always open and honest with tenants when we realise the mistake, communication is so important."
Mrs Baisden-Emmett encouraged new tenants to be thorough when completing their entry report and be sure to take lots of photos.
"That entry document is very important, if we ever have to go to court that is the one document that will be looked over," she said.
"We take at least 200 photos when we do initial inspections so we encourage new tenants to be as thorough as they want to be.
"If they find an issue that differs from our report, we will arrange an appointment and correct the issue or add it to the report."
Mrs Baisden-Emmett said it was important to build the relationship between tenant and property manager.
"Both parties need each other, no agent wants to keep a tenant's bond," she said.
"We try to make it a nice and smooth process for everyone.
"Nobody wants to go to court."