The recent vandalism of a family home in west Melbourne has exposed the dangers of landlords self-managing their properties, according to an award-winning property manager.
The Laverton home was left in a state of disarray with broken furniture and debris scattered across the lawn of the house, a couch on the roof, and an ironing board hanging from a tree.
The investment property had been self-managed by a landlord who had spent $25,000 renovating it last year. He told Ten News he had been shocked by what he saw.
“It’s malicious, it’s devastating,” he told Ten News. “I’m very scared. I don’t want to go there alone."
Director of Mitchell Property Management Hayley Mitchell told Residential Property Manager the incident was a good reminder that owners should use professional agents, rather than trying to do it themselves.
She explained preventing situations like the case in Laverton came down to the way properties were set up at the beginning.
“If the owner has managed it themselves, how good is their documentation" How good is their conditional report? Have they got insurance on the property because a lot of insurance companies won’t insure if they are self-managed?" she said.
“If we are in a situation where we end up with a tenant like that, we’ve got the documentation to fight it right to the end to get that money back for the landlord, whereas in this case, the landlord is in a position where they’re probably going to have a big loss.”
According to media reports, friends of the tenants had moved in over the weekend and had trashed the property in a revenge attack. Police were currently investigating an allegation of criminal damage.
In an interview with Neil Mitchell on 3AW, one of the tenants, ‘Nick’, phoned in to say that his housemates were not the culprits.
“We did not trash the place,” he said. “That was done by I don’t know. We were there on Thursday, we put all the rubbish on the front nature strip and then I left because we were told to leave by the landlord.
“The owner gave us a week to clean up the place and then he came back with the police on the Friday and he told us to leave. By 9pm that night he didn’t give us no keys and no nothing and we left.”
The tenant said he had been evicted for being a couple of months behind in paying his rent, but refuted allegations that friends of the tenants were behind the act.