An outgoing inspection ended in a trip to the ER for a Western Australian property manager after she was brutally attacked by a tenant.
The property manager’s husband and business partner spoke to Residential Property Manager on the condition of anonymity regarding the ordeal.
“There was a final inspection and the agent met the tenant at the property as arranged, but the tenant was under the impression they could finalise their security bond at that point, including getting their money from the security bond," he said.
“Whilst we understand the tenant’s reasons for wanting that – they were moving to the other side of the country – we’re not in a position to do that; we don’t have the money.”
When the agent told the tenant that he would not be receiving his bond back that day he became aggressive.
“He pushed his hand in the agent's face, the agent felt threatened and pushed his hand away and he retaliated with a left hook,” he said.
Last Friday, the day of the attack, our source posted about the incident on Facebook.
“Im sitting here in casualty wondering if my partner will ever look the same,” he said.
While he claims he didn’t expect this to happen, he said the attack wasn’t completely out of character either.
“He’s been an agitated individual since day one. We didn’t have a choice because we inherited this tenant when we took over a management. But did we expect him to be physically aggressive? Of course not,” he said.
Western Australian legislation dictates that tenants are able to attend final inspections, which according to the source, is a recipe for disaster.
“This is a dangerous time, this is the end of the road of the tenancy. This is the part where you as a tenant lose money, and you don’t have to worry about hurting the property manager’s feelings because you’re not going to deal with them again," he explained.
“For a tenant, this is a button pusher. If there was ever a time for a tenant to be aggressive, this would be it.
“So what do I do now? Do we take two agents to final inspections? Another thing we’re looking at is issuing some kind of policy with every lease we sign up, which is basically a non-violence order.
“I’d hope to be able to establish a no-tolerance policy for violence, and if at any time a property manager feels threatened or is abused, they can terminate the phone call and deal with that client exclusively through letter or email. This will make things very hard for the tenant – especially if they don’t have hot water.
“Legally, I’m not obliged to provide a telephone service, I’m obliged to provide a contact address. Tenants would be made very aware up front that that’s how we run things.”