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Are Canberra tenants selfish?

By Property Manager - 6 February 2012 50

free!

As a follow up to an earlier post titled Are Canberra Landlords Greedy, here is an article to balance the view on things. Thanks to Holden Caulfield for the title.

With the information age has come a considerable improvement in the treatment of tenants when compared to days gone by. This coupled with the improved education standards of agents has ensured that tenants are generally not taken advantage of as history shows they had been in the past.

It is a good thing that tenants are now more empowered and knowledgeable of their rights as it improves the quality of service throughout the industry and will continue to weed out the dodgy owners and agents who try to take advantage of unwitting tenants.

BUT, it appears that a growing number of Canberra tenants seem to think that paying rent entitles them to a five star, 24 hour concierge service. This isn’t a reflection of a tenants’ improved understanding of their rights, it shows an unreasonable expectation that the world owes them something.

As an example, I recently had a tenant request a replacement for a failing garage door remote, but when I asked her to at least see if replacing the battery would help she found that there was no fault. She would happily have cost the owner $150+ for the cost of a new programmed remote when all that was needed was to replace a $5 battery.

This is indicative of a growing culture of helplessness and unreasonable expectancy that the property owner will foot the bill for everything without any requirement of common sense of minor effort from the tenant. At the first suggestion of a fault there are tenants calling for help without bothering to properly identify and troubleshoot the issue, when often the problem can be overcome with 30 seconds of rational thought.

Most investment owners have only one investment property, and many of these are family homes rented for a short term until the owners move in themselves. These properties are not owned by corporations with unlimited resources, they are owned by people like you and me who work full time just to pay the bills.

Of course these comments will raise the ire of many tenants, but maybe have a think about whether you would be happy dip into your own pocket to pay $100 to change a $5.00 light globe. This is effectively what many tenants are expecting the landlord to do.

And before you attack your property manager as a defence, consider that while your property manager may be a douche, the property owner has to deal with the same douche of a property manager AND they also have a douche of a tenant who bleeds them of money because they are too lazy to use their brain.

Don’t be that guy.

Image courtesy nuttakit

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Are Canberra tenants selfish?
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ArandaBill 9:11 am 08 Feb 12

Being a responsible landlord owning a rental property anywhere in Australia is expensive if you cannot do some of your own maintenance like ‘changing a light bulb, or changing a leaking tap washer for whic a property manager and maintenance tradesman will charge $100 plus.

Then there are the State and Territory taxes such as Land Tax, Rates and W&S charges which amount to $100+ per week for most ACT rental properties (and these are increasing at a greater rate than CPI). The cost of call out fees and services from plumbers, electricians, really any tradesman, are also very high in the ACT, almost double the rate in surrounding areas of NSW. That is the market in which ACT landlords operate and tenants unfortunately suffer from higher rental rates.

Then when the landlord finally sells up, the Federal Government comes in for a slice of Capital Gains Tax, before the money gets put into a safe and secure term deposit at a higher rate of return then rental proerty in the ACT.

In my experience 95 percent of tenants are responsible, terrfic people, just having to rent until they can afford a place of their own. Some just decide to rent long term. They are worth looking after. However, the bad eggs are a nightmare for landlords, as is the Rental Tribunal.

HenryBG 11:24 pm 07 Feb 12

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

This one thing happened to me recently with one person. It was quickly and easily resolved, but you should also know that the incident makes it appear a growing number of people exhibit / is indicative of a growing culture of some other wild generalisation not even remotely close in scope or magnitude to the first thing. Here’s another example using the same numbers with an utterly unrelated object. Therefore, some subset of people I feel poorly about are unreasonable, helpless, entitled, lacking common sense, irrational, douches and lazy.

Face it, crim-lover:

people who work hard own their own home.****

Dishonest, dole-bludging, pot-smoking scumbags have to rent.

**** Although, see separate thread on housing affordability for nuances on this

clp 9:45 pm 07 Feb 12

So ok some people suck whether they are tenants or landlords, not because they are tenants or landlords.
Hasn’t this all been done to death before?

milkman 7:34 pm 07 Feb 12

murraythecat said :

It’s not just an ACT issue. We own a house interstate, & rented it out in October when we moved. By all accounts (we have friends in the street who drive past) the tenants are keeping the house in excellent condition, and for that we are grateful and would like to be good landlords. But keeping the place in excellent condition is now the problem. They are demanding (through our PM, who keeps telling us what nice ppl they are, huh????) that we fix this, fix that, mostly things that were not there or not functioning when they moved in & signed the lease (therefor effectively accepting that the 40 year old house in the condition which it was presented to them). Eg, 2 flyscreens missing. They also dont “like” the completely functional clothesline out the back (the same one that i used without probs for 2 years).. they have requested to have a hills hoist put in, at thier own expense mind, but we don’t want a hills hoist in the middle of our back lawn, which is why we have the line where it is. The pool was losing water, & to have it repaired they were requested by our pool guy to let the water level drop so the leak could be identified, but no, they wanted to use the pool over xmas (fair enough), so had to keep topping it up. Now they are refusing to pay the excess water bill. Their list of demands from the day they moved in had been overwhelming, no, we have NOT refused any of their requests (except the hills hoist), what we have said is that we can only do so much at one time, as repairs cost money, if they can be patient, eventually they will all get done, it is in our interest too of course to keep our house in good repair. Their response is to threaten to get legal advice to back up their claim to pay less rent. Not $10 or $20 mind, but $50 less a week on a $350/week house.
So are Canberra tenants selfish, maybe, but when you move in to 40 year old house & pay $350/week rent, this behaviour is completely selfish. Grr.

Time to move ’em on…

Woody Mann-Caruso 5:57 pm 07 Feb 12

This one thing happened to me recently with one person. It was quickly and easily resolved, but you should also know that the incident makes it appear a growing number of people exhibit / is indicative of a growing culture of some other wild generalisation not even remotely close in scope or magnitude to the first thing. Here’s another example using the same numbers with an utterly unrelated object. Therefore, some subset of people I feel poorly about are unreasonable, helpless, entitled, lacking common sense, irrational, douches and lazy.

homeone 5:16 pm 07 Feb 12

murraythecat said :

The pool was losing water, & to have it repaired they were requested by our pool guy to let the water level drop so the leak could be identified, but no, they wanted to use the pool over xmas (fair enough), so had to keep topping it up. Now they are refusing to pay the excess water bill. quote]

I’m a tenant but I’d be saying no to this one!

astrojax 5:00 pm 07 Feb 12

devils_advocate said :

astrojax said :

…[despite the error in handle’s punctuation]…

I tried to use an apostrophe to indicate possessive, but *it* wouldn’t let me.

dang ‘it’! how does the eagle’s nest respond to this travesty?

devils_advocate 4:53 pm 07 Feb 12

astrojax said :

…[despite the error in handle’s punctuation]…

I tried to use an apostrophe to indicate possessive, but *it* wouldn’t let me.

murraythecat 4:18 pm 07 Feb 12

It’s not just an ACT issue. We own a house interstate, & rented it out in October when we moved. By all accounts (we have friends in the street who drive past) the tenants are keeping the house in excellent condition, and for that we are grateful and would like to be good landlords. But keeping the place in excellent condition is now the problem. They are demanding (through our PM, who keeps telling us what nice ppl they are, huh????) that we fix this, fix that, mostly things that were not there or not functioning when they moved in & signed the lease (therefor effectively accepting that the 40 year old house in the condition which it was presented to them). Eg, 2 flyscreens missing. They also dont “like” the completely functional clothesline out the back (the same one that i used without probs for 2 years).. they have requested to have a hills hoist put in, at thier own expense mind, but we don’t want a hills hoist in the middle of our back lawn, which is why we have the line where it is. The pool was losing water, & to have it repaired they were requested by our pool guy to let the water level drop so the leak could be identified, but no, they wanted to use the pool over xmas (fair enough), so had to keep topping it up. Now they are refusing to pay the excess water bill. Their list of demands from the day they moved in had been overwhelming, no, we have NOT refused any of their requests (except the hills hoist), what we have said is that we can only do so much at one time, as repairs cost money, if they can be patient, eventually they will all get done, it is in our interest too of course to keep our house in good repair. Their response is to threaten to get legal advice to back up their claim to pay less rent. Not $10 or $20 mind, but $50 less a week on a $350/week house.
So are Canberra tenants selfish, maybe, but when you move in to 40 year old house & pay $350/week rent, this behaviour is completely selfish. Grr.

astrojax 3:36 pm 07 Feb 12

solution is easy – shoebox, in’t middle ‘t road…

and can i add a vote of confidence for devils_advocate [despite the error in handle’s punctuation] for the insights this poster’s comments bring..?

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