When Landlord – Tenant Negotiation gets ugly…

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When Landlord – Tenant Negotiation gets ugly…

It constantly amazes me how some people will chop off their nose to spite their face. We see it time and time again when tenants and landlords are negotiating and become side tracked from the real issue at hand.

An example I refer to happened just this month. We had owners of a tenanted investment property that wanted to sell their property and the tenants were refusing to allow access for a short 5 week auction campaign. 

The tenants were unhappy the property was to be sold just 8 weeks after signing a lease and the landlord of the investment property had to sell for financial reasons. The landlord made many offers to compensate for the inconvenience to their tenants including reduced rent for 5 weeks to allow access twice a week for open homes during the auction campaign. Even this was rejected by the tenants along with every single other offer.

The tenants would not negotiate at any level and the landlords had no choice but to sell (for their financial reasons).

There are undoubtedly many situations in Property Management where tenancy issues arise and if not dealt with properly it can end up costing tenants and/or landlords more than it needs to (including pain and suffering!).

As Property Managers we represent the property owners so our involvement in a tenancy issue is actioning the landlords requirements and while we always conduct ourselves in professional and respectful ways to assist tenants, including providing all the information they require to make informed decisions, we often find ourselves receiving emotional backlash from the tenants who are simply acting badly in the situation.

It makes sense that tenants may get emotional when their tenancy needs are challenged after all we are talking about their home, their place of residence at the time. But it is well worth a tenant (and landlord’s) efforts to try and keep emotions out of the situation and make informed decisions in the negotiation process.

From our experience, those that fail this advice can end up paying the consequences that really didn’t have to happen unfortunately.

We have attended more tribunal hearings in 2014 than ever before and most matters could have been handled outside the court.

The outcome in this scenario I mentioned above was:  A tribunal hearing where the member made the decision based on the legislation and granted ongoing access twice per week without a reduction in rent.

If the tenant had been prepared to negotiate the outcome would have been far better for them particularly given that the landlord was prepared to compensate for inconvenience.

So I take this opportunity to remind tenants that it is important to read all details about their tenancy agreement including legislation about their rights and obligations as a tenant. We provide this information upfront before a tenancy agreement is signed. At the time of signing a tenancy agreement, a tenant is also agreeing to abide by the Residential Tenancies Act 2010. We also provide resources online to various links including this residential tenancies Act at NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal andTenants NSW also has many resources available that aim to protect and also assist tenants in dealing with tenancy issues.

It is also good for landlords to be informed of legislation with regards to tenants as it may save them from futile emotional debates that simply could be dissolved efficiently based on legislation. Its purpose is to protect both tenants and landlords and aid in efficient negotiation of tenancy issues before they turn ugly.