Nightmare tenants – how the body corporate can help

Body corporate by-laws aren’t necessarily a silver bullet when it comes to dealing with nightmare unit or townhouse tenants, unless investors are on top of the situation.

Unruly renters can cause headaches as well as financial heartache for investors so taking proper precautions is essential, according to Andrew Staehr from Archers Body Corporate Management.

Body corporates are able to control unruly tenant behaviour to some extent through their by-laws, but owners need to understand how to work with their managers to solve tenant problems before it’s too late, Staehr said.

“A tenancy agreement will automatically require the tenant to adhere to body corporate by-laws and a breach of these constitutes a breach of the tenancy agreement,” he said.

But evicting an unruly tenant isn’t as straightforward as issuing one Notice to Remedy Breach.

“Unit owners will achieve greater success if they are vigilant and monitor the situation carefully.”

Staehr’s tips for dealing with the tenant from hell:

  • Meet with the body corporate managers and build a relationship.
  • Report breaches of the by-laws to the body corporate immediately.
  • Instruct your agent to issue a Notice to Remedy Breach to the trouble tenant.
  • Monitor the breach. If the tenant hasn’t rectified the situation within the specific timeframe, they could be asked to vacate.
  • Keep accurate records for possible future action.