Sometimes I feel bad about seeking an eviction

evictionToday the bailiff rang and said be at your house in 10 minutes for the eviction.

Goodness that was fast I said. I only lodged the application on two days ago. I had told the court staff that the nice tenant had a six year old and a new born baby. I liked the tenant and gave the court staff this information to ensure they gave her a little bit of compassion and consideration. Normally the court give people at least two days notice to get out. Sometimes when there are very young children involved they give them a little bit more time. Because I had not heard from the bailiff that they had served the notice I just assumed that they were giving her until Monday to get out.

“I did not let you know in advance” he said. “We have been on industrial action, but anyway come quickly.”

This solo parent tenant had only been in the property for 10 weeks. She came with good references and good credit on Veda. Also her mother had once been a good tenant of mine. She presented as being a thoroughly decent person. Her story about WINZ not helping with bond and rent seemed reasonable. She was supposed to have recently stopped working at a high paid job. She paid the full bond and rent with her own cash of $1500.

Because I believed the story I was a little bit slower than normal issuing the 10 day letter when the rent was missed. I however quickly followed up with a tribunal application.

She turned up at mediation baby in arms and made sincere promises to pay $50 extra each week off the debt. The debt at that time was still less than the bond.

Last week she paid the due amount right at the end of the time she was due to pay or be evicted. Conditional termination orders are normally worded to give the tenant three working days after the rent is due or be instantly evicted. Having a long weekend in the middle meant that she had six days to pay. So last week I received $365 but not that weeks rent. I felt a little sad about asking for the termination bearing in mind her nice children. I was expecting a tearful confrontation. Bad greedy landlord throwing defenceless mother with baby clinging to her breast flashed through my mind.

So I got into the house with the bailiff at 2pm this afternoon. She had already gone with the house empty. In the corner of the lounge was a large flat screen liquid crystal TV screen with serious damage to its screen. A relatively small amount of rubbish in bags was left for me to dispose of. At the end of the hall a hole had been made and a rough incompetent attempt had been made to repair it.

On the lounge ceiling was a line of blood spots. So what had been going on?

I talked to the neighbours. The domestic violence had been terrible they said. The man had been throwing things off the high deck. Loud shouting and other sounds had been common. The poor little six year old boy would appear at the window looking terrified.

So tomorrow it is clean up day. Take the rubbish to the tip, mow the lawns, fix the damage, and show a prospective tenant through the house. Then it will be onto the next property and its problems to be sorted.

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