Owners evict feral tenants
BUNDABERG’S landlords are tired of being portrayed as the bad guys of the housing market.
This week two of them hit back after being forced to go to court to evict tenants who then left them with filthy and damaged houses.
Prominent businessman John Rimmington said he was so disgusted he was selling the house and getting out of the rental market.
And Carmel Vonhoff, who owns a property in Curtis Street from which she was recently able to evict a tenant, was evaluating what needed to be done to make the house habitable again.
“I know it’s not a palace but I was only charging them $160 a week,” Ms Vonhoff said.
“They hadn’t paid the rent for months anyway.”
Ms Vonhoff said she was aware work needed to be done to the house, but it could not be done while there were people living in it and they had refused to move.
A visit to the house yesterday showed the disgusting conditions that had been left behind.
Walls and windows had had holes punched in them, and the stove top and oven were both thick with old grease.
Every light bulb in every room had been removed.
Ms Vonhoff said the couple who had lived there had five small children and she was concerned about their health.
“I know there are mongrel landlords out there as well,” Ms Vonhoff said.
“But they made absolutely no attempt to clean anything when they left.”
She estimated it would cost her about $2000 to fix the damage.
Mr Rimmington said the tenant of his rental house in East Bundaberg had officially been evicted more than a week and a half ago but had refused to move.
When she eventually did move, he had to put flea bombs throughout the house all weekend.
“You couldn’t walk in there without being covered in fleas,” he said.
Every window in the house had a hole in it, and a new carpet had been burnt.
“It’s probably going to cost me $1200 to $1300 to fix it,” he said.
“She was behind in her rent, and the bond won’t cover what has to be done.”
Mr Rimmington said the previous tenant in the house had caused $5500 damage when they moved out.
“It’s just a nightmare. I thought if I offered a reasonable rent I’d get a reasonable tenant, but I’ve had two in a year and they’ve both trashed the place,” he said.
Mr Rimmington said it would take several weeks to get the house back to a liveable condition.
“People say there are no rental properties, but why would you bother?” he said.