Lismore property owner Maire Barron has been left feeling
Lismore property owner Maire Barron has been left feeling "helpless and wanting to sell" after her tenant refused to pay rent for two months, equating to $4000.

Property owner loses $4000 after renter refuses to pay

A LISMORE property owner has been left feeling “helpless and wanting to sell” after her tenant refused to pay rent for two months, equating to $4000.

Kyogle’s Maire Barron said she now uses a real estate agent to handle her rental property to try and stop the ongoing pattern of tenants not paying rent.

But she said the problem is still happening and “there is nothing she can do about it”.

Ms Barron said her tenant was on Centrelink but had stopped paying rent at the end of February, before the COVID-19 pandemic peaked.

They then used coronavirus as an excuse not to pay.

While the tenant has since moved out, the loss of rental income has added extra financial pressure on the owner of Northern Rivers Stained Glass during the (COVID-19) pandemic.

“She just refused to pay, it was really bad,” Ms Barron said.

“On top of that, my insurance company said because the tenant was on a periodic lease, they don’t cover loss of rent.

“I’m over it, if the housing market was good, I’d be happy to sell.”

She said the rental was part of her retirement plan and was not an income earner.

“It’s so disheartening, we just thought we should maybe just sell it and forget about it as a plan,” she said.

“I understand it from the tenant’s side sometimes, but they’ve just pocketed that rent assistance they got and we’ve had to find ways to cover during this crisis.”

Ms Barron said the real estate agent had sent the tenant an eviction notice after their rent payment was two weeks late.

Then on April 2, the agent applied for a New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal, but due to COVID-19 the tribunal wouldn’t go ahead until May 28.

She said that meant the tenant could have legally been living there rent-free until the end of June, as the tenant would have received another eviction notice after the tribunal.

“We were looking at a timeline of four and a half months with loss of rent because of the tribunal date,” she said.

“The tenant will go onto the TICA backlisting for agents to pick up though.”

She said having a real estate agent handling a rental property made the situation less stressful.

On April 13, the NSW Government announced its temporary rental support measures for residential tenants and landlords facing financial hardship due to COVID-19. The package includes an interim 60-day stop on landlords seeking to evict tenants due to rental arrears as a result of COVID-19, together with a longer six month restrictions on rental arrears evictions for those financially disadvantaged by COVID-19.

NSW Fair trading has been approached for comment.

For information on ending a tenancy agreement through NSW Fair trading visit:

https://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/housing-and-property/renting/ending-a-tenancy

For more on the NSW Government’s six month moratorium on residential tenancy evictions during COVID-19 visit: https://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/housing-and-property/renting/resolving-rental-problems/_nocache



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