We own one property that has been short term let, and it has been long-term let.  While we are very good a screening both short term and long term tenants, the odd nightmare slips through the cracks.

Here’s one real horror story from 2019 with a property that was very successfully run as a short-term let, until circumstances changed and it was permanently let.

The tenant, let’s call her Audrey applied for the property during a time when there were less tenants applying.  References check out, employment checked out, income checked out and all appeared to be good.

Then, not long after the lease began the rental payments started falling behind. There should be no problem, there a process for dealing with that.  So we issue her with the appropriate Queensland Residential Tenancy Authority Forms (Notice to Remedy Breach).  When she doesn’t pay our option is to go to the small claims tribunal to get her out (in QLD its QCAT, similar in other states).  An urgent application takes 5-6 weeks.  So by the time she is already behind by a week and the other processes have run their course we are about 8 week out of pocket in rent.  And there is no guarantee that QCAT will find in our favour.  In factits quite likely that they won’t put a poor tenant out onto the streets compared to a relatively wealthy landlord just trying to exercise their rights, collect their rent and pay their mortgage.

So we are persuaded, rather than going down this path, to enter into a payment plan.  We do this and document it with the tenant’s agreement that they will vacate if they don’t pay in the agreed (lenient) timeframes.

Lo and behold circumstances change and the tenant cannot pay in the revised and agreed times.  So we enter a second revised agreement.  Lo and behold the tenant, despite agreeing to this fails to make these payments too.

So by then we give her the appropriate forms (Notice to Leave) and she says she has spoken to the Tenants Union and if we want her out we need to take her to the Tribunal.  Knowing this will take time and they will likely find in her favour what options do we have? It seems in Australia that if a tenant really won’t leave a place, that it is almost impossible to get them out.

Compare this with the benefits of short-stay accommodation where the guests always pay upfront, they can’t book if they don’t.  Together will all the other benefits of short term accommodation, as outlined in But won’t short-term tenants trash my property we would rather rent on the short term market any day of the week.