With Halloween upon us, these property management horror stories are sure to give you a fright. From hidden drug labs to stolen kitchens to data held ransom, here are the best property management horror stories from across the web:
1. Hidden drug lab
Police had tracked four men through three drug labs to a rental property in St Leonards, Victoria. When police raided the property, they seized 15 kilograms of methamphetamine with an estimated street value of $15 million. Not only does this incur massive clean up costs, but it also means loss of income for the landlords and any future tenants could face potential health risks from chemical residue.
The four men had used fake IDs to rent the properties used for the labs. The property managers responsible for the properties should have done background checks on the tenants prior to the lease agreement. Additionally, routine inspections would have helped to spot any lab equipment, property modifications and suspicious behaviour, smells and run-off into drains.
2. Property manager attacked by dog
Laura Scott, a property manager at Melbourne Real Estate, was conducting a routine inspection in Heidelberg West when she was attacked by the tenant’s dog. She had called a day before the inspection to ensure the dog was restrained for her visit.
However, the dog was loose in the backyard when she arrived at the inspection. It ran into the house and bit her several times before she managed to escape, leaving her bleeding from both legs and traumatised by the attack.
As a property manager, it’s crucial that you take the necessary precautions to keep yourself and your team safe. This might mean discussing upcoming inspections to raise concerns based on past experiences or being aware of any unusual noises prior to entering a property.
To help avoid some potentially dangerous situations like the one above, be sure to read our Top 5 Property Manager Safety Tips.
3. Kitchen gone missing
One self-managed landlord ended up with a big shock when his tenants moved out. They had taken his entire kitchen with them...even the kitchen sink was gone!
“Until then, I’d never heard of a tenant liking a kitchen so much they decide to take it with them when they leave. From my experience, theft from investment properties is more common than landlords realise,” said Carolyn Parrella, executive general manager of Terri Scheer Insurance.
Perhaps this could have been prevented if the landlord entrusted their investment property to a property manager instead of self-managing. By thoroughly screening and vetting tenants and conducting regular inspections, any odd behaviour would have been flagged early on before the damage was done.
4. The unannounced landlord
It was the perfect rental property… until the landlord decided to let himself into the rental property unannounced. Not only did he fail to notify the tenant, but he also failed to notify his property manager.
His excuse? Property maintenance.
After the first incident, the tenant reported it to the property management agency. However, the same thing happened four more times before she decided to terminate her lease and move out.
In this scenario, the landlord should have been educated prior to signing the management agreement. He should have known that notice and consent are required prior to entering the property. This should be detailed in a handbook that outlines his obligations and responsibilities as a landlord.
Additionally, after the tenant reported the incident, the property manager should have contacted the landlord to understand why he entered the premises in the first place and to let him know what repercussions there are if he were to do it again.
5. Data held to ransom
Imagine if your property management data was held ransom for thousands of dollars…
Well, that’s exactly what happened to the property managers over at DeVille Estate Agency.
They received a ransomware email posing as an invoice due for payment. Two days after opening the seemingly harmless email, the virus had spread throughout the office network and encrypted all of their server-based files and backups. The hackers then demanded a ludicrous amount of money to restore the data.
Luckily, DeVille was in the process of migrating all their data into a cloud property management software system. So aside from some reports and photos, all of their previous financial statements and owner archives were backed up and stored securely in the cloud behind multiple layers of security. This meant that they didn’t have to pay the hackers a cent to restore their data!
Hopefully you enjoyed this blog post on 5 Property Management Horror Stories You Can Learn From. You might also be interested in 10 Incredibly Useful Tech Tools Every Real Estate Agent Needs, How Virtual Reality is Transforming the Real Estate Industry and 10 Signs You're a Great Property Manager.
Do you have a property management horror story? Please let us know in the comments below.