Faeces, blood and rodents: A landlord's nightmare
FAECES littered through living areas, blood on the walls, smashed windows, overflowing rubbish and infestations of mice, lice and cockroaches.
This is the horrific reality being forced upon Warwick homeowners by careless tenants.
Landlords are being left to clean up and foot the bill for filthy tenants who leave their homes in squalor, in what one real estate agent says is an increasing problem across the city and right through Queensland.
Agent Darryl Evans said owners were frequently left with thousands of dollars of property damage and unpaid rent.
"It's a widespread, ongoing problem, especially in areas with a lower socio-economic demographic," he said.
"It affects all agents, right across the state, though not all of them choose to speak out about it, but it happens.
"Some instances really stand out, but non-payment of rent and damage is something we deal with all the time," he said.
"We've just had a landlord had an insurance pay out in excess of $12,000 due to excessive damage and rent in arrears.
"It's the biggest we've ever seen.
"The owners are so lucky they had landlord insurance.
"It took 72 days to get the house back to a leaseable standard."
Mr Evans said insurance was a must for anyone looking to rent out a property.
"If you are too tight to fork out for landlord insurance, don't own an investment property," he said.
Mr Evans said his staff inspected rental properties every three months but often problems came on quickly.
He said drugs was often a contributor.
"Sometimes we notice a change in the tenants. They'll just stop paying their rent, cancel direct debits etc," he said.
Realtor Helen Harm said damage and arrears happened but she and her staff tried to keep on top of it with rigorous background checks and inspections.
"If I feel someone is going to be a problem, I'd rather leave the house empty," she said.
"If you don't do the checks, sure people can slip through the cracks."
Landlord insurance is a must for anyone who wants to turn their investment property into a nice little earner.
This specialist insurance covers against a range of risks landlords face including malicious damage by tenants, accidental loss or damage, flood cover, common issues like storm and fire damage, theft, water damage, impact damage and loss of rent.
If a tenant stops paying rent, a notice to remedy breach is served after seven days, which means that rent in arrears must be paid.
If this is not paid in a further seven days, the agent can issue a notice to leave.
If the tenant does not leave, the agent, after yet another seven days, can apply to the courts to have the tenant evicted, which takes another two weeks.
If the eviction notice is granted, the courts usually give the tenant two weeks to vacate the premises.
In this instance, without insurance, the owners of the property would lose up to seven weeks in rental payments.