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NSW Property Investment - Debt from Tenant - Should We Accept Loss?

Discussion in 'Property Law Forum' started by JenniG, 24 November 2015.

  1. JenniG

    JenniG Member

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    We have a property investment in Far North Queensland that is managed by an agent. A few months ago the agent contacted us to advise that the tenant was terminally ill & would soon be moving into Palliative Care. The tenant had been keeping (more or less) up to date with his rentals & after he moved out the agent arranged cleaning & mowing of the lawns to make it presentable to the next tenant.

    We now have a new tenant, however, the agent has advised us that after the finalisation of the monies, expenses, etc, there is a shortfall of $166. This obviously took into account the bond monies that were paid.

    The agent has attempted to contact the tenant to no avail & now they suspect that he may have passed away.

    The agent has advised that our options may be limited to recoup the money as first we would need to make a claim on his estate (if he has one) and the first step would be to try & track him down. Understand this could take some time & not guaranteed a favourable outcome. I have also contacted the Tenancy Board in QLD & they kind of advised me the same thing - we would need to locate him.

    My question is - for $166 is the effort & costs involved trying to recoup the debt far outweighed by the amount we are owed...and, therefore, should we just accept this as a loss?
     
  2. James D. Ford - Solicitor

    James D. Ford - Solicitor Well-Known Member

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    Hi JenniG

    The only way you can search the registry of BDM (Births, Deaths & Marriages) in Qld, is to have a lawyer make an application on your behalf - and even then simply being a minor creditor may not be sufficient reason to be provided access.. It is in the discretion of the registrar.

    The cost to do this would be the legal fees which would be more than the debt you are chasing.... plus the $43.50 application fee (which would be refunded if access is denied or they did not die in Qld).

    All deaths in Qld must be registered with them within 14 days of the person passing away.

    The information collected is via the following form:

    https://publications.qld.gov.au/storage/f/2014-04-17T00:21:14.323Z/death-registration-application.pdf

    This may give you enough to find out who you might contact to determine who the Executor of the estate is... and as a default you could as the Public Trustee if they have been named as Executor.

    If the debt was substantial... you could go directly to using a specialist skip-tracer who locates people dead or alive, anywhere in Australia.

    If they are still alive, then searching all Palliative Care facilities in Far North Qld, would be my recommendation.

    Kind regards
     
  3. JenniG

    JenniG Member

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    Thanks, James - We thought as much - for $166 it is clearly going to cost us more than that to even start the process to determine if the tenant has in fact passed away & not then to mention making a claim on his estate (if he even has one to claim on).

    The agent did indicate that they thought he had gone into palliative care in Brisbane from Cairns....even so, not worth our while.

    We will just have to accept this as a loss for the financial year against the property.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to respond to my question - it is most appreciated and a great service that you provide on this site for people who want some advice on possible next steps & are not sure where to go.

    Kind regards.
     

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