I FEEL Morteza Shojaee’s pain (“Bad hair day”, Herald, August 10, 2019).
Recently a large building company built next door to me.
Despite assurances that I would not be inconvenienced, I had constant noise from early hours, dust through my house for months, cracks in my walls and trucks driving all over my front verge.
Emails, phone calls, meetings never resolved the problem.
Big corporations seem to write their own rules and bad luck to the rest of us.
EVERY week I look forward to reading sections of the Herald.
I always turn to the Letters section first to get myself a good dose of indignation.
Last week my indignation levels hit a peak – no letters!
What the hell is going on? Was there really not one letter from the Freo community you could publish? I find this absolutely astounding.
How is it that the Herald did not print some controversy, worthy of public comment? How is it that our council did not manage to annoy the hell out of some NIMBY ratepayer.
Is our mayor not being controversial enough? He is sure as hell getting a bollocking in the West Australian, for tackling issues our federal government seems unable to cope with.
Anyhow, I am willing to help out the Herald’s failing letters section, just this once, by tapping out a few over the next couple of weeks.
Martha Street, Beaconsfield
Ed says: Don’t worry Pedro, the Letters section is back with a bang this week. Some weeks we have a bumper crop of news stories and unfortunately can’t squeeze any letters in.
THIS is not a game (“The roll of the dice”, Herald, August 3, 2019).
Oh, to be 24 again sitting in the sunshine with my rose-coloured glasses, sipping chai lattes with my favourite local city ward councillor, chalking up the virtuous wins with plastic bags and helium balloons…ziieep…scratch that record.
Enter the game of mid-40s mum and dad landlords.
After a week of working jobs and running children to school, we sit at the kitchen table reading the Herald, whilst looking at the mounting bills (two of each) – mortgage payments, interest on loans, council rates, water rates, fire services levy, insurance, property maintenance and other general bills.
All while we reflect on a rental property that was recently trashed, leaving behind not only a mess to clean up that insurance does not cover, but unpaid rent and a water account which we as landlords are now obliged to pay on the tenants behalf.
In this game, after the four weeks rent-in-advance period and the tenant stops paying us as landlords, roll the dice again.
As our stress mounts and mental health declines we try to work with the tenant to pay the outstanding rent so we can meet the previously mentioned obligations to the bank and various agencies.
There is no respite for landlords, you must pay these obligations to continue the game or face repossession and end on the street.
Under the WA Residential Tenancies Act we must submit the mandatory forms to give notice of a breach for failure to pay rent or inspect the property.
A Form 21 which can take up to another 30 days of no rent before an application can be made to the Magistrates court to terminate the tenancy and seek possession of your property.
After payment of another fee it can take another several weeks for a court date to be set, along with unpaid time off work to attend the hearing.
Roll the dice again and you are at court making sure all your paperwork is inline so the case is not thrown out.
Surprising that the dedicated tenancy court is packed with real-estate agents being paid $150 an hour to represent the landlords and hoping for a judgment to award costs, outstanding rent and damages.
If you are lucky enough to have your cards in a row and be awarded the judgement in your favour, you are then tasked with paying $600 for a bailiff/sheriff to help evict your violent meth-affected tenants and a locksmith to change all the locks.
Roll again and the sheriff gives warning before making entrance to the house and surprise, they have absconded leaving behind a feral stinking mess to clean up.
Roll the dice again and you are faced with picking up the card to take expensive civil action to pursue them for costs, or cut your losses, suck it up and start the game all over again.
So it seems the current WA Residential Tenancy Act has many protections for the tenants and very little for the owner, or at least that can be prosecuted by the courts.
Ironically, if a landlord contravene the Act you are subjected to thousands of dollars in enforceable fines.
The tenant does not have to take civil action as they are covered under the Act by the government.
As for our city ward councillor, one would think they should be supporting the very mum and dad ratepayers who support the city financially rather than playing games with their retirement nest eggs.
Mardie Street, Beaconsfield