Top Background

Extra Mile Saves One Thousand

Up until recently I had two young men renting a 3Br house from me out of town. One phoned to give notice, stating a change in financial circumstances and a burglary for their reason to want to leave – first I'd heard about the burglary. Of course, rent payments ceased immediately, despite my reminding him of his obligations.

On the last day of tenancy, I rang to say I would do the inspection and pick up a cheque for the missing rent. The tenant told me he didn't have the money, and to take the rent owed from the bond. I pointed out the bond was for damages, cleaning, etc. As we had completely repainted before they occupied the place, it was gleaming, and I expected it to be very close to the same when I took it back. If there was anything needing doing, I would go to Tenancy Tribunal, and if he didn't abide their judgement, it would go to a debt collector, damaging his credit record for years to come (as he was a boy racer, I figured this was a good ploy – he'd need credit for his next car). Honestly, I hardly intended to bother. But, he was getting up my nose with his attitude and I wanted to bring him down a peg. It must have worked as when I swung by the house his whole family was there, weeding the garden, mowing the lawn, moving his stuff.

We did the final inspection (it seemed a formality, as the rent owing equalled the bond). The house was still grubby, though better than when he had lived there, some garbage was in the shed, along with an absent flatmates stuff, and a fist sized hole in one of the doors. I could forgive the cleaning I would have to do, but the other persons stuff, and a damaged door??? This needed answers. The flatmate that was there blamed absent flatmate for everything, claiming he had tried all avenues to contact him, was owed money by him etc. Poor baby. My heart really bled, or would have if I hadn't seen this coming a mile off.

Well, it took me no time to contact the absent flatmate via his work. He promised to come by the flat Tuesday to get his things – I told him I would be there at 11:30am.  Come 11:25am Tuesday morning, a very apologetic ex-tenant phones saying he's misplaced his car keys, but don't worry, he'll have the stuff out by midnight (this was 2 days after the official end of tenancy). I said I had a trailer with me, and could drop his stuff off, if he wanted to walk over. He declined – his new place was way over the other side of town. "Right then, I'll just come by and pick you up around 1pm". There was no way I was going to drive the 1 ½ hours home without knowing that all his stuff was gone. A ten minute drive across town was worth the peace of mind. He couldn't argue with this, so I went and got him.

On the way, I made pleasant conversation, and asked casually about the hole in the door. "Oh, I did that when I discovered my Playstation was stolen".

"What's your plan for fixing it?" I asked, conversationally.

"I don't really have a plan"

"Then the way I see it, you have three options. Replace the door, replace the veneer, or get a noticeboard to cover it (which I was planning to do until I could be bothered with the other choices)"

"I'm a bit short of money right now..." he trailed off.

"Ah," says I, "then you'll be wanting to go with option C, which will set you back $5 or so. How about we swing by the Warehouse on the way over?"

The poor lad, trapped in my vehicle had little choice but to agree. Unfortunately, the cheapest noticeboard we could find was $10. I felt bad for underestimating the cost. He paid for it, and we again resumed our journey to the house.

"By the way, there is some cleaning that needs doing – would you mind terribly giving me a hand with it before we load up your stuff?".

Again, he agreed. He did a great job of cleaning the bathroom, and then the food off the kitchen shelves while I busied myself wiping finger marks and fly poop etc. off the walls, and screwed the noticeboard over the offending hole. After about 1 ¾ hours, I suggested we load up the trailer with his stuff. He was pretty annoyed with his flatmate by this time, so imagine his joy at finding his fridge left outside as well as rubbish to get rid of. Before he could refuse to deal with it, I asked if he could do me the favour of getting rid of the rubbish as I had no rubbish bags for the local council, and would not be there to put them out on rubbish day – a better approach than "it's your rubbish, deal with it". He agreed, swearing about his ex-flatmate again. I helped him load his fridge and busied myself elsewhere while he loaded the rest by himself. I cheerfully took him and his stuff back to his new flat. My jolly mood at having all these things dealt with by those actually responsible must have unsettled him – he was so apologetic at having put ME to so much trouble! I couldn't explain that he had saved me much work, expense, bitterness and sleeplessness, and restored my faith that some people, when given opportunity to do the right thing, will do it. Such a different attitude from his flatmate whom I found abrasive, arrogant, and avoiding responsibility.

I count this as a win. Lessons I learnt are: a positive attitude will work wonders; ask and you will receive; and sometimes, you need to go out of your way to save yourself a longer trip!


Our Philosophy

We are honest and act with integrity.  We think it is necessary to love what one does, leave things better than they were found and take time to enjoy the world while we walk it.   We bring quality to others in our dealings and treat people with respect.  
We think it is essential to have fun, so humour is always welcome at Rental Results.

Awards & Associations

We are a member of the Independent Property Managers' Association (IPMA), and Leading Property Managers of New Zealand (LPMNZ).

We are also members of the Wellington Property Investors Association and Jackie Thomas-Teague is the former president.