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Property manager saves elderly tenant from eviction and despair

When an elderly tenant called to say he couldn’t afford rent or food, Ray White Maroochydore Property Manager, Kayla Johnson, knew she had to do something.

Well aware that if she followed traditional processes, the previously solid tenant would soon be homeless, she and her colleagues decided to act.

“He was going through a separation, he was all alone and he didn’t have anyone to help him,” she said.

“He didn’t have any family or anything like that and he was quite elderly too.

“He called the office and said he had no money for rent or food. 

“We could tell he was very stressed, so we arranged to meet with him to speak about his situation, and we brought some food.”

When Kayla and her colleagues met with their tenant they realised the situation was actually much worse than the man had let on.

“He broke down crying and said he wanted to take his own life,” she recalls. 

“We ended up calling the police, and he got some help.”

But that wasn’t the end of the care the team provided.

Kayla says they liaise with the landlord to give the tenant a few weeks grace and connected him with the Department of Housing, who were able to pay his rent arrears and provide a rent subsidy until the end of the tenant’s lease a few months later.

“He was so grateful for our help and every week he was at the bank to pay his portion of the rent, he never missed a payment,” she reveals.

As well as connecting the tenant with services to help him with his mental health, Kayla and the team regularly gave him a call to check he was OK. 

She says when the man’s lease was up he returned the property in the correct condition and was in a much better position.

“We just tried to make life a little easier for him and a little bit nicer,” Kayla says.

“It’s just about being a nice human, and nobody wants to put anyone on the street.

“There’s a lot of media and people out there that say property managers are bad and it’s not that way at all.”

Kayla says while PMs do have a process to follow and are working for the landlord, she says sometimes life throws tenants a curveball and all they need is a little help to get back on track.

“Treat people how you would like to be treated if this was to ever happen to you,” she says.

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Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Editor at Elite Agent.