She's been at it for eleven years, and despite constantly being chased down for payments, keeps doing it and getting away with it.
A landlord who’s out of pocket and out of patience has finally hit back at the serial rental pest who's made a habit of living rent free.
Gavin Bulleen rented his Melbourne investment property to Agnes Pashen. It's been almost a month and he hasn’t received a cent.More stories from Today Tonight
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“In my case it’s bad as it gets because I rely on that income, and it’s making my life hell because she’s not paying,” Bulleen said.
Another victim is the director of DB Realty Paul Hyman who rented Pashen a Southbank property in February.
“She paid the first month and bond and then straight after that the rent slowed down - we had half a month’s rent, then it took us two and a half months to get the rest of the money,” Hyman said.
Both men admit Pashen's not your average rental rogue as her well-dressed appearance and charm make her seem like the perfect tenant.
“I’m usually a pretty good judge of character and took her at face value. She seemed really, really nice,” Bulleen said.
Bulleen is far from alone. Pashen has been involved in at least six different rental disputes dating back to 2001. At the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal she was ordered to pay almost $3000 on a Southbank property and more than $1500 on an apartment in St Kilda.
She was also ordered to pay $1300 for a rental in Balaclava, and in Springvale she owed around $1500.
There’s $1900 owing on a Clayton property and Bullen claims she owes him another $5000 in rent and bond.
According to real estate expert Neil Jenman “a lot of landlords are really struggling financially, and a lot of the tenants because they’re not paying rent, they’ve got no rent to pay, they’ve got no mortgage to pay, so they're on easy street.”l
Jenman says “they know how to cheat the system and when you’re a tenant and you're cheating the system, you’re rolling in money.”
Across the country landlord versus tenant battles are raging. The most common issue for landlords is loss of rent.
Landlord insurance went up by almost four per cent last year alone. Other top problems are accidental damage, which have jumped by almost 50 per cent over the last few years, and malicious damage, which has increased by more than 30 per cent.
“Tenants know how to avoid getting on the blacklists. Some of them use a different name, some don’t use an agent - they use a landlord direct. And the landlords don’t understand the rules and how to put them on the blacklist,” Jenman explained.
The experts’ advice is to take out landlord’s insurance and to do your research.
This reporter is on Twitter at @tinekae
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