Nobody will make you pay

Once there was an honest landlord, who even put correct details on his tax return. Then he got a tenant who refused to pay. He asked nicely. The tenant became abusive. The landlord sought help. Instead of being able to take the tenant straight to court he had to apply to another government body, which in Queensland is the Residential Tenant’s Association. As the name suggests they predominantly help tenants and claim to resolve 70.8% of disputes but that is only where both parties agree to talk. The real figure is 47.1%, less than half.

The RTA encourage mediation, to save on legal costs. The landlord said that he had already tried that but they insisted he tried again. The tenant remained abusive. The RTA made him send a form, giving the tenant another week to pay, followed by another which gave notice to leave. The tenant disputed it, on the grounds of gaining time. The RTA arranged a lengthy mediation. Several months later they issued a document to say that the dispute resolution was unsuccessful.

The landlord was now allowed to go to court and obtained a warrant of possession which the court passed to the police who told the tenant when they would enforce it. The tenant vandalized the property first and was given another house by the government. The honest landlord never got any rent to pay the mortgage, so the house was repossessed.

It may not be surprising that dishonesty still prevails in Australia, but the governments of other countries, including Britain, have also lost the willingness to deal with deliberate debtors. This casual attitude is one of the reasons why they have such a large debt of their own.

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