Wednesday, May 27, 2009


What is it about some landlords? I've dealt with some that are obsessive about the state of their property, going over it with a fine tooth comb at each inspection and immediately engaging tradesmen to fix faults. I even had one that noticed termites as he was walking by one day, and we had a pest controller on our doorstep the day after.

Then there are those that couldn't give a damn. I've heard about two in our area - one owning a residential property and the other a commercial one. Both have become tagging magnets in their respective areas.

Council have cleaned the residential property once, and provided quotes to clean it again when tags reappeared, but the landlord is refusing to come to the party. Knowing what rents are like in our area, and having a rough idea of the cost to remove the graffiti, I estimate that it would cost less than 1/4 of one week's rent to clean up the property, but they are too stingy to cough up even that.

The commercial property is even more bizarre. The tenant, who I have mentioned here before, offered to spend over $10,000 of their own money on applying a graffiti-resistant coating on the outside surfaces. The landlord delayed and procrastinated over giving permission, and when he finally did give approval, he did so on the proviso that the coating be removed at the end of the lease!!!

Madness! The tenant decided that since their lease does not have that long to run, they won't bother with it. I guess they will be moving to cleaner pastures when the lease runs out, and in this market and in that location, they will have a very tough time finding a replacement. You won't find me weeping over that landlord suffering from their own stupidity.

In other news, I wrote to the Director General of the Attorney General's Department this week and submitted my views on how I think the members of their Anti Graffiti Action Team (AGAT) are going. I gave some utilities an A, and recommended that they kick Telstra off for being utterly useless. I've asked for that report to be tabled at the next meeting of AGAT. If they won't release their minutes of meetings to me so that I can see what they are doing, then I'll let them know how I think they are going. Some of them might not like what I have to say, but I can only go on the information that I have to hand - ie, what I see around me.

I also wrote to the RTA, asking whether they report all graffiti on their assets to the Police. Somehow, I doubt that they are at present. When I wrote to the Minister for Energy about Energy Australia, they responded by saying that they would do so from now on - I'm hoping the RTA will take the same tack.

It's been a quiet week for reporting things - the bad weather has been keeping the vandals inside, but it hasn't been bad enough for pot holes to start appearing in roads or for trees and power lines to come down.

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