The devastating reality of the country’s crippling housing crisis greeted a property manager this week when she had to personally remove an evicted tenant from a rental.
Property manager Ashleigh Goodchild arrived at a house in Perth expecting the tenant, who had defaulted on her payments, to have vacated the property or at least removed her furniture.
The home’s owner had himself been left with nowhere to live and needed to repossess the house simply to stay off the street, Ms Goodchild explained, choking back tears, in a video shared to social media.
She explained her company, SOCO Realty, had “tried to negotiate as best we can” to encourage the tenant to leave but ultimately had to call in a locksmith to change the locks.
Ms Goodchild told news.com.au she didn’t know what she would see when she opened the doors but was shocked to find the tenant still inside the property.
“She was very distressed and very emotional, but very cooperative as well. She was so distressed but understanding of the situation,” she said.
The tenant had routinely informed the realtor of financial difficulties and struggled with her mental health, which Ms Goodchild said aided in how her company managed the situation.
“Because we have had a good relationship, it meant that the situation has been handled with respect. I think it’s really important for property managers to humanise the experience,” she said.
Ms Goodchild’s knowledge of the tenant’s struggles meant the landlord had also been lenient in his approach, but his capacity to wait any longer had been exhausted.
She had defaulted on payments for a prolonged period, Ms Goodchild revealed.
The property manager stressed how delicate tenant evictions could be and said she was grateful she handled the situation and not one of her colleagues.
“Another property manager with not as much experience might have been a bit thrown and put in potentially an unsafe situation,” she said, detailing that she needed to make some things safe inside the property for herself after she entered.
“It could have been a lot worse for someone who is new in the industry,” she said.
According to CoreLogic data, Perth deteriorated the most out of all states in housing affordability for lower-income households between March 2020 and March 2023.
Ms Goodchild had noticed a distinct lack of rental availability, which she said was a recipe for disaster when combined with what she described as inadequate government assistance and poor tenant quality.
“It’s really horrible to see families go through these affordability issues,” she said, adding that up to 70 per cent of applications were what she would deem “poor quality”.
The label applied to tenants who defaulted on payments or were guilty of “trashing properties”.
She advised tenants worried about acquiring an adverse rental history to keep in close contact with their property manager, who she said were often more caring than people gave them credit for.
In her video, which has been viewed more than 130,000 times, she revealed she suggested to the tenant what she could do next.
“I just tried to make her feel a bit better about what was about to happen and I helped her pack her stuff, and after a couple of hours I got her out of the property and on her way,” she said.
“I gave her a few ideas and suggestions and explained to her that it’s just like a little speed bump in her life, and she’ll be OK.”
Ms Goodchild said she suggested the tenant consider starting her own cleaning business, given she had always maintained the rental to an impeccable standard.