The Big Lie -

The Mercury
Go to content
The Big Lie

I manage a unit, 2 doors from XX, and it was let to a law student who also worked for Telstra from the unit due to Covid. XX took great offence to my tenant because of noise at Unit 3 on one occasion (it may have been New Year's Eve). XX began to seriously harass (terrorise may be a better word) my tenant as per the following email I received from my tenant [my highlights]:

"Hello Brian,

I [that's my tenant] am contacting you in regards to the ongoing harassment that I am facing from the lady residing in UNIT 1 [XX].

I have emailed you previously in regards to this - as you would recall, initially she was yelling threatening remarks through the windows of my unit from the driveway. I contacted the police in regards to this and they advised that unless I would like to get a restraining order against her, it is something that I would need to deal with through my landlord. I have attempted to address this directly with the neighbour, approaching her and apologising for anything that has happened that may have upset her. Unfortunately this conversation ended in further verbal threats, so I decided to leave it.

I am currently working from home and my desk is set up next to the loungeroom window facing the wall. This appeared to provide her with significant concerns because when I am sitting at my desk she is constantly standing at her car yelling things through the window, or just staring through the window at me. Not only is this completely unnecessary, but extremely distracting and my work is being effected by it. A solution to this was to have some privacy curtains installed to provide some privacy while I am working and just generally around the home.

Unfortunately, I believe this has made the situation worse. It has now got to the point where I will walk past her unit as I am taking the bins out and she will yell remarks out the window. What is stated can vary from “stay away from my car”, or as threatening as “that’s it, walk you fat a***”. Comments like these are completely unreasonable, hurtful and are having a significant impact on my mental health. In the recent weeks, I have found that someone has been taking and opening my mail, with the opened bills being returned to my mailbox weeks after they are due. I am unable to prove who has done this but given the aforementioned information, one could make an assumption.

On Sunday 25th April I received a significant amount of opened bills, totalling to $1000, that were all overdue, which has placed me in an extremely financially vulnerable position. In response to this latest attack on my property, I decided that for my security and safety I needed to purchase a small security camera. This camera is placed on the lounge room window sill and provides a view from the front door, across to my car and up the driveway. In the 4 days since installation, I have video footage of her looking through my windows, yelling remarks from the driveway, holding up signs to the window, banging on my windows and trespassing around the back of my unit.

I am now at a point where I am unable to sleep or eat due to the stress. I am worried she is going to damage my car, this unit or even me. I am scared to leave the unit and now choose to do so before 7AM to ensure that she is still asleep and there is not the risk of her coming out of the unit. I am reaching out in hope that there is something more that can be done about her behaviour, otherwise if it continues I will be looking at breaking out of the lease and moving. As I have said, this is now effecting my sleep and diet, but more so it is effecting my mental health. I am currently working full time and trying to study, and this is a stress that I do not need. I understand that these units are part of a Body Corporate (or so UNIT 1 has yelled at me on countless occasions) and I am hoping that this can be worked out with them. I have tried everything that I can, but every time I do something to protect myself it just aggravates her more.

Kind regards,

[Tenant's Name]"

That's how the current issue with XX started. My tenant, working from home because of Covid, was being heavily bullied and harassed by XX.

What was I to do? The Police had already been called by the tenant and had advised her to take out an Interim Restraint Order. After this, I called to Unit 3 and was shown video footage of XX harassing her. This was on my tenant's phone, linked to her security camera in the front window. I called to Unit 1 and had a discussion with XX, asking her to stop harassing my tenant and to stay off Unit 3's land, which is private land. I did not lose my temper. I followed this up with a letter that I dropped at her door. This happened on 6th May 2021.

My Tenant's Response
As advised by the police, my tenant took out an Interim Restraint Order against XX. I was aware of this but was not involved. My tenant was helped by a relative, a senior lawyer in Hobart, she said.

When I wrote to my tenant about renewing the lease, she replied on 29th November 2021 [my emphasis]:

Hey Brian,

Thank you for the email, I didn’t realise time had come by so quickly.

I’ve had a lot to think about in my decision to renew the lease, particularly the issues with UNIT 1.

I have decided that I will not be signing another 12 month lease. The main reason for this decision is that my current restraining order that is in place with UNIT 1 will end before the next 12 month lease. If I wanted to extend this, I would required to go back through the court process to complete this again.

With the l strain that it had on my mental health, I don’t feel comfortable going through this process again. There is also ongoing issues currently that I’m also well and truly over (minor things like - UNIT 1 constantly beeping her horn while I’m working, attempting to block out the driveway whilst I’m trying to leave, etc.). It’s just super little things that I am extremely frustrated over and which continue to effect my mental health.

It is a real shame because this unit is perfect for me and I will be extremely sad to pass it on. I’ve also appreciate you as a real estate agent and your support during this time.

Obviously with the lease ending this week, it will be putting a huge strain on both me leaving and yourself & Richard finding a new tenant. I’d like to make it as easy as possible for both of us.

Would there be a possibility that yourself and Richard would be happy to do a short extension to the lease whilst we gain new tenants and I leave the property? December is a crazy month for everyone so I figure it might be easier to find tenants in the new year. I am thinking perhaps a further 2 month extension until the start of February?

If this isn’t going to work, I’m more than happy to be out before the next due date for the rent. Just let me know what would be easiest for you and I will co-ordinate as such.

Kind regards,

[Tenant's Name]

We agreed that she could stay and give 2-weeks notice whenever. She wrote to me on the 3rd February 2022:

Good afternoon Brian,

I am writing to inform of the termination of my lease.

Although this is a bitter sweet moment, I have successful found a new property and have been accepted.

I wish to advised that I will be fully moved out by 15/02/2022 and will terminate the lease prior to the next rent period.

I wish to thank yourself and Richard for the time I’ve spent at this property. And also to yourself during the time I was dealing with KB.

I have no doubt this place will fill quickly, and I hope the next tenant provides you less of a headache (hopefully XX appreciates them more than me).

Thank you again.

Kind regards,

[Tenant's Name]

Within days of my tenant leaving, XX targeted me with false accusations of racism, bullying, and harassment - very similar to those against the owner of Unit 2, and very similar to those in the Welcome Stranger issue. Again, she used the oldest trick in the book, accusing me of the very things that she herself was guilty of.

In documentation received from XX, she mentioned a real estate agent who had given her advice. The name rang an alarm with me: this real estate agent stood for election to Hobart City Council in 2018 on the team run by the elected member mentioned earlier.
Copyright (c) Brian Corr 2023
Send me a quick email with a comment or request, and I will reply as soon as I can.
Brian Corr
The Mercury
Back to content