the Breeze

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A recent happening in relation to the rental of an island property highlights the lengths that some people will go to, to hide their background and record as property renters.

The event came to light as a result of The Friendly Bay Islander’s Zero Tolerance program that has seen most island real estate firms sign a document of cooperation in relation to lifting island rental standards.

One of island real estate agencies was recently subject to a major scam by a serial rental offender.

The party has a history of being a poor tenant, particularly in relation to behaviour and property care.

A letter from one of the cooperative agencies recently stated: “ As an agency we fully support the Zero Tolerance and we certainly want to use the rental system to ensure we have good people renting island properties.

“We also want to make this island sanctuary attractive to new property owners and investors..

“Unfortunately, we are seen as a low demographic area due to the cheaper housing and cheaper rentals.

“We hope in time the market picks up and we can make it unaffordable to some who come here and make it difficult for good people to enjoy our island lifestyle.

“This will benefit all the islanders who wish to make this place an enjoyable community.

“What people fail to see is the amount of people who come onto the islands every day looking for rentals.

"We, as agents, are on ground zero with what we have to deal with EVERY SINGLE DAY.

“People with sad stories, people who are homeless and people who have a poor record as tenants.

“We do not rent to these people as they do not fit our criteria as an agency.

“We often get abused by them later, only to discover they get accepted elsewhere.”

In the case of a new island tenant, the person committed a criminal act to gain benefit.

The agent explained: “Every single piece of identification, references (whom we rang) receipts, phone bills, proof of income, birth certificate, tax invoices provided by the person are fraudulent.

“The person got through our checking process as they didn’t exist on any database.

“Documents were provided showing they lived on the mainland and even went to the extent of faxing the application to us from the mainland.”

Information about the tenant had been received previously from another island office, but under another name.

When the tenant and their history were eventually identified, they were issued with an order to vacate.

It is believed the person has also been charged by police with fraud.