Gladstone CBD landlord learns from horror tenant mass exodus
A GLADSTONE businessman is locked into several legal battles after four of his six tenants broke their fixed leases.
The mass exodus, which occurred over a one-year period, has left six of Shane Green's eight rental properties -- all of which are on Auckland St -- vacant, as two were already without tenants.
Mr Green said he has since put two of his properties up for auction, but he stressed that this is only to gauge potential interest.
He said he is now looking at potential tenants as an "investment", with plans to lure new businesses into his properties by offering competitive rates along with a range of IT services, including email servers, internet connectivity, and other services to save capital.
"It is unusual, but it's what you have to do," he said.
"You have to look after your own tenants because they are basically an investment.
"You want to see them do well, then they are going to pay their rent, as a landlord that's what you want -- as an investor that's ideal."
Mr Green says he's approached "every single" real estate in Gladstone, all of which have said, "essentially, people are taking some absurd offers to fill their properties".
Elders Real Estate Principal said competition for tenants had come to a point where any edge landlords could get over each other would help fill their properties faster.
"In this climate, in this business climate, anything that's a bonus will help," he said. "It's very tough condition, and with someone to throw in IT support would be a big bonus."
Mr Green sees it as helping a tenant get their new business off the ground in a move he hopes will bring confidence.
"People are just too scared to get their money out of their pocket," he said.
"When the times are good that's when you can make your money. When times are tough, well then -- then if you can hang out for the good times then you're in good stead for the future of your business."
He said he understood that many companies and businesses who signed leases during the boom years were struggling to pay their rent.
The businessman, who owns Reefnet Computers and the Tank St property it operates out of, admitted: "if we had to pay the rent that other people do, we'd be in a dire situation".
All of his tenants were from "out of town", adding one of them -- who he is taking to court -- is a national company.
"It tells you something about the state of the economy Australia-wide," he said.
But the ugly experience has taught the businessman some valuable lessons. Mr Green first invested in property in Gladstone's CBD in 2005 to "diversify" his financial interests, instead of solely relying on his IT business.
"That's what we've attempted to do -- but in doing so, we've left ourselves open to the issues that we currently face in Gladstone," he said.