Perth landlords have been left with disposal bills of up to $100,000 from illegally dumped tyres.

WA’s Consumer Protection has urged landlords to carry out regular property inspections and perform due diligence when choosing tenants.

How this scam works

The scam initially targets tyre retailers and vehicle wrecking yards with offers of cheap disposal of worn-out tyres. The offender then dumps the tyres at properties they’ve leased, including the backyards of rental homes, and later abandons the property.

The property owner is left with the problem (and cost) of disposing of the used tyres. Tyres are considered an environmental pollution risk and are subject to controlled waste regulations.

One location in Wungong was used to store hundreds of tyres, which will cost the property owner about $100,000 for disposal.

Consumer Protection said rental income may also be lost at affected properties during the tyre clearance as rules for abandoned goods do not apply if the products are considered unwanted waste.

To help prevent similar illegal and potentially hazardous activities, landlords and agents are encouraged to carry out regular property inspections.

Up to four inspections a year are allowed for residential tenancies, with at least a week’s notice to the tenant. Conducting an inspection soon after a new tenant moves in may help to address any issues early on.

When considering applications from prospective tenants, thorough checks should be carried out, including recent rental references from an authentic former landlord or agent.

Consider screening your shortlisted tenant with rent.com.au’s RentCheck tool to ensure you know who’s signing the lease.

It is good practice to sight original identification documents, rather than copies, when possible.

Report illegal dumping to DWER’s Pollution Watch Hotline on 1300 784 782 or on email.

If you need more information about landlord rights and responsibilities in WA, contact Consumer Protection on 1300 304 054.