An eccentric landlord and her partner who set up camp in their tenants’ backyard have fled the property and vanished – but the renters are moving out in fear they will return.
Nicky, William and their three young children had only moved into the house in Yamba on the NSW north coast a few weeks before owner Pascale Hubert and her partner who calls himself ‘Ronald McDonald’ arrived.
Setting up a tent in the yard where there was no running water, ‘Mr McDonald’ was repeatedly filmed by the tenants yelling abuse at them.
Nicky and William (pictured) were renting the Yamba house for $560 a week when the landlord and her partner told them they would be staying in the backyard
But they abruptly left in their black ute with their boat in tow after council stepped in and told the owner and her partner they would be fined if they stayed.
‘You’ll be lucky to be breathing by the time I’m f****** finished with you,’ ‘Mr McDonald’ was filmed saying as he prepared to leave the property.
Nicky said ‘Mr McDonald’ was irate as he attached the boat to the vehicle and fled.
‘He left in a huff and a puff… He was difficult until the very end when he physically went down the driveway,’ she said.
‘Ronald McDonald’ who setup a tent in the backyard of the property and refused to leave makes a disgruntled getaway over a fence after council warned of an infringement notice
Nicky and William have no idea where the couple have gone and they haven’t heard from them since.
But with their lease expiring in two weeks, they won’t be hanging around to find out if the landlord and her partner return.
‘It’s just really uncomfortable knowing that they might just turn up today – or are they going to show up tomorrow and we’re going to have all sorts of drama again,’ William said, adding they plan to leave in the coming days.
The four-bedroom property is now being advertised on rental site NoAgentProperty for $560 a week.
The listing, which does not have the security of going through a real-estate agent, mentions that the rear yard is not included in the lease.
Homeowners Pascale Hubert and her husband ‘Ronald Mcdonald’ were forced to leave their makeshift campsite (pictured) in the backyard of their tenant’s home
But the advertisement also states the landlords ‘do not reside on the property but will be using the shed and rear yard for storage’.
That experience was very different for Nicky and William, who said the pair refused to leave, ruined their Christmas and scared their children.
The tenants were sent a text informing them of the impending move by Ms Hubert on Christmas Day.
Police were powerless to remove the couple as the backyard clause was also was part of their $560-a-week lease agreement through First National Yamba.
But in a surprise development, Clarence Valley Council discovered the couple were indeed illegally occupying the property.
Tenants Nicky and William had been living on their rental property in Yamba on the NSW north coast for two months when their landlord suddenly arrived and pitched a tent in the backyard
‘The council said that they (the landlords) can actually stay on the property in a tent but for only two days at a time’, Nicky told Nine’s A Current Affair.
‘And no more than 60 days in a 12 month period’.
Council have said Ms Hubert and Mr McDonald have moved back to Sydney and don’t intend to return.
‘They (landlords) were advised that occupying the property for longer than is permissible may result in Council issuing an infringement notice,’ the council said in a statement.
Fiery footage showed the landlord’s husband in a heated confrontation with the couple before being told by council to move
‘She (Ms Hubert) was unaware of the Regulation and apologised for staying longer than permissible’.
But the homeowners didn’t leave without a fight – with the shirtless ‘Ronald McDonald’ taunting Nicky’s husband by saying he’s a ‘marked man’.
The council claim they are working with local real estate agents to better understand the rules around camping on private property.
Before council came to the rescue of the traumatised family, Ms Hubert claimed she was justified in taking over the back of the block as per their lease agreement.
The rental contract includes the phrase ‘rear yard is not included’.
Landlord Pascale Hubert had abruptly informed the family in a text message that she would be moving onto the property
‘Our children are terrified, they keep asking, ‘Who are they?’ and we can’t give them any answers,’ Nicky said.
The landlord’s husband was also filmed having a number of heated confrontations with the couple, including one occasion where he ordered the pair to move their car.
‘Listen here, s*** for brains, I’ve given you a warning, move that frigging car now, you are in big s***,’ he said in one video filmed by the tenants.
Tenant advocates argued the landlord was trespassing by using the side of the house to get to the backyard.
‘It could be that the landlord is trespassing whenever they go across that driveway area because they are entering into a place that they’ve given someone else possession,’ Tenants Union of NSW CEO Leo Patterson Ross said.
Clarence Valley Council’s statement
On Thursday 7 January we issued advice to the property owner of … Clause 77 of the Local Government (Manufactured Home Estates, Caravan Parks, Camping Grounds and Moveable Dwellings) Regulation 2005, which states that
‘The prior approval of the council is not required for: (a) the installation of not more than 2 caravans, campervans or tents on any land, so long as they are not occupied for more than 2 days at a time and are not occupied for more than 60 days (in total) in any single period of 12 months’.
They were advised that occupying the property for longer than is permissible may result in Council issuing an infringement notice.
Mrs Hubert contacted us immediately on receipt of the letter to advise she was unaware of the Regulation and apologised for staying longer than permissible. She and her husband had by then returned to Sydney and do not plan to return and repeat offend.
We also advised the tenants of … of the action taken.
We will work together with local real estate agents to help them to better understand the rules around camping on private property. The attached fact sheet with more information is available to the community on our website