How to have a stress-free holiday 

It’s been a stressful year and you’re ready for a break. As you finally start to unwind and relax with family and friends, the last thing you want is the hassle of dealing with missed rent payments. 

Overdue or unpaid rent is one of the most common cases seen at the Tenancy Tribunal, but good property management can save your summer and your bank balance. 

When we look after your property, the rent is more likely to be paid consistently and in the case of late or missed payments, we know exactly what to do to resolve the issue quickly and without fuss.

Avoiding rent arrears

While we can’t promise that your tenant will pay rent on time every time, we take precautionary steps to avoid rent arrears ever becoming an issue and ruining your holidays. These include:

  • Due diligence, including background and credit check, references and relevant questions 
  • Ensure the tenancy agreement is clear about the rent amount and frequency 
  • Encourage payment by direct credit and syncing rent payments with pay day 
  • Discuss late payment consequences and include these in the tenancy agreement, e.g., reporting rent arrears to credit bureaus and starting legal proceedings under the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA). 

If the rent is late

We strongly believe in a caring and friendly approach to all problems and our first action if a rent payment is missed will be to check with the tenant to see if they’re aware of the missed payment. We also:

  • Talk to the tenant about a plan to bring their rent payments up to date 
  • Talk to you about options such as increasing future rent payments until arrears are paid off
  • Serve a 14-day notice to remedy to avoid delays if an agreement can’t be reached

Ending a tenancy

From 11 February 2021, a new section of the Residential Tenancies Act gives landlords an additional option for responding to rent arrears during a periodic tenancy.

You can still terminate the tenancy if a tenant is 21 days in arrears, and we can now also terminate if there is a pattern of arrears. Previously this was very tough to prove.

The new ‘three-strike policy’ means that if a tenant is in arrears by more than 5 days, 3 times in a 90-day period, we can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to end the tenancy. This ends the problem of tenants paying late and then repaying the debt just before a court hearing, which created a lot of work and stress for landlords.

On each of the three occasions that rent remains unpaid for 5 days, we would give the tenant written notice that includes:

  • the amount of overdue rent
  • dates for which the rent was overdue
  • the tenant’s right to make an application to the Tenancy Tribunal challenging the notice
  • how many other notices of overdue rent the landlord has given the tenant in the relevant 90-day period

After giving the third written notice to the tenant, we have 28 days to file an application to the Tenancy Tribunal to terminate the tenancy.  

Dealing with rent arrears is time-consuming and stressful and can require some difficult conversations. If you would rather leave this to the experts so you can enjoy a worry-free summer holiday, get in touch with us today.