A challenging rental market can often lead to extra stress when it comes to the arrears process and you will sometimes find that as a Property Manager, you are reluctant to issue a termination notice to a tenant or you may even find the Owner objecting to evicting a Tenant albeit a bad one for fear the property may be vacant for a lengthy period of time. While it is tempting to stick with the devil that you know, it is important to ensure that you maintain a strict arrears process to cover yourself should something go awry and maintain regular Owner contact throughout.
Let’s take a look at some tips to ensure your process is on track.
- Reporting – your software should allow you to bring up an arrears list either daily, weekly or fortnightly. The frequency of how often and when you produce this will depend on payment frequencies of your tenants and how challenging your market may be in relation to late payers.
- Communication is key – throughout the arrears process, make sure that you are keeping in contact with your Owners to advise them of the progress. When the tenant falls into arrears, make sure that you let them know so that they don’t receive a nasty surprise on their monthly statement. It’s also great to give them a call when the rent has been paid up to date and you may even like to offer them a one-off payment, especially if they have been financially strapped.
- The importance of the induction – the lease signing with a new Tenant’s is the perfect opportunity to lay down the ground rules at the commencement of the tenancy. Let them know your arrears process and also request that they advise you if they feel that they may be late for any reason, as we all know that sometimes life can get in the way.
- Follow up in writing – even phone conversations, you can make notes in your software and follow up in email.
- Issue notices on time, every time – check your state’s legislative requirements and issue notices on the dates required. If you have Owners who are determined not to allow you to issue those notices, then follow it up in an email, just to cover your office.
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