Tag Archives: eviction

Tenant not paying rent? Here’s what to do.

true-property-tenant-not-paying-rent-heres-what-to-do

When you go to a job every week, you can expect to get paid. And the same applies when you rent our property out.

When you own a rental property, a tenant not paying rent is one of the most severe issues you may face. It is important that you deal with it as early as possible.

Give them the benefit of the doubt

If your tenant is a few days late in paying their rent, send them a reminder letter of the overdue payment. Maybe they had personal issues and forgot to pay that particular day. Give them the benefit of the doubt that there is a genuine reason. Call them to talk about it rather than jumping to conclusions. Set up a process moving forward that they need to call you if they are going to be late paying. Set clearly in your contract what will happen i.e. a late charge so everyone is on the same a page. Use your discretion of what you will allow and not allow. Maybe you will let it occasionally go if the tenants phone you in advance.

Take action if it happens often

If the tenant is late paying all the time, you might want to change the method of payment to one that provides more certainty, such as a direct debit.

Your tenancy agreement outlines that the tenant will pay rent on time. If they don’t, you can apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for an order to make sure the tenant complies with the terms of the agreement. It’s best to do this when a tenant is often late paying their rent. However, it is important to note that such a request cannot result in the termination of the tenancy if the non–payment of rent continues.

Final step: Eviction

If the tenant is more than 14 days behind with the rent, you can serve them with a termination notice. This will give them 14 days to leave the property. Your notice needs to be in writing and properly addressed to the tenant. You need to state why they have to go and by when. Also, mention that they won’t have to leave if they pay the outstanding rent or set up a repayment plan.

Applying to the Tribunal

You can apply to the Tribunal at the same time as or after serving the notice to the tenant or you can wait until after the termination date of your notice before applying to the Tribunal. This way you will know if you need a hearing because the tenant has not moved out or has not paid the rent owed. However, this could add up to 2 weeks before obtaining a hearing date compared to applying at the same time as giving notice. The application cannot be made more than 30 days after the termination date of the notice unless you ask for an extension.

By enlisting the services of a property management agency, you can save yourself the unpleasant job of dealing with tenants in arrears.

Tenants giving you headaches? It might be time to evict them

true-property-tenants-giving-you-headaches

As a landlord, you will have the best tenants who pay their rent on time and respect you and your property most of the time.

Every now and  then, you may have genuine reasons for ending your contract, such as you have sold the property and the new owners plan to live there themselves.

But what is not acceptable, are those tenants who don’t pay their rent, trash the property, are disrespectful to you and their neighbours.

What can you do in this case?

If you have tried every other avenue, it may be time to evict them.

The sooner you start the process, the better it will be for everyone. In some situations, you may want to be mindful of timing, but that is entirely up to you, as long as you follow the rules. In general, if there is an issue with your tenants, rather than sitting on the problem, it’s better to deal with it straight away rather than let the problem fester.

Regardless of whether they are right or wrong, they won’t be happy to leave, so your tenants will most likely be upset and emotional which means you need to take caution. Follow the eviction process set out by Consumer Affairs Victoria accurately. If you don’t, you could get a fine.

What do you need to do first?

First of all, you need to send your tenants a notice to vacate. Make sure it meets all the necessary criteria. Allow enough time for it to be delivered, make sure you fill all the information out correctly. Use the proper form. Get the form from the website HERE.

What are your next steps?

Once the notice to vacate has been served, the next step is to apply for a possession order. You have 30 days from the date specified in the notice to vacate to apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal in which they will tell you the hearing date.

What can you do with their belongings?

If the tenant doesn’t show up to the hearing, you can apply for a warrant of possession. The Principal Registrar of VCAT will send a letter to the Police outlining the possession order. This letter gives them permission to take possession of the property however they can.

The police can remove people from the property, but they can’t remove belongings. The tenant must take their things with them. Otherwise, there is an another process you must follow to remove the belongings. You can remove items if they are of no value, perishable or dangerous. You must store what’s left for at least 28 days and inform your tenant on how they can get them back.

Having to evict a tenant is when having a Property Manager can take the stress out of this issue for you. They know the system and know how to handle it correctly. Contact us at True Property Management for help with your eviction process.

Thinking of evicting your tenant? It’s not that black and white.

True Property - evicting tenants

Ending a relationship is hard to do. Most of the time, it doesn’t come down to one thing, but a number of small things that drive you crazy about the other person that makes you realise you need to put an end to it. Deciding when to get rid of a tenant is more or less the same.

If a tenant is behind in their rent, has turned the property into a rubbish dump or uses the property as a headquarters for illegal activity, he or she is definitely a candidate for eviction. However, it is rare that things are so black and white. Landlords will more likely deliberate over whether there are sufficient grounds for eviction or whether they are being unfair.

What is crucial when evicting a tenant?

Think about the property. How difficult would it be to get another tenant in? Specifically, consider the type of tenant your property usually attracts. If it is a mansion with a luxury spa and tennis court, the prospective tenants are people you would expect to always have money for the rent. Whereas, if the property is tiny in a dodgy part of town and attracts tenants who barely make rent each week, it may be worth it negotiate with the current tenant on rent payments.

The tenants themselves should be considered. If they have just moved in and are already the subject of numerous complaints, they need to go. However, if they are long-term tenants with a history of being reliable with rent payments and good behaviour, think about arranging a meeting to ask if there is a problem with their situation.

If the property has multiple units, every unit must pay for itself. If you let one tenant slide on the rent, the danger is that other tenants may also start becoming less conscientious about when their rent is due. This is especially so if they find out you have cut one of the other tenants some slack.

No one likes to be the “bad guy”, but no one likes losing money either. Sometimes it simply has to be done.

When was the last time you had to evict a tenant?

Giving notice to vacate

True Property -Giving notice to vacate

In an ideal world, you have the best tenants who pay their rent on time, and respect you and your property. Sometimes, you may have genuine reasons for ending the tenancy, such as you have sold the property but what is not acceptable, are those tenants who don’t pay their rent, trash the property, are disrespectful to you and their neighbours. So what do you do in this case?

If you have tried every other avenue, it may be time to evict them.

The sooner you start the process, the better it will be for everyone. In some situations, you may want to be mindful of timing, but that is completely up to you, as long as you follow the rules. In general, if there is an issue with your tenants, rather than sitting on the problem, it’s better to deal with it straight away rather than let the problem fester.

Regardless of whether they are right or wrong, no one wants to be forced out of their home so your tenants will be in a highly emotional state which means you need to tread carefully. Follow the eviction process set out by Consumer Affairs Victoria to the letter. If you don’t, you may receive a hefty fine.

Notice to Vacate

You must make sure your notice to vacate meets all the necessary criteria. That is, you should allow time for it to be delivered, make sure the correct information is filled out, and use the correct form. You can find the form HERE.

Possession Order

Once the notice to vacate has been served, the next step is to apply for a possession order. You have 30 days from the date specified on the notice to vacate to apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal in which they will respond with a date for the hearing.

Warrant of Possession

If the tenant does not attend the hearing, you can apply for a warrant of possession. By doing this, the Principal Registrar of VCAT will send a letter to the Police outlining the possession order. This gives them permission to take possession of the property by whatever means necessary.

The police can remove people from the property but not their belongings. The tenant must take as many of their things as they can, otherwise, there is a process you must follow to remove the belongings. You can remove items if they are of no value, perishable or dangerous. If they are not to be removed you must store them for at least 28 days and let the tenant know how they can get them back.

For more information on the whole process, check out the website.

This is when a Property Manager really does take the stress out of this issue for you. They will know the system and know how to handle it correctly.

Getting rid of bad tenants

How to get rid of bad tenants

In our last post, we talked about the cost of replacing a tenant and determined it is quite high, so you want to try to hold on to your tenants as long as possible.

But what if you don’t want to hold on to them? Occasionally we hear horror stories of bad tenants. The kind who don’t pay their rent on time, are rude to neighbours and damage your property.

What can do you do to get rid of this kind of tenant?

Find out why their rent is late. Is there a family crisis going on? Did they just get laid off? Or did their pay cycle change at work and it’s creating cashflow problems? If your tenant has been in your property for some time and you have never had a problem until now, talk to them first before making assumptions.
Have they destroyed the property? Still, go talk to them in person. Let them know that you have been forced to evict them, but you would be willing to waive the eviction if they could be out of your property by a certain date with all their belongings. This means that an eviction will not be on their record, remind them that an eviction will make life harder for them in the future. Before going ahead and offering this compromise, make sure you are legally able to do so. If you are in Victoria, read about how much notice you need to give here
The worst thing you can do in this situation is drag the chain and hope that things will sort themselves out. They won’t, and the sooner you can reclaim your property, fix it up and put the nightmare behind you, the better. 
 
In the future to avoid this heartbreak, make sure you go through all the steps of weeding out bad tenants. Or you could employ the services of a property manager and they will take care of this for you.
Have you had to deal with this? What was your preferred method of getting rid of the tenant?

Hiring Contractors

True Property - Hiring Contractors
Carrying on with the topic of maintenance, when you have work that needs doing, you will need to find a contractor. We’ve all heard the horror stories of workmen not showing up on time, not following directions, blowing deadlines and having poor workmanship. All these things can turn a profitable job into a nightmare and not to mention blow the budget and wreck your profits, so what do you do?
 
1. Ask Around
Do you know people who have used someone before and have had a good experience with them? Do you have a friend who is a builder who can vouch for his colleagues? Once you get a few names, then talk to the people they have done work for, ask questions about the timeliness, quality of work and how easy they are to work with. 
If getting personal recommendations is a problem, go online and check out websites for testimonials and social media to find out who people are recommending.

2. Quotes
Once you have the names, get two to come and quote the job. Make sure that you give the same instructions to each of them. Don’t tell the first contractor one thing, and then change your mind and add (or subtract) tasks for the next one. If you change the instructions you won’t be able to reliably compare prices. This will give you an idea if they are all in the same ball-park for money and time. If one comes back with a quote that is quite different, ask why? If they are twice as expensive, do they work twice as fast?
 
3. Communication
Once you have chosen your team, make sure you communicate very clearly about what your vision is – especially if it’s complicated.  Painting the exterior of the house in one colour is one thing, but if it’s more of a remodel you will need to be very clear. When you are requesting a quote make sure you are specific about colours, finishes, materials and hardware. The more detailed information you give them, the easier they will be able to create what you are after and the faster they work! Plus of course there will be fewer money surprises along the way.
Remember, often the biggest slow down on the job is YOU! When decisions aren’t made fast enough or early enough for things like what sort of tile you want, or hardware, or paint finish. Do your research beforehand, it will pay off in the long run. Of course getting input from your contractor is vital (they might be able to get a better deal, or know that particular paint finish would be awful in wet areas etc). 
 
4. Write it down
At every point in the process, make sure you write everything down! This is vital.  Having a plan that is detailed with everything laid out will save time and heartache and keep your project on task. The more planning and thought you do on the front end, the more time and money you save down the road. With a detailed plan that both parties have signed off to you will have something to keep your team accountable to.
 
Do your homework and communicate clearly about what you want and how you want it done. This will ensure you get the right contractor and the job done on time and on budget.
So have you had a great experience with a contractor? How did you find them?

Giving Your Tenant an Eviction Notice

giving your tenant an eviction noticeWhile you do everything you can to find the perfect tenant, sometimes things go wrong. But what rights do you have as a landlord, when relationships go sour.

Unless the tenant has caused malicious damage to the property or other tenants, the usual eviction notice is 14 days. If the tenant is acting malicious, you have every right to evict them immediately.

Notice to Vacate

You must make sure your notice to vacate meets all the necessary criteria. That is, you should allow time for it to be delivered, make sure the correct information is filled out, and use the correct form.

Possession Order

Once the notice to vacate has been served, the next step is to apply for a possession order. You have 30 days from the date specified on the notice to vacate to apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal in which they will respond with a date for the hearing.

Warrant of Possession

If the tenant does not attend the hearing, you can apply for a warrant of possession. By doing this, the Principal Registrar of VCAT will send a letter to the Police outlining the possession order. This gives them permission to take possession of the property by whatever means necessary.

The police can remove people from the property but not their belongings. The tenant must take as many of their things as they can, otherwise there is a process you must follow to remove the belongings.  You can remove items if they are of no value, perishable or dangerous. If they are not to be removed you must store them for at least 28 days and let the tenant know how they can get them back.

Have you ever had to evict a tenant?