Monday, January 11, 2010

Rent Arrears

Stress but don't feel alone if all your rents are still not collected.

It seems as if more tenants than usual are in arrears this January. A poll on IOL showed 52% of those polled did not receive a bonus. I guess tenants still went on holiday and had festive season expenses that were paid out of December's salary... rent it appears was not that high up on the of important payments for many tenants.

TPN has processed more Letters of demands in the last week than we did for an entire month of December.

Some details to note. The more contact information you have on the tenant, the better. Upfront, when entering into the contract, make sure you collect the cell number, work number, fax number, email address. If there are 2 or more adults, get all of their details. That way the tenant is less likely to avoid your attempt at communication. (Example: the tenant who knows your contact number and won't answer his cell phone when you call!) Call him at work.

When you send the TPN Letter of Demand, request delivery to the email, fax, post and SMS.... it is amazing how quickly the tenant will phone you back.

If the tenant claims "broke" and requests to pay this months rent with next month's payment. Send the tenant an Acknowledgement of Debt (AOD) and ask him to sign it with the agreed payment terms. This AOD is a very powerful document for you to have. If the tenant is sincere in his payment arrangements, he will sign and return the AOD to you. If not cancel the lease and demand the tenant vacate

Most important is communication. If you are the Landlord, communicate early with you tenant. Do not let the non-payment feaster. If you are the Letting Agent, communicate with the tenant AND with the Landlord. The Landlord is as keen as you are to hear what the tenant's payment situation / arrangements are.

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