Whoever said “Ignorance is bliss” was not referring to being a Landlord. Let me tell you why…
I overheard a friend speaking to a lady, let’s call her Lisa, who was visibly upset because she had recently discovered that her tenants had not paid rent for over 4 months.
Now you might be wondering how did the non-payment get so out of hand?
Well, Lisa has a new baby and the rent is paid into an account which had not been checked regularly. The tenant couple are family friends and had never missed a beat.
Lisa said she’d sent the tenants a letter but was yet to receive a response.
At this point my ears pricked up, and I asked her “What kind of letter did you send? Was it in the prescribed format?”
Managing property and tenants is not rocket science you just need to be informed and follow the rules set down by state legislation.
Lisa looked at me blankly.
I explained to her that under most Australian Residential Tenancy Acts, correspondence between the landlord (or landlords Agent) must be in a prescribed format.
Whether it’s a Late Notice, Notice to Inspect, or Rent Increase – they all have to be written in a particular way.
At this point, my friend piped up and told us the story of her uncle who lived in Sydney and owned a rental property in Coolangatta. He had been battling to evict a tenant for non-payment for a year and had finally secured a hearing at the tribunal. He flew up to the Gold Coast to attend the hearing only to find his application had been rejected because he did not put the correct dates on the paperwork. The hearing was set for another day which meant more delays and another plane ticket.
Both these stories tell us how important it is to follow the correct procedures when renting a property. It’s not rocket science or particularly difficult if you know what to do. You just need to follow the rules which is why we include the most commonly used prescribed form letters in our Premium Tenancy Kits.
Now thankfully, when I spoke to Lisa a couple of weeks later, her husband had sorted out the non-payment issue with the tenant. Apparently the male half of the tenant couple was horrified to learn the rent had not been paid. Apparently the tenant’s wife had not told him about the non-payment but that is another story.