Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What happens if my tenant does not pay the rent?

Paying the rent is always a voluntary action on behalf of the tenant. We can never force a tenant to pay their rent. Even a tribunal can only ‘order’ a tenant to pay but can never physically force them to pay.

If a tenant does get behind in their rent payments, this is the process we follow:
1 day behind – we email tenants a reminder to pay rent today.  In most cases, this is the end of the matter, tenants pay their rent.
2 days behind- we phone tenants to discuss payment to be made today.  Again, this often prompts tenants to resolve the issue immediately.
3 days behind – we issue a 14-day-notice to remedy, which is a legal notice for them to pay the rent or face possible eviction through Tenancy Tribunal.  If tenants reach this point, they usually make payment in the face of such consequences.
8 days behind – if they have missed the second rent payment in a row, or we have not been able to contact with them, we notify tenants that we are going to apply to Tenancy Tribunal for repayment of arrears or eviction under Section 56 of the Residential Tenancies Act.  For tenants who are avoiding dealing with their situation, this usually prompts them to respond.
21 Days Behind- The 14-day-notice issued will have expired.  We apply to Tenancy Tribunal if not already done so, but now we will be seeking immediate eviction under Section 55 of the Residential Tenancies Act.
Tenancy Tribunal may take up to 4 weeks to get a hearing, and we have known this to be longer during busy times of year.  The adjudicator may decide to adjourn a hearing if there is insufficient time to hear all evidence, which may be up to another month to schedule a new hearing time.  They may also reserve their decision, which can also take around a month.
As you can see, the full legal process can be very drawn out and lengthy.

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