Tenant in rent arrears

Hi all

I hope someone can please advise me.

I have a tenant who is in rent arears. He was then served a 14 day notice to vacate. The 14 days expired yesterday.

Today he came and paid some rent. He is now six days in arrears. I am pretty sure he will wait for us to serve him another 14 days notice. He will again probably come and pay some more rent so that he is just outside the 14 day period for arrears.

How often can we serve him notices to vacate and how often can he go in arrears?

It's been only two months since I got this tenant, and it's is a fixed term contract for 12 months.

I have Landlord's insurance - but not sure if I can get these arrears from them?

What can I do now? Any advice will be useful to get me out of this situation.

Are you self managing? If so, keep on issuing the correct notices immediately he passes the trigger date for such notices. If managed by a PM you need to insist they do the notices immediately they can.

As long as he continues to pay or catch up, you are minimising the risk of letting him get too far in arrears. If you continue issuing notices it also builds up a good case for you if it goes to tribunal.
Hi, I agree with wylie, keep sending out the notices. I would also send a letter requesting the tenant arrange a payment plan, this can be used as evidence that you tried to resolve the problem, if you have to go to court.

Really its not a great start. If you have to issue another vacate notice, follow it through to court, get rid of them and find a better tenant.
Why did you let the notice expire?

I always serve a 14 day notice on the 15th day (as must be 14 full days in arrears) and 3 days after service if no payment has been made an application to VCAT is sent.

Make sure you do this as your insurance may not cover you if you are not doing everything to mitigate your loss.

Also, if the tenant pays before the hearing you can cancel it.

Agree with keep sending the letters, and if you can get them to agree to a payment plan great - but for 6 days it's not really worth it.
Make sure an application to VCAT is being made on the 3rd day after the notice being served!! If you make an application to VCAT then a hearing will be scheduled and you can at the very least get a payment plan put in place and certified by a member of the tribunal.

Take a copy of the tenant ledger with you to show that the tenant is constantly in arrears, if you get an adjournment for your hearing then the case is only on hold and you don't need to send a new notice next time they're in arrears you can just 'renew' the old hearing.

The big questions here are do you want the tenants gone or do you want them staying and paying on time. Have there been other issues? If you change them to a weekly or fortnightly payment instead of monthly will they be able to pay on time? (VCAT will often change tenants to fortnightly or weekly payments to keep them from falling in to arrears if it fits in with the tenants budget).

Also (assuming that your property is in VIC) - you can send your tenants a 90 day notice to vacate that their lease will not be renewed and have them vacate the property at the end of the lease. Yes, the next 10 months may be spent sending notices and attending or adjourning VCAT hearings but you can still get them out and get a new tenant in :).