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How to avoid rent arrears with trustworthy property management

By Donna Jones

Private landlords often struggle with avoiding rent arrears in the first instance and then knowing how to deal with them once they are owing.

Let’s look at how top calibre Christchurch property management agencies approach the sticky topic of rent arrears.

How property managers help avoid rent arrears

Finding the right tenants

Prevention is always better than cure, so property management companies place great emphasis on selecting the right candidates to increase the chances of rent being paid on time, every time.

Reputable Christchurch property management companies cast a wider net and choose from a deeper pool of prospective tenants than private landlords can. Their offices and effective marketing campaigns put vacant rental properties in front of a magnitude of actively searching renters.

Inbound tenant-screening checks should include an application form, which helps determine suitability and authorises the property manager to complete credit checks and consult referees.

Not only does finding reliable tenants help prevent rent arrears, but it also reduces tenancy turnover and the related time and money involved in sourcing new tenants.

Digital management and tracking of rent arrears

Property managers worth their fee have digital systems in place to track rent payments across their rent roll so they can quickly identify any missed instalments. Alerts should be set up to notify the relevant property manager that a rental payment has been missed and the tenant is in arrears.

Daily updating of rents received and notifications of missed payments allows property managers to act quickly when a tenancy goes into arrears. Timely identification of payment issues and prompt contact with tenants thereafter increases the chances of a faster resolution, back payment, and continued revenue stream.

If a private landlord only checks their inbound rental payments from time to time, multiple payments may have been missed before the penny drops, so to speak, meaning the arrears owing may be higher, making it more difficult to come to a resolution without external assistance.

What happens once a tenant gets behind in their rent?

When a tenant fails to pay their rent, they breach their tenancy agreement and the Residential Tenancies Act. Each property management company should have a specific procedure they follow once a tenant falls into arrears.

At McPherson Property Management, we follow a strict procedure that escalates as more time lapses. This procedure is as follows:

  1. When it’s identified that a tenant hasn’t paid their rent on time, in the first instance we send them a text, or email or phone them to advise of their arrears. We do this within one–three days of the missed payment.
  2. If we haven’t heard from the tenant and the arrears hasn’t been settled within four–seven days, we then phone them again and issue a 14-day Notice to Remedy.
  3. Between 8–14 days after the missed payment we follow up again and commence eviction procedures if appropriate.
  4. Once the tenant is 21 days in arrears, we will proceed to a Tenancy Tribunal hearing for a possession and monetary order.
  5. If the bond is insufficient to cover the amount of arrears owing, debt recovery procedures will be employed.

Stay ahead of rent arrears with a professional property manager

Rent arrears isn’t pleasant for either party, so using a property manager can save landlords a lot of unnecessary stress, time and potentially money.

Read more about our property management services and how we can help you stay ahead of arrears.

And get in touch to speak to trustworthy Christchurch property managers with a proven track record.

Image by LendingMemo via CC 2.0.

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