By Alexander George

There is a well-known joke in the property management industry that occurs quite often at the end of a tenancy where a tenant states “What happened to my two weeks rent in advance that I paid when I moved into the property?” It is at this point when we have to take out our calendar and explain that “Yes you did pay two weeks’ in advance, but you used up this rent when you paid two weeks after moving in”.

As mentioned, we refer to this as an ongoing industry joke, but the tenant paying rent on time is no joke to us. At this time of the month (when owners receive their rental statement) we can also receive telephone calls or emails asking ‘why is the tenant not two weeks in advance’? (Or a month in advance if that is the payment terms). A Tenancy Agreement does outline the terms and conditions of the tenancy and the frequency of rental payments. However, the reality is the tenant does not have to pay their rent 2 weeks or a month in advance. It doesn’t even have to be one week in advance, just up-to-date.

As a managing agent when communicating with the tenant we do highlight the terms of payment in accordance with the Agreement, but the tenant is not considered in breach, until they fall behind in the rent, which is when you can issue a breach notice letter and if not remedied, a termination notice to vacate.

Unfortunately, in these economic times and with the lack of affordable housing across the nation we are also finding that some Tribunal Courts are becoming lenient with tenants allowing them to continue residing at the property with a performance order and payment plans for the outstanding rent. It is our focus and priority to ensure that the tenants’ rent is paid on time.

Resource provided by PPM Group

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