Landlords told to toughen up on rent arrears

Owners need to come down hard on tenants who pay late or risk their losses spiralling out of control, top property management experts have claimed.

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Lisa Indge from Let's Rent said a zero-tolerance approach to late payment was crucial.

"You just do not accept that a tenant pays late. If you accept a tenant pays late, you're already in that cycle," she said.

She advocates invoking the legislation as soon as the rent is overdue.

Leah Calnan, director of Metro Property Management and Real Estate Business Property Manager of the Year, believes owners need to treat their investments “like a business”.


“Under Victorian legislation, it's pretty clear that once they're 14 days late, we can serve them with a notice to vacate and start proceedings through the tribunal," she said.

“There are key processes there that you need to take if the rent is in arrears. There might be the odd reason why you don't take the process, or you may delay it by a week because of extraordinary circumstances. But you have to be tough."

According to Carolyn Parrella from Terri Scheer Insurance, owners who enter into agreements with their tenants to pay on a different date or pay extra in later months inevitably end up getting short-changed.

“Make sure you're on to it really quickly and be wary of making a payment plan,” she said.

“Sometimes the tenant will say I can't pay this week but if I can pay $50 a week extra in future.

“It never gets right, the tenant never gets up to date and the loss for the landlord can grow and grow."

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