How can we get our tenant to pay on time?

Question from David Waring updated on 22nd May 2009:

Our tenant is obliged to pay rent in advance fortnightly as per the standard Dept B&H agreement. The payment day isn't specified in the agreement. We take the view that the fortnightly period begins from the start of the tenancy which is specified, ie Friday. The tenant will often pay on a day following this fortnightly period claiming the Friday fell on a public hol or she forgot to ensure sufficient for the AP to process. We have requested she conform but so far no success. Any advice?

Our expert Jeff Montgomery responded:

Tenants are required to pay rent on the date it is due. I suggest you talk to your tenant to find out whether there are any particular issues with the rent being paid on a Friday. They may agree to pay the rent weekly or on a different day of the week, if this is suitable to you both. If you agree to change the day rent is to be paid, this agreement should be recorded in the tenancy agreement.

The tenant may need to make an additional payment to cover days between the current due day and the amended due day. If your tenant continues to pay the rent late, you can write to them giving 10 working days’ notice to pay their rent arrears, and requiring them to pay future rent when it is due. Keep a copy of the letter for your records. You need to allow time for delivering the notice to your tenant. If you hand the letter to your tenant, the 10 working day period takes effect immediately. However, if you drop it in your tenant’s letterbox you must allow an extra two working days, and if you post it to your tenant you must allow four working days.

You can download a template for giving 10 working days’ notice from the Department of Building and Housing’s website (www.dbh.govt.nz). If your tenant continues to pay the rent late, you can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to have the matter resolved. To discuss your situation further, or for advice and information about applying to the Tenancy Tribunal, you can contact the Department of Building and Housing on 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262).

 

The Department of Building and Housing provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.

 

 

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