My tenants can't pay on time, what recourse do I have?

Melissa asks:
(updated on Tuesday, February 26th 2008)

I purchased a 2 bdrm condo that is restored. I've tried putting tenants in it. I'm currently in a lease option but my tenants can't seem to pay me on time ever. I haven't defaulted yet but I'm just throwing money into a pit. If I miss this month's payment I will actually go into foreclosure. How does this effect my credit and my other investment property as well as my primary residence? This is a deal that just keeps getting worse by the month. I've tried to sell it, rent it, lease option it, and every month it costs me more and more money. it's just a lemon and I need to figure out what I need to do to get it out of my life! Any response is and will be so very appreciated Melissa Ford

Our Experts Answer:

You may want to seek independent financial and/or legal advice on the options for disposing your interests in this property. Your local Citizens Advice Bureaux and Community Law Centre may be able to help. You could also try visiting www.sorted.org for information about managing your finances and assets. In terms of your problems with your tenants not paying the rent on time, the law requires that tenants pay their rent on the date it is due. If they do not do this, you should send them a 10 working days’ notice. The notice should advise the tenant that their rent is in arrears and give them 10 working days to remedy the situation. The Department of Building and Housing website, www.dbh.govt.nz, has templates of 10 working days’ notices you can use (one for rent arrears and another for all other breaches). If the matter is not remedied within the specified timeframe, you can then apply to the Tenancy Tribunal. For more information on the Tenancy Tribunal, contact the Department of Building and Housing at 0800 TENANCY (0800 83 62 62).

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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