realestatebusiness logo
Subscribe to our newsletter SIGN UP

Website Notifications

Get notifications in real-time for staying up to date with content that matters to you.

rpm logo latest

Reduce the stress of your arrears process

08 May 2015 Heidi Walkinshaw

A challenging rental market can generate extra stress when it comes to the arrears process.

You will sometimes find as a property manager that you are reluctant to issue a termination notice to a tenant. You may even find the owner objecting to evicting a tenant, even a bad one, for fear the property may be vacant for a lengthy period.

While it is tempting to stick with the devil that you know, it is important to ensure you maintain a strict arrears process to cover yourself should something go awry, maintaining regular owner contact throughout. 

Let’s take a look at some tips to ensure your process is on track.

  • Reporting – your software should allow you to bring up an arrears list either daily, weekly or fortnightly. The frequency of how often and when you produce this will depend on the payment frequencies of your tenants and how challenging your market may be in relation to late payers.
  • Zero tolerance – you can guarantee that when it comes to late payments, while there are those with genuine problems, you will hear every excuse imaginable. These become extra colourful sometimes with habitual late payers. Hold fast to your zero-tolerance policy and don’t accept excuses, no matter how creative they may be.
  • Communication is key – throughout the arrears process, make sure you are keeping in contact with your owners to advise them of progress. When the tenant falls into arrears, make sure you let them know so that they don’t get a nasty surprise with their monthly statement. It’s also great to give them a call when the rent has been paid up to date. You may even like to offer them a one-off payment, especially if they have been financially strapped.
  • The importance of the induction  the lease-signing with a new tenant is the perfect opportunity to lay down the ground rules at the start of the tenancy. Let them know your arrears process and also request that they advise you if they feel they may be late for any reason, as we all know that sometimes life can get in the way.
  • Pick up the phone – calling or even sending an SMS is more likely to receive a response than a letter. Even talk to your tenants about payment plans where they are really struggling. 
  • Document everything – even phone conversations. You can make notes in your software that can be printed out should you need to go down the tribunal path. Even following up the conversation with an email can assist your paper trail. 
  • Issue notices on time, every time – check your state’s legislative requirements and issue notices on the dates required. If you have owners who are determined not to allow you to issue those notices, then follow it up in an email just to cover your office. For an example of a letter you could use, the team at Real Plus would be happy to help. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

It is important to keep on top of those arrears, no matter how tough the market may be. Having strict processes in place will assist in saving you time and reducing your stress levels in the long run.


Reduce the stress of your arrears process
Heidi walkinshaw
lawyersweekly logo
Heidi Walkinshaw

Heidi Walkinshaw

Heidi has been immersed in property management for over 14 years’ dealing in all aspects from leasing, property management, business development and team management. Adding to the mix with 5 years as a Trainer and Consultant, Heidi has worked with small and medium-sized rent rolls in implementing systems and procedures to increase efficiency, growth and profitability within agencies. 

Heidi brings enthusiasm and energy to Real Plus and is passionate about system implementation; procedures and staff training that can assist in reducing stress and saving time while helping clients have a more profitable property management business. 


Recommended by Spike Native Network
Listen to other installment of the Real Estate Business Podcast
Do you have an industry update?
Ensure you never miss an issue of the Real Estate Business Bulletin. Enter your email to receive the latest real estate advice and tools to help you sell.