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  1. #1

    Default Tenants constantly in Rent Arrears and Tenancy Tribunal

    Despite diligently checking references and referees for our current tenants (who are on a 12 month fixed lease) they have turned out to be a nightmare.
    We have a tenancy tribunal date set in 3 weeks time and I'm wanting some advice if anyone can help.

    Some background....
    In the 10 weeks they have been in the house they have only paid in full and on time three times. After a few weeks they started paying a day or two late, or in two separate payments but still the full amount eventually within a few days. Then they asked to change the rent day from Friday to Monday. Then they didn't pay at all one week. After four days and multiple promises to pay it I issued them with a 14 day notice. They didn't pay the next weeks rent either so were nearly a grand behind. Then they told us they had decided to move out (as we had given them the option of mutually breaking the tenancy agreement if they didn't think they could keep up with the payments rather than them falling deeper into a hole of debt). This was on the Tuesday night and we gave them until Sunday midday to move out. Then on the Sunday morning they messaged us that they had changed their minds and were staying. Unfortunately we were going to do the paperwork with them on the Sunday so didn't have their signature on anything yet (but do have the original message of them asking to move out).

    So we went around to see them anyway and they assured us they have sorted their finances out and had found a flatmate to help them met the costs etc. We agreed that they would pay the full rent on time on Monday and the overdue amount by the following Friday. I think we were a little bit soft hearted in hindsight but as it was only the woman on the lease (not her considerably older partner) we were dealing with and we knew if it got pear shaped it would only be her would got the bad credit rating/ black mark on the tribunal orders etc we gave them another chance to get back on track.
    They were then $20 short on rent day and only paid $750 of the owed amount so were still $230 short of the overdue amount plus $20 for rent that week. Since we were relieved to at least get some of the overdue amount we told them they could have two more weeks to come up with the remainder on the proviso that they paid their rent in full and on time in the meantime.
    Then the next rent was $90 short. By this point we were so sick and tired of excuses and broken promises we applied for mediation that day. I figured a sealed order would either keep them honest with their payments or get them out quicker than going through the tribunal.

    We got a phone conference set for the next week. They then were $100 short on rent that week. So then they were $440 behind. The day of the mediation came. The tenant didn't answer their phone despite us reminding them about it earlier in the week. So now it's referred automatically to the tenancy tribunal.

    What happens if a miracle occurs and the tenants actually catch up before we go before the tribunal?
    Can we still have the hearing and get a sealed order around paying in full and on time or immediate eviction giving the long pattern of late and nonpayment? If not, whats to stop this happening over and over again in a two monthly cycle? Checking the payments all the time, chasing them up every week and covering the mortgage payments is getting old fast.
    Any advice on how best we should proceed is appreciated.

    Should I take print outs of all our text message and facebook message communications to the hearing (the tenant is incapable of answering her phone apparently as she never does) and should I load these to the application before hand?

    Also does anyone have any advice of what I need to make sure is in the additional notes for the tribunal hearing? Originally we didn't ask for eviction in the mediation. I added as an additional note in the tenancy application when the tenant didn't attend - "As the tenant chose not to attend the mediation teleconference we would like to request termination of the tenancy agreement. We would request a tribunal hearing as soon as possible even if it is by teleconference. Thanks for your time and consideration."
    Do I also need to add payment of rent arrears and bond refund to the additional notes or is that a given?

    Sorry for all the questions but we haven't been in this situation before, all our previous tenants have been awesome. Thanks for your advice in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004


    Do this search of Tenancy Tribunal decisions to see how this has been seen in the past. Include the quote marks.

    "history of rent arrears"

  3. #3


    What steps did you take when you diligently checked the references? Did you have any other candidates to choose from? It might pay to do a inspection to see how the property is holding up.


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