How to deal with tardy tenants

Neil asks: My tenant is always late paying the rent and municipal services. She always has excuses — even though she has a good job — and I’m fed up. But the market is down, so is it better the devil you know, or should I get a new tenant?

Maya replies: It sounds like you have a problem tenant. According to Koos du Toit, CEO of P3 Investment Group, which advises people on property investments, as the owner of rental properties it’s all about being an efficient manager.

“If you allow a tenant to pay late and get away with it, they will tend to push their luck even more in future,” says Du Toit.

Du Toit says you should inform her in writing that late payment is not acceptable and that she is breaking the terms of the lease agreement. This puts you under financial pressure and you can no longer endure this.

The bottom line is really that she needs to be informed that if she pays late again you will terminate the lease agreement and she will have to move out.

Du Toit adds that since you are ultimately responsible for the municipal account, it is always better to receive the money from the tenant in the form of a levy and pay the council yourself. It could land you in trouble if they fail to pay and you are unaware of this.

“Contrary to what you mention, the rental market is very much alive as fewer people get bonds these days. It might be worth your while to find a new tenant and have a watertight lease agreement with the new tenant. Consider giving a ‘discount’ [the real rent you require] if they pay on time and ‘penalties’ for every day of late payment. Put this into the contract and lay down the law about payments right from the start,” advises du Toit.

Read more news, blogs, tips and Q&As in our Smart Money section. Post questions on the site for independent and researched information.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Maya Fisher French
Guest Author

Related stories

Eviction spike as the lockdown relaxes

Housing tribunal data shows that tenants are increasingly in distress as landlords come knocking for the unpaid lockdown rent owed to them

Online campaign advocates for tenants’ rights during the lockdown

Rent Strike South Africa says working-class families are struggling to keep up with paying rent during the lockdown. And, although there is a moratorium on evictions, it fears people will be put out on the street when the lockdown ends

Upmarket homes take price hit

While sales in affluent suburbs are lacklustre,  sales at the lower end of the property market are starting to sparkle

Farmer tenants demand services from municipalities

Tenants want the order declaring that municipalities have failed to discharge their constitutional obligations

What water issues? Cape Town ranks number two on global luxury property market

Cape Town’s luxury property market was ranked second on the Prime International Residential Index 100, which tracks the value of luxury homes

What the lay of the land may be

Whatever route the ANC goes, a balance has to be found between property rights and restitution

Subscribers only

Q&A Sessions: Frank Chikane on the rainbow where colours never...

Reverend Frank Chikane has just completed six years as the chairperson of the Kagiso Trust. He speaks about corruption, his children’s views and how churches can be mobilised

ANC: ‘We’re operating under conditions of anarchy’

In its latest policy documents, the ANC is self-critical and wants ‘consequence management’, yet it’s letting its members off the hook again

More top stories

Shabnim Ismail bowls her way into the record books Down...

The night before Australia’s Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) final, fiery South African fast bowler Shabnim Ismail lay awake pondering how...

Hawks make arrest in matric maths paper leak

Themba Daniel Shikwambana, who works at a printing company, was granted bail and is due to return to court in January

Andile Lungisa: Early parole for the house of truth

Disgraced Nelson Mandela Bay councillor Andile Lungisa calls for a change of leadership in the ANC immediately after being released on parole

War of words at Zondo commission: ‘Grow up Mr Gordhan,...

The cross-examination of the public enterprises minister by Tom Moyane’s lawyers at the state capture inquiry went on well into overtime on Monday evening

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…