Reader question: “What action will my property manager take if I fall behind in rent?”

Rental expert of the week: Melbourne Property Managers’ director Sarah Martin. Check out all rental listings from Melbourne Property Managers on Rent.com.au.

“Individual real estate agencies across Australia will have different practices and procedures,” said Melbourne Property Managers’ director, Sarah Martin.

“Most agencies will be quick to let you know you have missed a payment and you could receive a phone call, SMS or email first thing the day after your rent was due.”

Sarah said some agencies may wait 3-4 days to contact you to allow for weekends and processing times.

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“Property Management systems will show if you are in arrears and this allows the Property Manager to send an SMS directly from the system stating how late the rent is and exactly how much is owing,” she said.

“It’s important to remember that your rental ledger will reflect the dates your payments cleared and some agencies will request a copy of this with tenancy applications.”

Important: Across Australia different legislative rules apply, however, in all cases if your rent is left unpaid for a specified amount of time, a notice to vacate will be issued and you could end up in the tribunal.

“I am based in Victoria and if your rent is not paid within 14 days you will be issued with a notice to vacate,” Sarah said.

“If you don’t make the payment within a week your property manager can make an application to VCAT (tribunal). A VCAT hearing will be scheduled, in which you are welcome to attend and the VCAT member will then decide the next step.”

In VIC and NSW, the rent must be 14 days in arrears before a notice to vacate is issued. However, in WA a breach notice can be issued on the second day and the seventh day in QLD.

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