Januworry and Februworry a reality for some landlords
Most South Africans receive their salaries, and a bit more if they are lucky, earlier than normal during December. People go on holiday, buy presents, and have parties. Then the festive season is followed by the need to buy school clothing, stationary, and pay school fees. All these events contribute to the default rate by tenants being higher than normal during January and February.
The letter of demand
What should a landlord do when faced with a non-paying tenant? They should send out a letter of demand to the tenant stating the need for payment for the outstanding amount as soon as possible. This letter can be drafted by the landlord and has to be clear on the breach of the agreement. If it is non-payment, the amount being demanded should be noted. The period within which payment must be made and the consequences should they not make payment within the stipulated period must be listed as well. Be clear that you will be cancelling the agreement and requiring them to immediately vacate or you will issue a summons and attach all items on the property to recover the cost.
The lease agreement
When sending the letter, make sure you deliver it as required by your lease agreement. Remember to read your lease agreement again before sending it to make sure of the rental due date, how letters may be delivered, and the number of days given to remedy the breach. Do not just rely on memory.
If your lease agreement does not make provision for email or WhatsApp, you might have difficulties enforcing the letter of demand. The good news is that when delivering the letter to the tenant and the tenant keeps on avoiding you or refuses to sign for it, it is sufficient to just leave a copy of the letter at the property and make a note to say what you have done. You may even proceed to take a selfie of you delivering the letter.
The rental statement
It is further advisable to attach a rental statement to your letter. The statement will confirm the amount that is outstanding, addressing all possible questions about the amount demanded. Many landlords think it is not necessary to send monthly invoices or statements, however, this is incorrect. Except for the tenant being entitled to it, it will help the legal process to prove your claim. There is a variety of free software available on the internet that will assist landlords or owners to create the invoices. The owner can even just use Excel if need be.
Xpello: Eviction Process Management
Xpello was created to assist all landlords in not just saving on legal costs, but also to ensure that attorneys with the necessary expertise are appointed to attend to the eviction process and help with all processes before eviction. Xpello has no waiting period, and our clients do not have to go to court. Xpello is very proud to state that we have a 75% success rate for getting defaulting tenants to remedy their breach or vacate the property. Visit our website for more information and to see our exciting partners, who give support and discount during your property journey.