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Eviction process in Victoria

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by rodders, 12th Aug, 2015.

  1. rodders

    rodders New Member

    Joined:
    8th Jul, 2015
    Posts:
    4
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Hi All

    I'd appreciate some assistance with the process of evicting tenants who are at least 14 days rent overdue as I've heard a few variations to the Consumer Affairs summary. I want to be spot on as I've heard VCAT can be very particular if you don't follow every step to the letter.

    1. Do I need to send written notice that they are 14 days overdue and if they don't pay in a further 14 days send the Notice to Vacate? If so, is there a form for this?

    2. Are these requirements still valid for rent arrears eviction if they haven't moved 14 days after the Notice to Vacate;

    "If the landlord wants to use the alternative eviction procedure for rent arrears, they must
    send all of the following documents at the same time:

    >a Notice to Vacate of at least 14 days
    >a copy of their application to the Tribunal
    for a Possession Order
    >2 copies of a Notice of Objection
    >a statement setting out your rights
    in relation to a Possession Order

    3. Do I need to fill out the Possession Order at VCAT city office as they require a fee?

    thanks
     
  2. Kael

    Kael Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    277
    Location:
    Sydney, NSW
    Guessing you're self-managing?

    I had a situation where my tenants were behind in rent by 2 weeks quite frequently. When they reached 3 weeks, my PM would advise them we would be sending notice to vacate, they paid up to the 2 weeks behind, so that we couldn't send it. This happened on about 4 times, before I had some bathroom renovations done. During these renovations, the tenant decided she would refuse to pay rent. Went from 2 weeks to 5 weeks behind in rent. Once bathroom renovations were completed, tenant complained to me about how her kids were getting asthma because of the renovations (fair enough, I thought), so requested a weeks free rent. Knowing that the amount of renovations done while the tenant was living there, I agreed to 1 weeks free rent for her, bringing it down to 4 weeks behind. PM issued Notice to Vacate and date on which to move out.

    Two weeks later, the day before the move-out date (now 6 weeks behind in rent), the tenant brought in 2 weeks rent into my PM's office, which brought it back down to 4 weeks notice. Once tenant didn't move out the day after (as listed on the Notice to Vacate), my PM applied to VCAT. Date was set for 3 weeks time, in which tenant continued to not pay rent. By time my PM attended VCAT hearing, tenant was 7 weeks behind in rent. The magistrate (is that what they're called at VCAT?) looked at how my tenant was on Centrepay, I had provided her a weeks free rent, she had been behind in her rent on 4 previous occasions and we had organised payment plans for her previously. He asked her why she was behind. She claimed it was because she had 4 children, and this is why she was unable to pay her rent. The magistrate told her that was no excuse and that if she couldn't afford the low rent she was paying, that she should consider moving to a cheaper location. Instead of removing her, he put her onto a payment plan, to repay the 7 weeks over the next 51 weeks. The payment plan stipulated that she would have to pay the original $290p/w rent, plus an extra $20 per week until the debt was repaid. If she fell short by even $5 on any given week, we could get the sheriff to evict her. On the first week of her payment plan, she paid $2k, and managed to repay the full amount by 5 months into the payment plan.

    Bare in mind, you may want to evict your tenant, but depending on the circumstances, VCAT may not allow it.
     
  3. rodders

    rodders New Member

    Joined:
    8th Jul, 2015
    Posts:
    4
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Thank you Kael, your situation is similar to mine and its interesting to see VCATs decision.

    Not long after I'd posted this thread I was trying to organise all the paperwork and my PM to get a VCAT hearing and send a Notice to Vacate. An hour later the tenants paid a quarter of the rent 11 days late, a trend they're continuing from their first month in July. They could be playing the just in time payment game.

    I guess by having such a poor payment history, when the time comes that I've had enough and they are 14 days late then VCAT will see it wasn't a once off occurrence. They have recently had a child but the father is earning in excess of $1500 per week on a rent of $290 so I don't think they are starving.

    cheers
     
  4. Kael

    Kael Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    277
    Location:
    Sydney, NSW
    Only just saw this, apologies for the late reply.

    Sounds like you are in my exact same situation! You sure you haven't gotten your place confused with mine? ;):p

    Hope it all works out - if you ever wanna chat, just hit me up on here. Happy to chat over PM or Skype, if you'd prefer. Best of luck with the tenant.