Franchise security

My Tenant’s In Arrears – What Can I Do?

One of the hazards of becoming a landlord is the potential for a tenant to fall into arrears on their rent payments.  This can happen even to the best tenants following a redundancy or sudden illness for example.

If this does happen, there are steps that you as a landlord can take to recover the monies owing to you:-

Keep a record of payments : Ensure you know exactly what payments have been made to date.  If the tenancy has been let on a joint lease remember that all tenants named on the agreement are equally liable for the rent.

Contact your tenant in writing : If you can’t get your tenant to respond to telephone calls or e-mails and the rent still hasn’t been paid, you will need to issue a formal demand for the outstanding rent arrears, ideally by recorded delivery or by hand.  Ask for all outstanding rent payments to be made and for an assurance that all future payments will be made in a timely manner.  You may also wish to warn them that you will take legal action if you do not receive a response.

Contact the guarantor :  Some tenants have guarantors.  If this is the case for your tenant, you will need to contact the guarantor advising them of the situation, normally after 14 days of not hearing from your tenant.  In many cases, the arrears are quickly paid following this approach.

Possession of property : After 21 days, you should send a further letter warning of pending legal action to your tenant.  Remember to include the guarantor in this correspondence if applicable. Under the terms of the Housing Act 1988 you can take action to claim possession of your property if your tenant is two months or more in arrears.  At this stage you can also serve what is called a ‘Section 8’ notice which informs your tenant of your intention to take court action if no payment is received within 14 days.

Court action is often a last resort for landlords who are experiencing problems with rent arrears.

At Redstones we also understand from speaking to our clients that a non-paying tenant is one of their biggest concerns.  For this reason, we offer our unique Redstones Platinum Total Care Service. For landlords who opt for this service, it becomes our responsibility to ensure that rent payments on made on time.  Furthermore, we cover the legal costs incurred if you are forced to take action to obtain possession of your property.  As part of this service, we will continue to cover the monthly rental amount for up to five months, allowing you ample time to obtain possession of your property.

For more information on the unique property management services offered by Redstones, please don’t hesitate to contact us.