Dealing with rent arrears

As a landlord, you’ve probably experienced rent arrears, which is a painful issue to deal with. Please see our guide on the best way to deal with rent arrears before things get too far.

How to choose the best tenants?

Make sure to protect your credit rating and act fast

Take immediate action without getting into a panic, loss of rent may not allow you to pay your mortgage, carry out maintenance works and carry on living the life standards you are used to.

How to attract the best tenants?

Pick up the phone and call your tenant before sending emails

Rent arrears can put a strain on a tenant/landlord relationship, if the rent is not paid on time, call the tenants and inform them, find out why, they may not be aware that the payment was not made, they may have forgotten and got the date wrong. Speak with them before acting further.

If the tenant is having difficulties making the rent, meet them in person, and discuss the issue. Everything you discussed in the meeting, put it on an email to confirm what was said. When you are on the phone to the tenant you can tell if the tenant is telling the truth and sincere through body language or the way they articulate themselves.

How to keep your tenants happy?

Accept less than 100% rent, it is better than nothing

Discuss the solutions with the tenant, do they have financial issues, can they currently pay part of the rent, come to an agreement, arrange a payment plan. Accept whatever the amount they can currently pay.

As a landlord, you can offer the subletting option or the option to end the tenancy earlier. If your tenant has a guarantor, contact them ask them to pay on behalf of the tenant. A landlord cannot end a tenancy early due to rent arrears without applying for a possession order in the County Courts in England and Wales or an eviction order in the Housing and Property Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland – but it may be an attractive option to them.

Do not agree to their use the deposit to pay the outstanding rent. The deposit must never be considered until the tenancy has come to an end. Try to resolve the issue between yourselves without destroying your relationships.

How to ensure your rental property is safe?

Make sure to check their references thoroughly before you take them on

The most effective way to avoid rent arrears is to ensure all of the correct checks are carried out upfront. Check tenants’ references thoroughly and ensure they provide guarantors if needed.

You may also want to consider taking out a rent-guarantee policy. Never let a tenant move in before they have paid at least one month’s rent and a deposit.

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