Rent arrears is one of the most common problems experienced by landlords and dealing with owed money can seem a complex and expensive situation. Following some simple step might be able to solve the problem before it goes too far.
- Recognise a late payment – The first time this happens isn’t always a reason to panic but it is good to take some form of action as outstanding monies can quickly add up.
- Take an informal approach – In the first instance pick up the phone and say ‘Hi, I am sure its an oversight but the rent hasn’t been paid’ and find out why. Could be a simple explanation, if the tenant is having difficulties perhaps meet in person at the property to get a look at the condition of the house also. Make sure you also carry out correspondence via email also so that you have evidence if this matter does escalate.
- Work towards a solution – The issues needs to be as if it was a joint problem so that you can both work out together. If the tenant is having financial problems then discuss support options to them e.g receiving 70% of the rent (which is better than none). Did they have a guarantor? If so can you contact them? Is subletting an option? Can offer the tenant to end their tenancy early but they need to agree to this.
Prevention is always better than a cure, the most effective way of avoiding rent arrears is by ensuring all of the correct checks are done up front. You can also consider taking out a rental guarantee policy and make sure that you never let a tenant move in before they have paid at least one month’s rent and deposit.