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Tag Archives: devious tenants

Rent arrears – how landlords can deal with them effectively

The effect of sudden rent arrears

Paying the rentIf you are a landlord, it can be catastrophic if you tenant stops paying your rent.

After all, you have to carry on paying your mortgage, the insurance premiums, maybe Council tax and untilities and all the other outgoings you may have.

They are not going to let you off payment just because your tenant is not paying rent!

But often landlords, particularly new landlords, have no idea what to do. How can you deal most effectively with this disaster? How can you get your tenant paying rent again and keep paying rent?

Dealing with rent arrears

You need to remember that your tenant will no doubt have lots of creditors all calling for a part of his limited resources. He will probably pay first the one which is shouting loudest!

So you need to make your tenant decide to pay YOU first, before all the others. How can you do this?

  • Get on to it promptly. Ring him up or write to him the day after he fails to pay. Let him know that your eye is on him
  • Be sympathetic. Let him know that you understand his situation, and will do what you can to help. For example by allowing him to spread the payments, or maybe change the payment date. Or even (for the best tenants who you don’t want to lose) a small temporary rent reduction
  • Warn him of the dangers of non payment. The risk of being made homeless and the effect this will have on his earning capacity – to say nothing of family life. The negative effect also of having a CCJ registered against his name.  That sort of thing
  • Make it clear that you WILL take action if necessary, even though you are sympathetic.  You cannot allow him to stay in the property rent free, and will have no alternative but to take steps leading to eviction if the arrears situation is not dealt with

Generally if you take this approach, if the tenant is able to pay rent, he will.

And if your tenant STILL does not pay his rent?

Then I suggest you move as swiftly as possible towards eviction. It is neither right nor necessary for you to subsidise impecunious tenants who won’t even make an effort to pay your rent.

For more information

You will find quite a bit of guidance on this blog.

But your best guide will be my Rent Arrears Action plan which I wrote specifically to help landlords in this position, and give them a plan of action to follow. It contains guidance, letters, eviction notices and checklists.

Find out more >> here.

Ending tenancy when new agreement signed


We have a blog clinic question from John (not his real name) I hope you can help, I have an issue with my current tenancy which it would be good to get some informal advice on.  I’m coming to the end of my current agreement, and have already signed a new contract, beginning on theContinue Reading

Tenant vacating early as agent failed to renew contract


I have received the following cry for help from Sudheer via the Landord Law Blog clinic: My tenant has been with me for last 3 terms of 6 months, renewed as ‘six months- no break’. He requested me to go for a six months renewal again in December ’10, which I agreed to and thenContinue Reading

Should students pay a retainer over the summer?

window and flowers

Got a quick blog clinic query from Gill here, who rents rooms to students: We have a student who wants to stay in the same room next year but is saying he can’t/won/t pay a retention fee over the summer… surely it is normal practise for all student landlords to charge a small fee (weContinue Reading

What can you do if your tenant just WON’T GO!

Moving out - me?

Guidance on how you can protect your position and what you can do if your tenants fail to leaveContinue Reading

Ben Reeve Lewis’ Friday Newsround #7

Ben on a chair

[We have a new picture of Ben today - so you can see what he really looks like under those shades.  But today Ben is going into rant mode ... ] Warning….fledgling UKIP zone ahead. Who said we turn into our parents as we get older? I don’t always know where I am going whenContinue Reading

TRO Confidential : The Case of the Man Who Never Was


A day in the life of TRO Ben Reeve Lewis. The Case of the Man Who Never Was Explanation: Tenancy Relations Officers (TRO) work for local council’s providing advice on landlord tenant law and investigating allegations of harassment and Illegal Eviction and prosecuting landlords. All names are false but the stories are true. A familyContinue Reading

The Landlord Law Blog from Tessa Shepperson

Tessa is an English lawyer specialising in residential landlord and tenant law.

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