While becoming a landlord can be both a rewarding experience and a good income source, it is not without its risks. So it is important to be aware of your rights. This article informs you of your rights when your tenant stops paying their rent
Any good letting agent will properly vet your tenants to ensure that they have good credit, a stable source of income and that they are unlikely to default on their rent. However we live in an era where job security is a thing of the past. With big high street companies going in to administration, even the most unlikeliest tenant could fall behind with their rent.
If this does happen, there are a few steps to try and get the rent;
- Keep a record of all payments made and the dates they were made on
- If your tenant hasn’t paid the rent after a couple of days you should right a formal demand for the rent to your tenant. This should be delivered by first class royal mail
- If the rent still hasn’t been paid after 14 days you should write to the guarantor (if there is one) informing them that the tenant hasn’t paid the rent
- If your tenant is still a month behind on the rent and another rental payment is due then you consider your tenant to be two months in arrears. Under The Housing Act 1988 you now have the right to claim possession of your property. Serving a Section 8 will inform your tenant of your intention to take them to court if they don’t pay within 14 days. However, we strongly advise that a solicitor draws up this document to ensure it is written and served correctly to prevent costly mistakes later through the process
- If your tenant fails to respond to your demands for the rent you are now entitled to take legal action to seek possession of your property. You can also ask the court to make a judgement against the tenant for the rent arrears and reasonable costs you have obtained to try and claim it back.
- If, after you have a judgement to regain possession of your property, the tenant refuses to leave then you can instruct the bailiffs to remove the tenant
If you do take legal action and are successful in getting a judgement against the tenant, then you will have six years to enforce it.
If you are a landlord and we manage your property, then we will take all of these steps for you. We also offer our landlords rent guarantee products that protect you in this scenario. If you take one of our products then you will not only receive missing rent payments, but you will also have your legal costs covered in order for you to seek possession of your property.
We hope that you will never need to follow these steps, but, as a landlord, it is always a good idea to be aware of your rights.