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My Tenant Has Stopped Paying Rent: What To Do

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Mon 17 Jun 2019

My Tenant Has Stopped Paying Rent: What To Do

Being a landlord comes with its own set of challenges, and one of the worst things that can happen is when you find out that a tenant stopped paying rent. Many landlords may panic in such a situation and may not know what to do, meaning they ultimately do nothing and end up losing out on rent - but things don't have to be this way!


As a landlord, you need to remain vigilant; monitor your bank account, and contact the tenant as soon as a payment fails to appear. This not only sends the message that you won’t let late payment slide, but will inform your tenant of an issue in the event that the problem was caused by a bank error instead of them.


If the tenant is going through an unexpected rough patch, you may want to come to an arrangement with them that benefits you both (such as a payment plan, or an offer to leave their lease early). When discussing rent issues with your tenant, always make sure to confirm things in writing to leave a paper trail that can be used as evidence later if (but hopefully not) needed.


If your tenant has provided you with a guarantor, or is in receipt of housing benefit, you will be able to contact these parties for payment instead. Merely contacting them may be enough to see your tenant pay what they owe, or you can begin proceedings to reclaim money from them instead.


If the tenant is troublesome, near the end of their tenancy, or ignores your efforts to contact them, you may want to look at eviction proceedings; the Housing Act 1988 allows you to reclaim possession of your property via Notice to Quit or Notice of Possession (depending on circumstances) after your tenant is 2 months (or eight weeks) in arrears. You will need to follow proper produce during this stage, so it would be wise to seek legal advice at this point.


Even if a tenant is in rent arrears, landlords cannot legally enter the property without permission, change the property’s locks, forcibly remove the tenant or any of their belongings, or take on new tenants for the property in question.


The important thing is to take decisive action, as the sooner you act, the sooner things can get resolved

If you’re a landlord whose tenant stopped paying rent and are looking to hire a property management company to chase up payments in the future so you don’t have to worry, then the team at Southern Properties and Management would be delighted to assist you. Call today on 01252 724438 to see what we can do for you and your properties, or simply complete our contact form instead.