Every Landlord’s Biggest Fear. What Can You Do When Your Tenant Won’t Pay the Rent?
We’ve all heard stories about the nightmare tenant who got behind, promised to pay, or just plain refused, and then seemed impossible to budge. But as your agents we have a number of protocols in place to protect your rights.
As a landlord, our Number One priority is to have a tenant paying the rent on time. Even after the rigorous selection process it still can happen (circumstances change etc) that we have a tenant getting behind in their rent.
As your agents we monitor this daily.
Step 1: We call and SMS reminding them they are overdue and warning them of the effect it may have on their future tenancy applications. (Until they are 8 days behind that is basically all we can do).
Step 2: 8 days. We issue a “notice to remedy” giving them 7 days (plus 2 days for postage) to rectify the problem. We send you a letter and a copy of this notice.
Step 3: If at the expiry date of that notice the tenant has not paid up to date we follow your instructions:
(a) Issue a notice to leave if you have requested
(b) Keep calling etc. to try to get the money
Some may consider this a “big” decision or even a “hard” decision and it is the owner’s decision and it comes with some risk.
- You have to find another tenant and pay another letting fee.
- The tenants are only responsible for the rent up until the date you advised them to vacate by.
How I perceive the situation:
- Your current tenant is living there for free yet you have to pay the bank.
- You can always change your mind and let them stay if they rectify the problem.
- If you do the above you have sent a clear message that you would have them move out and they are less likely to repeat the problem.
- If you don’t issue the notice, allowing them to stay on and be late they are more likely to continue to be late in their payments.
- If you don’t issue the notice you may end up with little or no bond left to cover the rent.
What you need to do:
When you receive a copy of the notice to remedy (which has marked on it an expiry date). Email your property manager with your instructions if the tenant hasn’t paid up to date by the expiry of the notice. I suggest you send the notice to leave or issue the notice with the advice that you will consider having them stay on if they fix the situation promptly and pay on time from hereafter.
Let’s hope this is not something any of us need to worry about!