Late Rent? Here’s What Every Landlord Needs to Know...

It happens.

For whatever reason, sometimes a tenant can’t or simply won’t pay the rent.

And that causes a real headache. Perhaps you are relying on that rent to pay the mortgage or a contractor who has done work at the property or, like some landlords we know, you need the payment to fund care for yourself or a relative.

Whatever the rent was going to be spent on, one fact remains – you don’t yet have it!

What Can You Do If Rent Is Late?

So here’s a quick check list of things you should think about should you find yourself in this situation;

  • A genuine mistake. It could be the bank has made an error or is carrying out security checks so the payment is delayed. Perhaps an unexpected payment came out of the tenant’s account which meant there wasn’t enough to pay you. Whatever you think, it is only fair to give the benefit of the doubt to the tenant at first. Mistakes happen.
  • If you try to contact them without success or they cannot provide a plausible excuse, you may have a serious problem. Remember, you must be fair to your tenants AND to yourself. Owning a buy to let is a business and you need to treat it as such. You still have financial commitments to keep so you need things on track as soon as possible.
  • Check your agreement for a rent collection policy. Make sure that you do not ‘try too hard’ to contact the tenant – they could complain if you pester them.
  • Try to resolve the issue but if, after a sensible period (approx. 3 working days in our opinion) you have not received the funds it could be time to take professional advice – there are plenty of solicitors you can speak to. That way, you’re ready to move things on should you need to.
  • Good legal advice will help avoid pitfalls such that could make it hard to get your rent or even more difficult to get your property back.
  • Rent guarantee and legal expense insurance is available so if you have a policy check it’s terms – it may help.

In short, keep on top of the situation but if in any doubt – get advice!

You can also consider employing a managing agent to run the letting for you. This takes away much of the hassle and fees are usually tax deductible!

Robert Luff & Co happily take on vacant property or homes that are already let. Use our resources to take the uncertainty out of rental.