Expert tips on preventing rent arrears

Free tenant eviction advice from our eviction expert Paul Shamplina of Landlord Action

As a landlord, when you’re evicting tenants you need to move FAST. Last week a landlord contacted Landlord Action asking us to help him evict his tenants.

But he has a major problem in being able to evict his tenants. The tenants are in rent arrears of 12 months and he has only decided to serve a tenant eviction notice on them now! Why would the tenant pay after a year if they didn’t pay when they were in rent arrears of 3-4 months? The landlord has no chance of collecting the unpaid rent.

The landlord also hadn’t made any tenant references. He didn’t even know where they worked! Again, this is another reason why it’s impossible for him to get his money back. Tenant referencing is vital. Read my top tips to how you can check out tenants thoroughly.

So what should you do if your tenant is in rent arrears?

My 5 top tips on preventing tenant rent arrears

  1. On the day that the tenant is due to pay rent, check your online bank account to make sure that the rent has been paid.

  2. If you’re managing the property yourself and not using a management company, you must make time to check that rent is paid on time. Credit control is vital!

  3. Communication with your tenant is paramount. Maybe your tenant has lost their job or the couple has split up. If this is the case, you can then give them time to pay.

  4. If the tenant is in rent arrears, call the tenant to find out why they haven’t paid the rent. You should call them a few times and send them a few letters before you serve the Section 8 Notice to prove to the court that you gave the tenant time to pay. If you start checking up why they’re in rent arrears straight away, you can then serve a Section 8 Notice quicker than if you waited. This then gives you a better chance of evicting the tenants quickly and preventing rent arrears from building up.

  5. As long as the tenant is in rent arrears of two months, you can serve a Section 8 Notice after one month and one day. So, for example, if rent was due on 1st October, you can serve a Section 8 Notice on 2nd November.

Paul Shamplina set up the tenant eviction and debt recovery service Landlord Action in 1999. To date they have evicted over 16,000 bad tenants for landlords across the country. He has featured on BBC1’s Inside Out and War at the Door and ITV’s Tenants from Hell. He has given over 300 talks to landlords at seminars nationwide.

More 'Top Tips' tenant eviction advice from Paul

Further Tenant Eviction Advice

Further Rent Arrears Advice

Published on: June 2, 2008

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