My Tenant Is Ignoring My Text Messages And Phone Calls

I dare you to ignore me

My tenant is slowly starting to grind away at my patience. I’m not entirely sure if he enjoys fucking with me, or whether he has a legitimate phobia with responding to any of my attempts of communication in a reasonable time frame. Either way, his lack of common courtesy is getting right on my tits.

My idea of a reasonable response period is 48 hours. For example, if I send a text message to my tenant, I expect a response with in 48 hours. Anything beyond that is deemed as inappropriate, rude and extremely irritating. 48 hours is actually a generous time frame, even that seems too generous to me.

It shouldn’t take more than 48 hours for a regular human with a regular functioning brain and regular functioning fingers to respond to a text message, right? Last I checked, he ticked those boxes, although I didn’t initially realise he also ticked the “I can be a frustrating little cu*t” box.

Responding to a text message or phone call takes literally seconds, right? Either of those actions can even be done while taking a dump, so it’s not like any precious time has to be lost (if that’s a concern).

Even if I’m busy beyond belief, I still manage to respond to people pretty quickly (because it doesn’t take long). Granted, some times I may genuinely forget to respond, others may too, and that’s perfectly fine. However, this particular tenant ALWAYS ignores my initial attempts of communication. I literally ALWAYS have to send him multiple text messages and phone calls before he responds. It literally takes him a minimum of 7 days to respond. It’s beyond boring and irritating.

When the slimy cockroach does eventually surface and respond, I’m greeted with a lame excuse that I could have done without hearing (e.g. I left my phone up my dad’s arse over the weekend), because my urge for wanting to hack his penis off with a rusty blade is only heightened.

I swear he just gets a kick out of me chasing him. It’s almost as if he wants me to “earn” his attention. Fucking rude moron. JUST REPLY LIKE A NORMAL PERSON! Know what I mean?

I’m not sure if he thinks the game of cat and mouse is cute or what, but he should realise that I’m not his bitch, and this game is far from cute. In fact, it’s repulsive, like the first evacuation of excrement after 2 weeks of constipation.

Don’t get me wrong, he’s generally a good tenant; he pays his rent every month, even though it’s consistently late. But that’s actually why I have to contact him EVERY month, to remind him to pay. He actually acts like a child in that sense.

The reason I’m ranting about this now is because I text my tenant 2 days ago and he hasn’t responded yet. I’m now about to embark on what he has made into a routine journey, which consists of me chasing his dumb arse with more text messages and missed phone calls (he never picks up). I have no doubt that he’ll eventually respond with a shitty excuse, followed by his plans to pay the due rent.

I’m grateful he pays rent; I understand the situation could be a lot worse because he could just ignore me altogether. I also appreciate that in the grand scheme of things, the situation isn’t all that bad. Nonetheless, it’s still fucking irritating. If anything, his attitude is just plain rude and unnecessary.

Time-waster.
Rude prick.
Idiot.
Fucker.
Back in the day, I would have made a comment about his mum, too. However, I’m mature now.

Have you been in a similar situation?

I’m pretty sure this is a pretty common issue for both landlord and tenant, because I hear about it all the time. Obviously it’s not just tenants that like to play the delaying game; landlords are also known for that kind of practice, especially when something needs repairing and money needs to be spent.

What’s your story? Please share…

What should you do if your tenant doesn’t respond to your attempts of communication?

These are my rough guidelines and tips…

  • Firstly, try to contact your tenant with phone calls and/or text message. Try to be a little patient, and don’t go overboard with the texts/phone calls. Apparently there’s a fine line between trying to get someone’s attention and harassment.
  • If the above fails, write a letter. Make sure it is sent using recorded delivery so that you can track it’s progress and confirm it has been delivered. Always keep copies of the letters for your own records.
  • If there is no response with in 14 days, try writing another letter. Again, keep copies and send it recorded delivery.
  • DO NOT attempt to enter the property on your own will unless it is an emergency e.g. health and safety issue (it is best to seek professional advice on what constitutes as an “emergency”).
  • If you’re still not getting any response, seek professional advice. The best place to start is Citizens Advice
  • From what I’m told, the court will look for evidence that demonstrates that the landlord tried his/her best to contact the tenant. So it’s important to keep logs of all communication attempts e.g. letters, phone calls, text messages.

19 Comments- join the conversation...

Guest Avatar
andy sheppard 11th January, 2011 @ 08:56

Why are you bothering to text to remind the tenant to pay? A firm letter telling them that the are breaking their contract and that if it continues then you will have no option to seek increased rent payments to cover the interest lost by their actions. Be polite then kick em out and get someone else in your property

1
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 11th January, 2011 @ 09:37

Hey Andy,

The guy still pays rent (even if it isn't on time), he's just a useless twat when it comes to communication, and it's irritating. I don't think there's any reason to rock the boat too much just yet. Increasing rent would be a little too harsh, and would cause me more hassle than needed.

I've had far worse tenants e.g. they didn't pay the rent at all. I know how easy it is to end up with worse tenants.

2
Guest Avatar
andy sheppard 11th January, 2011 @ 09:55

understand your point but I have found that as soon as the tenant thinks they have the upper hand then they will continue to play you. Nice guys do win in life but soft guys tend to get shafted! Be nice but not soft!!! Great site by the way always enjoy reading and love some of the reactions.

3
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 11th January, 2011 @ 10:00

Cheers. Appreciate your comments.

I agree with you. I know what you're saying actually. I'm going to talk to him and remind him that it's crucial I receive rent on time without having to chase him. But I won't be too formal initially. If he continues to play the cat and mouse game after our informal chat, I may write a letter to him, so he takes it more seriously.

4
Guest Avatar
benji 12th January, 2011 @ 01:31

This attitude winds me up to fuck. Wherever I am, day or night, I do everything possible to respond to my tenants within the hour. I expect a similar curtesy in return. I dont always get it.

Phoning from a different, new number sometimes works.

Youve got to keep right on top of it or they take liberties. To keep sane, bear in mind that youre the landlord, which is why you have this type of mindset- theyre tenants and often view things very differently.

Good article btw.

5
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 12th January, 2011 @ 09:00

Hi Benji,

I hear exactly what you're saying. I ALWAYS respond to my tenants as quickly as possible, and I expect some common courtesy in return. In fact, it's not even with tenants, I'm like that with most people that contact me!

Some people are just plain rude, and they think the world should wait for them!

What's worse is that no one actually gains anything from delaying. So it's just pointless.

Cheers

6
Guest Avatar
Andrew 14th January, 2011 @ 14:05

There's a clause in the contract that I use that states what the payment is, when it is due, AND the fact that it must be paid by standing order.

A monthly chase-up is such wasted effort and unnecessary stress. I've had it before with a guy who was always "paid late" and in fear of redundancy. I would have been more impressed with the "phone up the arse" excuse as at least I would have had a smile.

great site btw

7
Guest Avatar
andy sheppard 14th January, 2011 @ 15:14

Re comment by Andrew:

You can state that you would like payment by standing order but under law the tenant can pay by whatever means he/she so wishes, you cannot turn down cash and so accept standing order only. I have a similar clause as well but if the tenant wants to give you a load of notes then I'm afraid you cant do anything.

8
Guest Avatar
Jon 28th January, 2011 @ 09:58

1.Contract.
2.Direct Debit.

?

9
Guest Avatar
Tina 11th February, 2011 @ 09:26

My bitch of a tenant has been ignoring me ever since she had decided to buy a house, now she did not re -knew her contract and now has used her security deposit and every time I callher or send her a text message she does not respond, I am getting feed up with her attitude I dont know what to do, she is due to pay her rent soon, as she has agreed. So I really dont know what if she says she won'nt pay. Please give me advice. Thanks

10
Guest Avatar
Mike 11th February, 2011 @ 13:07

Tina,

I sympathise, but getting fed up doesn't solve the problem :)

Always remember, you're running a business not a charity.

I'd recommend a process something like:

1) Rent late by 1 week

Dear tenant,

We would like to draw your attention to the fact that your rent payment of £x.xx due on the xth of monthname has not been paid.

Can you please investigate, and arrange to make this payment as soon as possible.

Regards

2) Payment is 2 weeks late (Red ink) (CC: Guarantor if you have one)

Dear tenant,

SECOND REMINDER
---------------

We would like to draw your attention to the fact that your rent payment of £x.xx due on the xth of monthname has not been paid.

This is the second reminder. Can you please investigate, and arrange to make this payment immediately. If this is not possible, please contact our office (number, Contact times) to discuss.

Whilst we understand that these issues occur occasionally due to errors and oversights, if rent is consistently late this may lead to difficulties in contract renewal and in our ability to provide a reference to any subsequent landlord.

We would recommend that if these late payments are a result of money worries, that you make contact with a debt counsellor at the Citizens advice bureau (local number) or the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (number) who can provide a FREE service to help you control your money.

Regards

3) 3 weeks late (Red Ink) (CC: Guarantor if you have one)

Dear tenant,

FINAL REMINDER
--------------

We would like to draw your attention to the fact that your rent payment of £x.xx due on the xth of monthname has not been paid.

This is the third and final reminder. Can you please arrange to make this payment as a matter of urgency. If this is not possible, please contact our office (number, Contact times) to discuss.

Where rent is late for 2 consecutive months, this is regarded as a breach of your tenancy agreement and, regretfully, will result in legal action being taken to reclaim the property and the outstanding debt. If your payment does not reach us by (Date) then we will also have to add the cost of legal fees to the amount owing.

We would recommend that if these late payments are a result of financial issues, that you make contact with a debt counsellor at the Citizens advice bureau (local number) or the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (number) who can provide a FREE service to help you control your money.

Regards

4) 2nd month's rent missed (black ink), (CC: Guarantor if you have one)

Dear tenant,

Regretfully, your account is now £x.xx in arrears, which equals two months rent. We have been unable to contact you to arrange payment (or, your arrangement to pay has not been honoured) despite several reminders. As a result, we have no option but to commence legal proceedings to recover the property and the arrears due.

Regards

-------
If I read things correctly, it's now time to talk to your solicitor. (Happy for anyone to correct me if you have a better knowledge of the legal process behind these things)

This may seem somewhat harsh, but you have to pay your bills even if your tenent refuses to. A tenant who does not pay is not a customer, s/he's a thief (just as much as if they'd gone into a supermarket and walked out without paying) The only thing is, the supermarket can just call the police, you have to wait for the seemingly interminable court system to grind into motion.

The tenant may well give you some good flannel about what a difficult financial situation they're in right now, and how it will all be sorted out shortly. You should treat this the same way the supermarket would - anyone caught attempting this on more than one occasion would almost certainly be barred from the store! The tenant has certain priority bills (Home, Gas/electric, council tax, food) and a number of other things that are more flexible (sky tv, credit cards, overdrafts) they can be taken to court for anything except the priority bills without being left homeless.

Of course, during this process if the tenant DOES contact and make arrangements to pay back the arrears, all's fine with the world. Some people habitually do not pay ANY bills (including electric/gas) until the 2nd red bill.

The sooner you begin the process, the less you will lose out financially, and the sooner you can get yourself a real tenant who will pay their way.

11
Guest Avatar
Carla 26th February, 2011 @ 17:19

I too have to call my tenants several times lately every month to get them to pay, there's 4 adults living there so they always blame the other one, now they do not respond to my phone calls. They suck. Leaving them there because they have always paid the monthly rent for one year and never have to go there to do repairs. Can't wait to evict them in a few years or have an agency collect the rent.

12
Guest Avatar
David Booth 10th December, 2011 @ 14:45

Is your tennant DSS or LHA and wont pay then try our service www.taskerpaymentservices.co.uk no gimmicks no catch have a look if you like the idea give us a go!

13
Guest Avatar
sara 3rd May, 2012 @ 16:24

I have nothing to add to said situation, but must say ur 'rants' have cheered up a gloomy afternoon otherwise searching the web..researching 'being a land-lord'.
Love it....had me in tears..and actually helpful to a noob wannabee like me

Thanx

14
Guest Avatar
T Wood 23rd March, 2013 @ 11:06

Your situation is exactly like mine. I too have a tenant who has an inability to respond to texts, he is currently 2 weeks overdue with his rent, and acts like he's doing me a favour by paying it. He says he is leaving in two months time, and my worry is he won't pay anything now till he leaves. How do I get him out before that? I'm afraid he will sabotage the flat or something. He's quite aggressive. Any ideas?

15
Guest Avatar
Joanna 28th September, 2013 @ 14:56

I thought it was just my tenant that was doing this. She is sooo rude, doesn't even respond at all. Reports a repair need to property then does not bother to respond when I need to send contractors round. Never seen anything like it before. It is so stressful, no communication and then I'm labelled the bad landlord. It's totally unfair system :(

16
Guest Avatar
Ben 30th October, 2013 @ 07:17

Here's one for you... I'm trying to buy a house at the moment, with vacant possession, pretty much ready to go but the managing agent is ignoring the owners calls so that the tenants have not been given notice and are refusing to leave. The managing agent has changed his number and cannot be contacted. The owner is still getting rents paid each month but wants to sell the house...
I have tried personally to get the managing agents number off the tenants but they refuse...
What can be done? Please help!!!

17
Guest Avatar
Godfrey 15th January, 2014 @ 10:33

Why don't you break his windows? That'll show him.

18
Guest Avatar
Tenant & landlord 13th February, 2014 @ 15:13

well I'm glad I'm not renting from any of you. BTW I'm a landlord too.

Of you who think they are getting into an instant regular paid business, forget it!! NOW!!

When you get into this business so to speak you have a duty of care too. Yes people take the piss and don't pay so get rid of the the lawful way. Simple.. Expect it, budget for it insure against it and Simple.

Remember this what you have now you might not have in the future as shit happens. So when you start calling everyday for the rent that you know you are either going get or your not. just don't do it. WHY? what would you do if the tenant constantly knocked on your door to get things fixed every day spoke to your wife/partner with the same frequency. You wouldn't like it! I'm not saying all landlords are bad. I'm saying don't Lord over the little guy. it WILL bight you back believe me. I've seen it happen to a friend with 92 properties.48 statutory notices. The condemned houses killed his business through cash flow. if the tenant tells your insurance that you have been negligent with repairs... Your're NOT insured.

Finally. Don't think you have power you don't and definitely don't think people are cueing up to rent from you. You know and I know the rent bubble will burst it did 20 years ago. Communication about landlords are becoming more prevalent (lovemylandlord)etc. yes there are sharks in every business. Just don't be one.

19

Please leave a comment...

I'm a nobody

I'm a nobody

Landlord

Landlord

Tenant

Tenant

Letting / Estate Agent

Letting / Estate Agent

Legal

Legal

Buyer

Buyer

Developer

Developer

Enthusiast

Enthusiast


Leave a comment

Want FREE Landlord/Tenant advice from experienced Landlords?

Join our active Landlord community by registering to our Landlord Forum.
Learn, share and resolve your problems!