This is an extremely common problem for landlords, especially in an economic climate where unemployment is rising and the general cost of living is rising. More and more tenants are starting to fall into arrears, and it’s a massive problem for landlords.
What should I do if my tenant stops paying rent?
1) Communication is key
Most importantly, you need to talk to your tenant. As soon as your tenant falls into arrears, you should try to contact your tenant either by letter, a phone call, or even a visit. The issue is best dealt with sooner rather than later.
If you let the situation drag on for months, hoping that the tenant will pay, the rent arrears may eventually spiral out of control, to the point where the tenant will never be able to pay them. Additionally, if they know you will be on to them quickly, they are more likely to give their rent payments priority.
2) Come to an agreement with your tenant
Trying to resolve the issue with your tenant directly should be the main focus; court action should always be the last resort.
Perhaps you can allow the tenant to pay more frequently in smaller payments or perhaps, in the case of a good tenant you would be sorry to lose, you can give a small rent reduction.
3) Put any agreement in writing
If you come to some form of compromise with your tenant, you should put it in writing. A letter setting out the agreement, including any relevant dates, and what will happen if the tenant fails to comply, will be sufficient.
4) If your tenant has fallen 2 months in arrears without making any payments
If you can’t come to some form of agreement and your tenant has fallen in arrears by 2 months or more, then you have suitable grounds to Evict your tenant.
Extra Tips for landlords that have tenants in arrears
Check your Landlord Insurance Policy to see if you are covered for a tenant defaulting on payment.
If the tenant has a Guarantor, then contact them and advise them in writing and by phone that the tenant has defaulted.
They will legally be responsible for covering the tenants arrears if the tenants refuses to pay.
Tenant Eviction Professionals
Evicting tenants can be a lengthy and complicated process. If you’re uncertain of the law and procedures, it might be worth getting in touch with a Tenant Eviction Professional.
Taking the professional route may sound expensive, but it can actually work out to be the cheaper option because professionals know what they’re doing and they generally work fast. Plus, it takes away a lot of the stress from the landlord.
“My Tenant Has Stopped Paying Rent” Comedy Sketch
I can’t remember why or how, but i’m thanking fate for the cinematic treasure I stumbled upon earlier today. I came accross a humorous Tenant Vs Landlord comedy sketch, which you can watch below.
Will Ferrell plays a tenant that can’t pay his rent on time, as a result, his frustrated landlord, Pearl, doesn’t take the news lightly, consequently uses lines like, “You pay now, bitch”, in attempt to persuade Will.
I can appreciate Pearl’s situation. I’ve been in that situation, and I’ve had to mutter the words, “You pay now, bitch” a few times. Pearl hit the nail on the head a few times, and I’m sure any Landlord that has been in this situation can appreciate the following lines…
I’m tired of this crap
I work too hard
I want my money
I want my money, bitch
Disclaimer: I'm just a simple landlord blogger, I am not qualified to give legal advice. Any advice I give is my opinion based on my experience. I will always recommend you seek legal or professional advice on any legal matters!