Can I Charge My Tenant Late Rent Penalty Fees?

Tenant Late Rent Penalty Fees

Like many of you (I’m sure), during my spare time I like to kick back, relax and bury my head in an assortment of Tenancy Agreements for light reading. May I add, the ladies love it. It’s like walking around a park with a puppy.

I haven’t read many tenancy agreements which enforce “late rent payment fees”, but I know they’re common, especially in contracts used by Letting Agents. The basic concept is, if a tenant is late on paying their rent, they’re obligated to pay a penalty fee.

Believe me, there’s always someone trying to squeeze a penny out from somewhere, no matter how tight and dingy.

I’ve personally NEVER included late payment “penalty” terms in any of my contracts, but here’s an example of one I recently spotted in a tenancy agreement:


It is the responsibility of the Tenant to ensure their rent is cleared through [LETTING AGENT] account by the rent due date.

[LETTING AGENT] are not obligated to remind the Tenant(s) when their rent is due.

[LETTING AGENT] operate a strict policy with regards to late payments of rent. [LETTING AGENT] reserve the right to serve any notices against the Tenant(s) in accordance with the terms of the Tenancy Agreement.

Interest of 6% above the current Bank of England base rate will be levied for each day the rent is late.

[LETTING AGENT] operates a struct ‘Late Rent Procedure’ which involves levying the following administration charges on those Tenant(s) who pay rent late. The Tenancy Agreement also includes a provision allowing Landlord to charge interest on arrears.

If rent is not paid even days after the rent due date a first rent reminder will be sent and a charge levied of £35.

If rent is not paid fourteen days after the rent due date a second rent reminder will be sent and a charge levied of £50. Failure to pay the outstanding amount with in 20 days will result in the service of HOUSING ACT 1988 Section 8 (as amended by Section 151 of the Housing Act 1996); Notice of Seeking Possession of a Property Let on an Assured Tenancy and £125 will be levied for the preparation of this document.

If rent is not paid twenty one days after the rent due date a third rent reminder will be sent and a charge levied of £75.

Further reminders may follow thereafter and will be charged at the rate of £75.00.

Rental payments made by cheque which fail to clear within three days of the rent due date will be deemed to be late payments and an administration charge of £35 will be levied.


I’m really not sure how enforceable those specific fees are in the eyes of the law, but they seem excessive to me. In fact, I can pinpoint a few that definitely aren’t enforceable. Either way, I always find late payment penalties counter-intuitive (I’ll explain why shortly).

Many late payment clauses aren’t enforceable

While those scary fees may seem legit when they’re printed in a legally binding tenancy agreement, it’s important to note that they aren’t always legally enforceable.

Penalties need to be deemed ‘fair’ and clear, and generally speaking, from my experience most clauses related to late payment fees are excessive in fees. Basically, they’re aim is to rip tenants off so the people at the top get rich for doing very little. That’s not to say that penalties fees can’t be enforced, I’m just saying they should always be fair, well justified and clearly stipulated so there is no confusion.

It should also be noted that if a tenant refuses to pay the penalties and the case is taken to court, Judges often take the tenant’s side, especially when they’re going through financial hardship.

If you want to use late payment clauses

My advice, seek legal counselling from someone that specialises in landlord law if you wish to use late payment penalty clauses. They should be able to advise whether or not your clauses are ‘fair’ (i.e. enforceable) and/or provide you with suitable clauses.

Fair warning, tenancy agreements provided by letting agents are often total junk; they’re polluted with bullshit clauses that would never be taken seriously in the eyes of the law. So even if your tenancy agreement is provided by a professional agent, it doesn’t necessarily mean everything is in good order.

So what happens if your tenancy agreement has unenforceable clauses? The good news is that your tenancy agreement doesn’t crumble and become invalid, so the tenancy isn’t automatically terminated. You’re still the landlord and your tenant is still your tenant, and the tenancy should continue until it’s properly terminated. However, in real terms, it just means that if your tenant disputes the late payment fees and the case escalates to court, you’ll most likely end up losing your case and wasting a whole bunch of time and money.

Tenant Fees Act 2019 (only relevant to landlords in England)

On 1st June 2019 the “Tenant Fees Act 2019” came into force, which is a legislation that focuses on banning and restricting letting agents and private landlords (in England only) from charging tenants with certain fees, which includes a limitation on how much landlords can charge tenants for late payment fees.

The legislation stipulates the following:

  • Landlords can only charge a tenant a late payment fee if it has been written into the tenancy agreement.
  • The late payment fee can only be charged where the rent payment has been outstanding for 14 days or more (from the date set out in the tenancy agreement).
  • Any fee charged must be no more than 3% above the Bank of England’s base rate for each day that the payment has been outstanding.

Statutory rights cannot be overwritten

This doesn’t just apply to late payment clauses, this applies to any clause in a tenancy agreement. Simply, no clause can supersede the tenant’s or landlord’s statutory rights, no matter what. But to keep it on topic, let me show you what I mean in relation to late payment fees.

Here’s an example clause from what I pasted earlier:

If rent is not paid fourteen days after the rent due date a second rent reminder will be sent and a charge levied of £50. Failure to pay the outstanding amount with in 20 days will result in the service of HOUSING ACT 1988 Section 8 (as amended by Section 151 of the Housing Act 1996); Notice of Seeking Possession of a Property Let on an Assured Tenancy and £125 will be levied for the preparation of this document.

A Section 8 notice can indeed be served if a tenant falls in arrears, but they need to be at least 2 months in arrears. Here is a copy of Ground 8 (the ground for rent arrears):

Ground 8: the tenant owes at least two months in rent (monthly tenancies) both on service of notice and at the time of the court hearing. Where rent is payable weekly, quarterly or annually ground 8 requires that there are arrears of 8 weeks, 3 months and 6 months respectively.

So assuming that a Section 8 notice is served after 20 days of the tenant being in arrears, it wouldn’t actually be enforceable and it certainly wouldn’t give the landlord entitlement to mandatory repossession, despite what is written and agreed upon in the tenancy agreement.

So ultimately, the clause is reduced to no more than a scare mongering tactic, and nothing else.

What’s even more amusing is the term also states that the tenant is liable to pay £125 for the preparation of the Section 8 document. That seems excessive. I’d like to know exactly how many people have paid that fee. It literally takes 5mins to complete the notice, so the time invested in “preparation” is most certainly limited, so the staggering £125 price tag is baffling, but not utterly surprising.

Why I find late payment fees pointless

Before tossing in valid or even valid late payment penalties, I would urge with caution to actually using them for the following reasons:

  • While it won’t be always the case, it’s mostly safe to assume that if a tenant is late paying rent, they’re going through financial difficulties. So if they’re struggling to pay rent, they sure as hell won’t be able to pay the late payment fees.

    Needless to say, it’s already tough enough for landlords to recover rent arrears when a tenant doesn’t have money, so you may as well forget about the extras.

  • Late payment fees will most likely sour the relationship between you and your tenant, and a hostile tenant is unlikely to be accommodating. The primary aim should be to get the rent, and the best way to do that is to make it easy for the tenant, not more difficult.

    I have a tenant that is annoying beyond belief. Without fail, he pays rent late every bloody month. It drives me insane because I have to chase him continuously, even though the dumb-arse knows exactly when rent is due. I’ve blogged about the prick a few times in the past, and while I’d love to punch him in the face with late payment fees, I don’t, because he always ends up paying… eventually. That’s the main thing.

    Maintaining a healthy relationship is often key to the success of a good landlord/tenant experience.

So, what are your thoughts, chaps?

Tenants: have you ever been charged with a late payment fee? If so, how did you feel about it? Moreover, are you currently tied into a tenancy that enforces late fee penalties?

Landlords / Agents: what do you think about late rent fees? Do you have late rent terms in your tenancy agreement(s)?

65 Join the Conversation...

Showing 15 - 65 comments (out of 65)
Guest Avatar
kellywalker 21st February, 2013 @ 00:44

As i rent my home and take care of the property which is need of many repairs infact the propety should of been not boddged up before i move in... however it is my home now till i find another.... the rent should be paid by the tennent at the end of each month as pay as you go.... why they want in advance i dont know as they dont check they propetys for repairs at all and that in itself wrong.... we should pay as you go at the end of the month or weekly not these demands for renting they propertys that are old and cold the law should be changed for the tennent and the councils should check more on the state and rents that are been cahrged for private accomodations pritvate landlords can seem to think they can do and charge what they wish....

Guest Avatar
richard 28th February, 2013 @ 18:52

I've been in my new home about 7months now and have only
Been late with the rent once but it was a about a month late over Xmas but I paid it in full in Jan over £1000 in one go ..I've just been paid wrong and my employer has said it will be 15 days until my wage is amended .. do I just leave it and pay it on the 15th day or contact them explaining the problem
And can thay evict me for the rent being late ?.

Guest Avatar
Karen 25th August, 2013 @ 12:52

My Landlady wants myself and my foster sister to her pay her bank charge of £35 for which she is saying is incurring daily interest I do not believe this and I refuse to pay it.
My rent is currently late due to council for which I am unable to do anything till Tuesday.
Can my Landlady do this?

Guest Avatar
max 25th August, 2013 @ 17:58

Only the courts can award a penalty of fine

If it it is not in the TA the tenant is not obligated

Even if in the TA it is almost certainly an unfair contract term and no adjudicator for a deposit service or court would award it

Guest Avatar
Nat 10th September, 2013 @ 13:12

Hey, I moved into my property last month. I was away on the date rent was due (a Sunday) and unable to pay. I emailed the letting agent to let them know the situation and asked whether I could do it over the phone but also to let them know a housemate would try to pay for me. I received no response from the letting agent and the housemate said they paid. I thought all was fine. 10 days later I receive an email from the agent saying my rent is late, incurring a £35 admin fee plus £3.50 a day for the lateness (the £3.50 was in the agreement)
Is charging £35 for an email legal?!

Guest Avatar
max 10th September, 2013 @ 14:10

The £3.50 a day late fee is not unreasonable especially as it is in the TA

THe admin fee is in my view a quasi fine and is unenforceable especially as the compensation of £3.50 per day is specified I would have said that the admin fee was reasonable had there not been compensation in the TA for late payment.

It is each tenants responsibility to ensure the full rent is paid on time

Pay by Standing Order

Guest Avatar
David Palmer 11th October, 2013 @ 12:49

Late Payment fees are completely unenforceable even if they are in the Tenancy Agreement because all Tenancy Agreements are subject to the various revisions of the Housing act.

A good friend of mine is a Judge and he told me he would look very dimly on a Landord trying to claim for these, especially if the rent had been paid in due course. It would be wasting the Courts time and he said he may even award the Tenant costs.

He said that he would not even entertain a claim for Late Payment Fees unless there had been a grace period of at least 14 days, that the Tenant had been a persistant late payer (at least 6 late payments) and even then only as part of an eviction with at least 3 months of unpaid rent.

I should point out that he as pretty harsh as a Judge, he does not fall for sob stories and goes strictly by the law.

It can be frustrating to have your mortgage dependent on the finances of a tenant but it is all part of the property game, if you really can't afford a buffer of at least one month's rent then you should probably sell up.

As has been said, If they can't pay the rent on time for sure they can't pay the penalty fee.

You also make the relationship sour, when you really want a tenant to look after your property.

Guest Avatar
Sue 30th July, 2014 @ 17:07

We were late by 18 days paying our rent and have been charged £1000. Is this allowed or should we seek legal help claimimg this back?

Guest Avatar
David 1st August, 2014 @ 07:38


No Sue this is NOT allowed

Any penalty charges have to be fair and based on actual costs, typically a charge of an interest charge for 18 days at a reasonable rate. Typically 4% above the Bank of England base rate or they might try to use the Libor rate.

So if your rent was £1000, the annual interest at 4.5% would be £45 divide that by 365 days gives you 0.123p a day, multiply that by 18 days and you get £2.22. So he could reasonably charge you £2.22. Now if he could show an actual penalty from his mortgage company for your specific property, dated for the period in question, he could pass that on at cost. You are within your rights to request evidence of any such charge that he wishes to pass on. You should verify such evidence with the mortgage provider.

Note that even if your tenancy has penalty clauses they are not only unenforceable but they are often a sign of a badly constructed tenancy agreement.

The office of Fair trading has produced guidance on this and it is what Judges use to determine what is fair and reasonable.

These include all the tricks that bad landlords use, including penalties disguised as core terms. If such a term has the effect of an unfair penalty, the form of the term is not relevant and it will be regarded as a penalty clause.

If you wish to list how the charges are made up I can tell you exactly why they are illegal.

Generally any fixed amount penalty (e.g. £20 a day) will get thrown out. A landlord has to show ACTUAL costs, they can't make these up, they have to show evidence to the Court. Note if they start ANY kind of harassment, document it, report it to your local council and send them a letter stating that you regard their behaviour as harassment and any further behaviour of this kind will be reported to the authorities.

This may include turning up without an agreed appointment, trying to make appointments at inconvenient hours. In such circumstances you can refuse to deal with them directly because you are in fear and insist that they use a 3rd party. Any threat to evict you, any changing of the locks, any entry to the property when you are not there are all illegal and can get them huge penalties.

Even without this guidance UK common law which overides any contract says that it is unfair to impose excessive sanctions for a breach of contract. A term that requires the tenant to pay more in compensation for a breach than a reasonable pre-estimate of the loss caused to the landlord is likely to be void as a penalty under common law.

As I said, list a breakdown of the charges and I will give you specific terms which you can use to reject them.

Hope this helps.

Guest Avatar
Sue 3rd August, 2014 @ 13:48

Hi David,

Thanks for your reply. Our monthly rent is £1750 and in the agreement it says that we will be charged 3% above the LIBOR rate DAILY until the arrears have been paid. As I said previously, we were 18 days late paying that months rent, so they have charged us £1041.25 on top of the months rent I need to know if this is legal and how to approach the lettings agent. Any guidance would be appreciated.
Kind regards

Guest Avatar
David 4th August, 2014 @ 08:38


That sound excessive, for now I would simply send them a message

"Dear Sir/Madam

Further to your recent demand for charges for late payment of rent can you please clarify your calculations and how you came up with the total of £1024.25

Many thanks


Do not get into an argument with them at this stage, just ask for the calculations.

The problem with quoting Libor is that there are now many Libor rates.

Reversing what they charged, we start with £1,041.25, divide that by 18 days and get £57.85 divide that but the rent of £1750 and you get 3.31% deduct the "3% above" rate you get 0.30556% as the Libor rate they used.

So they seem to have forgotten to divide the rate by 365 days or they have charge you 365 times the appropriate fee!

Look at the contract term, it may be constructed as an unfair contract term, the OFT guidance in this area is

"To pay interest at the rate of x per centum per annum above the base minimum lending rate of [name] Bank on any rent or other money lawfully due which is in arrears for more than fourteen days after the day on which it became due."

They are using LIBOR which is fine, but they cannot charge you an ANNUAL rate DAILY, they would be in trouble with so many financial regulation agencies.

If it was the agent that applied these charges they may have made a mistake because, let's face it, the staff they employ are not exactly known for their competency.

They should only have added the interest if they have added any fixed charges they are in trouble, they can only add real costs incurred.

For you to know, these are the calculations that SHOULD have been used, based on

LIBOR (using the rate calculated above) at 0.30556% so Interest rate 3.31%

£1750 x 3.31% = £57.85 which is a years interest, divide that by 365 days and you get £0.16 multiply that by 18 days and you get £2.8527 (£2.86)

For now you assume it is a mistake, you ask they for the numbers.

Once you have the numbers you inform them of the error and ask them for a refund of the difference plus of course your REAL costs, so your interest, as you were charged by wherever you got the money from.

If they dispute it you start of by reporting the agency to any associations they are members of e.g. ARLA

Next you send them a demand of the rebate and tell them this is a final request and you will be issuing legal proceedings in the small claims court within 14 days of the date of this letter for the excess fee AND your legal costs.

I would also report the agency to trading standards in the area where they are based.

Feel free to paste the exact wording of the term and I will tell you if it is legal.

Do let us know how you get on.

Guest Avatar
Mr Scott Utah 24th August, 2014 @ 09:13

It really is teeming with scammers on the internet, really not normal. In one week I lost 500usd for payments. I had inquiries made ??at Dandy
came just disappointed. I would recommend anyone to advertise on the site.I've only tried it a different website, and when I had finally found someone
who was still honest ([email protected]) Because he asked me in advance, but doubted he could give evidence and so I took the risk anyway
and I was able to borrow from him. 30000usd,please dont email anybody said to be a loan lender in this website because they are all scams,they
disappoint me and run away with my 500usd,Mr scott utah is the only one i trust because he gave me the loan i needed,,please do not email anyone in
this website because they are scams they pretend to be loan lenders they rip people of their hard earned money the USA Attorney General Of Police are
searching for this guys in the internet right now so dont email this guys please they will rip you off like they did to me..

Guest Avatar
marcus 30th October, 2014 @ 00:01

I have never, in my twenty years of living in rented accommodation (much to my annoyance despite it's necessity) come across a tenancy agreement with clause to the effect that I should be charged any fee for late payment of rent. It's a simple matter of common courtesy to ensure that rent is paid on time or as near as practically possible if it cannot be paid on time (e.g. banks can be picky about paying money out during the weekend so rent may not get paid until Monday, or might come out earlier on the Friday - even so, never been charged any fees for that either!).
I'd love to know who uses these clauses so I can avoid them ENTIRELY.
I have paid my rent regularly as clockwork and always (with one exception of a really bad estate agent in the South) made sure that if there is anything out of the ordinary likely to occur, either the estate agent knows or the landlord/landlady knows in advance - and thankfully they've been pretty good about it by and large. It's just the slummers and the lazy arseholes that can't be bothered to stick to their side of the agreements that annoy the crap out of me - and even with those, I still never saw any clause that indicated charges being made for late payment of rent.

Guest Avatar
David 30th October, 2014 @ 11:18

I HAVE had such clauses and successfully argued that they are an unfair contract term as OFT356 guidance 2006 states. The equivalent interest for a few days was 15p.

In addition to this Landlords need to recognise that rent is not officially overdue when it has not been paid by the due date.

You have only to look at the forums for this great site to see the nutty ideas of some landlords of what they will put into their contracts.

The fact is that a tenant has to sign the tenancy agreement in front of them if they want to secure the roof over their head.

Guest Avatar
Maija Pykett 5th March, 2015 @ 16:04

We have just incurred a £35 late payment fee. We pay our rent by direct debit on the first of every month and have never ever been late. This month the 1st fell on a Sunday. And guess what? Late payment fee. Even after we pointed out we have never been late. The agent incurred no inconvenience, no admin fees, they didn't have to chase us. We just received a text on Monday 2nd (the same day the rent ended up in their account) saying we were being penalised to the tune of £35. Our whole tennancy has been a disaster and as tenants we have felt powerless. We now await the joy of fighting over our deposit when we leave the house in a better condition than we found it. Never again!

Guest Avatar
David 5th March, 2015 @ 17:06


Did you read my post above?

Download OFT356 from

Search for penalty, page 21 (on page 25) at the bottom shows that it is an unfair contract term.

Group 5: Financial penalties
– paragraph 1(e) of Schedule 2
3.44 Schedule 2, paragraph 1,
states that terms may be
unfair if they have the
object or effect of:

(e) requiring any consumer who fails to fulfil his disproportionately high sum in compensation.

3.45 It is unfair to impose excessive sanctions for a breach of contract. A term that requires the tenant to pay more
in compensation for a breach than a reasonable pre-estimate of the loss caused to the landlord is likely to be void as a penalty under common law. Other types of excessive sanction are considered in Chapt
er 4, Group 18(c).

We regard a requirement to pay unreasonable interest on arrears of rent, at a rate substantially above the clearing banks' base rates, as an unfair penalty. We regard the imposition of a fixed daily or monthly charge for overdue rent, and regardless of the amount due or the surrounding circumstances, as being penal rather than compensatory in nature, and unfair. Tenants would have to pay more than the cost of making up the deficit caused by their default.

So if your rent is £1000, then they might reasonably charge for loss of interest at say 4% above base rate so £1000 x 5.5% = £55 / 365 days = 0.15p per day.

Inform the agent that you signed the contract under duress and reject their unlawful penalty.

If they have a direct debit tell your bank to pull it back under the DD guarantee for unauthorised payments.

Refer them to your local trading standards and mention the terms above of OFT356 (there are others in OFT356 too).

Guest Avatar
jamesE 15th April, 2015 @ 19:36

Well my lot i rent has a $35 dollar late charge after 7 days then they charge $10 a day after that. Got stuck between paychecks and was 8 days over due ended up paying $250 for rent and $115 with late charge and their little $10 a day crap so=$365 bucks left me with $70 to run 70 miles a day both ways back and forth to work. Is their any protection against robbing ppl landlords can be assholes.

Guest Avatar
Marzena 19th January, 2017 @ 19:41


I have terrible situation with letting agency. I signed a 1 year contract with them for the 2 bed house. Contract was ending in November so I informed them that I won't prolong it and I am moving out in January next year. In December I paid normally the rent but for Jan I asked them if I may use my deposit which was 1683pounds) for last payment of 1275. They have never replied to me that it's against our previous contract or that they will charge me late rent fee. After 2 weeks of moving out when I asked for my deposit back they have sent me invoice with late fee of 1580 pounds. So according to them I still have to pay them money. Is that legal? Through all 2 months they didn't tell me that they are going to charge me according to our previous contract they were there some fees but I thought it was ended in November. For whole year have never delay single day with them. They didn't send me any letter nothing till now. What should I do? Any advices? I am single mother and I can't afford paying 1500 just like that for nothing. I don't feel that it's fair.

Guest Avatar
David 19th January, 2017 @ 22:23


First off do not worry, they are trying it on or incompetent or both.

So there are several things here:

1. Was your deposit protected at the DPS, TDS or MyDeposits within 30 days of you giving them the deposit?

2. Were you given the Prescribed Information (not just a copy of deposit being protected but a separate document, again within 30 days?

3. A landlord or their agent is not allowed to use your deposit as a last month's rent, it is against the law. However, they should have at least communicated that to you, along with a note saying if you did not pay you would incur late payment charges.

4. The agent is trying it on, these sound like a breach of OFT356 unfair contract terms. A friend of mind deals with these sorts of cases you can email them at legal recoveries @ (delete the spaces) , send them a scan of your agreements, you could also contact Shelter or your local Citizens Advice Bureau.

If they did not protect your deposit in time or properly you may be entitled to 3x the rent as a sanction.

The way you have laid out events makes it difficult to give advice because I really need a timeline of exact dates.

Date Contract started
Date Contract ended
Date you gave notice you were not going to extend the lease
Date you moved out (did you sign anything - was a contact from agent there)

You will have signed a contract when you started the tenancy and it wil have some term regarding the late payment fees, however, just because they put it in there does not make it legal.

The £1275 and £1683 do not add up, how much was your monthly rent, if it was £1275 I would expect 4 or 6 weeks deposit.

They are entitled to charge their actual losses but they would be pennies with the current base rate.

In the first instance I would email them a simple email and send a copy by recorded delivery

"Dear Sir/Madam

I have received your Invoice Number XXXX dated January X 2017.

I am writing to inform you that I dispute this invoice and am I am requesting you immediately issue me with a credit note to offset this invoice.

If you fail to do this immediately I will forced to instruct Solicitors to prepare legal action against you and will seek my costs. If I do not here from you within 3 days to confirm you will be crediting the invoice I will be

I have never agreed to such fees and they are in breach of unfair contract terms legislation and Office of Fair Trading Guidance (OFT356). I wrote to you terminating my tenancy and requesting to offset any outstanding rent from the deposit.

I look forward to receiving your credit note, no later than 7 days from the date of this letter.

Yours faithfully

M Tenant"

If they encourage you to contact some 3rd party arbiter DO NOT DO IT!

I hope this helps.

Guest Avatar
Marzena 19th January, 2017 @ 22:48


Thanks for quick reply.
That was really helpful. I want to answer your questions.
1. Yes I have deposit certificate my
2. I have just deposit certificate with me.
3. Yeah I email them about it before Christmas 9.12.2016. I ask if it's possible to use deposit for last payment they didn't reply so I assumed is fine.
Start agreement 11.11.2015
End agreement 11.11.2016
Notice of moving out 01.11.2016 states for 11.01.2017
moving out 10.01.2017
Payment for last month should be done 12.12.2016 (9th I asked for taking it from deposit)
My deposit sorry was 1863 pounds
Rent 1275
I signed some moving out inspection inventory note or something. Still when I saw the agent he didn't tell me anything about charges for late payment.
If you would like to know anything else let me know.

Guest Avatar
David 20th January, 2017 @ 00:51

Hi @Marzena

OK you have made some mistakes in but so have they.

Now you say you have the deposit certificate, when was the deposit protected, was it by 11th December 2015?

Was the deposit returned to you in full or part, if so when and how much? You said in your original message that they sent the late payment invoice when you requested the deposit back (surely you means the remaining part of the deposit), so I am assuming nothing paid back or returned.

By Law, the deposit is protected with an official authorised deposit holder, there are only 3, DPS, TDS or MyDeposits, which was it?

If the deposit was given to them (a custodial scheme) they contact you when a tenancy is expiring to ask you what you want done with the deposit. Looking at the deposit certificate you have does it say whether it was a Custodial or Insurance scheme.

You see this is what the PI is all about, it is supposed to tell you how to contact the scheme administrator, how to get the deposit back etc.

The numbers still seem a bit strange, £1275 x 12 / 52 is £294.23 a week, I would expect the deposit to be six weeks at around £1765, so it looks as if there may be £100 extra or there is a charge there that is not part of the deposit. What is the amount on the deposit certificate?

Did they provide you with a separate document (it may be with the tenancy agreement) telling you all the prescribed information (see end of this message)? They needed to do this by 11th December 2015, this is important as it gives you some power to threaten them with. The sanction could be worth £5589 if they did not do the paperwork in accordance with the law. I would expect them to have given you both docs and to have got you to sign copies (if they were efficient).

Was the message on 9/12/2016 the first time you gave notice of your intention to leave?

Was that your only communication with the agent?

How were the exit arrangements made, how did they know to come do the inventory?

I ask this because generally in life to ass-u-me makes an an ass out of you and me, so you always need to confirm, follow up and check. Now if you said you were moving out on the 10th Jan 2017 and there were no other comms, it kinda proves they got the message. However, if for some reason they did not get the message then they could not be expected to respond to it.

However, if you were late in paying rent one would expect them to send you demands, reminders, to email, text and call.

For your part you should not rely on email; recorded delivery letters are critical for anything relating to legal matters, ending a contract which you signed is a legal matter.

So legally there are a few things you should know.

B1. Your original Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) ended on 11.11.2016 at which point a new Statutory Agreement was created by law, it is called a Statutory Periodic Tenancy (SPT), it means the tenancy continues under the same terms as before, but runs from month to month. With an SPT the tenant needs to give one month's notice the Landlord needs to give 2 months (via a section 21 agreement) to end the tenancy.

B2. Your tenancy was covered by the Deregulation Act which fully came into force in October 2015. Prior to that they had to re-protect your deposit for the SPT, within 30 days of the new tenancy and issue you with new PI. Under the deregulation act the original can stand IF (and it is a BIG IF), the deposit details remain the same, i.e. all the details remain the same. However, they also have to give you a copy of the Government document “How to rent” at the begining and any new revisions of the “How to rent” document (when it goes SPT) that have been issued since the original. I know there have been two revisions, so you should have been issued within 30 days of it flipping to SPT. This is a legal requirement of deposit protection.

So they may be in breach not only of the original Deposit requirements for the AST but also the SPT, this potentially could mean a big payout by the Landlord. Usually these things are negotiated by people like my friend, but the most important thing is they give you leverage.

What is common with Agents is for them to NOT use the custodial scheme but to use an Insurance backed scheme. This means the Agent holds the deposit and the deposit company insures it, so you need to contact the Deposit company, ask them for details of your deposit protection, what type of scheme is it (custodial or Insurance), is it still in force, have they been advised that the AST ended on 11.11.2016 and a new SPT was created on that date, have they continued to offer protection, what details do they have for you because you have received no communications.

If there was any period where you were not protected you can make a demand on the Landlord for the sanctions, it is important to remember that it is the Landlord who is liable, he must then sue the agent for professional negligence, that is your leverage, but it needs to be done in a specific way.

I know numerous agents who put in all sorts of nonsense in their agreements and act as if they are legally in the right, but Court is a playground for the rich, so I do not expect they will pay to play. All legal agreements are subject to not being contrary to common law.

However, it is important you conduct yourself in accordance with Civil Procedure Rules and common law.

For starters by disputing the debt in a letter that you confirm they have received by recorded delivery you make it harder for them to enforce or take to Court. They may try to do this online, but if they did you would be sent Court documents and be able to file a defence and request a Court hearing. Before taking legal action they need to send you a "letter before action", again you dispute that, but with a bit more legalese. This is so that the Judge sees you have done all you can to avoid Court.

Before it gets to that you need to not only dispute the invoice but if they continue you need to send them a series of letters that follow the CPR, these are intended to avoid Court action.

What I find strange is that they were not seeking to sign a new contract or define your intentions before your email of 9.12.2016, the AST contract ended on 11.11.2016, I would have expected them to have contacted you on numerous occasions prior to that to confirm your intentions, if so, was that via email or phone or letter?

Understand that your contract was with the Landlord and NOT the agent. The agent may have had you sign additional agreements, but again they are subject to common law and potentially unfair contract terms.

Do you have a copy of the “moving out inspection inventory note or something” you signed? Did you sign any agreements with the agent on sign up.

Based on what you say I would write making a subject access request, they have to give you a copy of everything they have, both computer and paper records. You could wait for a reply to previous letter to see if they incriminate themselves, then send something like this:

“I would like to formally request a copy of all records and communications, computer and paper that you have that are related to me. Please consider this a Subject Access Request in Accordance with the Data Protection Act, I understand that you are entitled to charge a maximum of £10 for this request but that it is customary to decline to charge. Please let me know by return whether you require the £10 fee.”

So you gave them enough notice, exactly one month and a day according to the dates you provided. Seems strange that there was no reply, there had to be something for them to know to turn up. Had you used email before and had a response in a reasonable period of time?

Under Dereg act they also needed to issue you with a Energy Performance Certificate and a Gas Safety Certificate, for each tenancy, did they do this?

Based on what you have said you have quite a strong counter claim, you may even end up with a settlement figure without going to Court. If they have not done the paperwork you can bring action against the Landlord, do not get ideas that you will get the maximum, it will depend on the answers by the deposit company and other things above.

Prescribed Information

(a) the name, address, telephone number, e-mail address and any fax number of the scheme administrator(1) of the authorised tenancy deposit scheme(2) applying to the deposit;

(b)any information contained in a leaflet supplied by the scheme administrator to the landlord which explains the operation of the provisions contained in sections 212 to 215 of, and Schedule 10 to, the Act(3);

(c)the procedures that apply under the scheme by which an amount in respect of a deposit may be paid or repaid to the tenant at the end of the shorthold tenancy(4) (“the tenancy”);

(d)the procedures that apply under the scheme where either the landlord or the tenant is not contactable at the end of the tenancy;

(e)the procedures that apply under the scheme where the landlord and the tenant dispute the amount to be paid or repaid to the tenant in respect of the deposit;

(f)the facilities available under the scheme for enabling a dispute relating to the deposit to be resolved without recourse to litigation; and

(g)the following information in connection with the tenancy in respect of which the deposit has been paid—

(i)the amount of the deposit paid;

(ii)the address of the property to which the tenancy relates;

(iii)the name, address, telephone number, and any e-mail address or fax number of the landlord;

(iv)the name, address, telephone number, and any e-mail address or fax number of the tenant, including such details that should be used by the landlord or scheme administrator for the purpose of contacting the tenant at the end of the tenancy;

(v)the name, address, telephone number and any e-mail address or fax number of any relevant person;

(vi)the circumstances when all or part of the deposit may be retained by the landlord, by reference to the terms of the tenancy; and

(vii)confirmation (in the form of a certificate signed by the landlord) that—

(aa)the information he provides under this sub-paragraph is accurate to the best of his knowledge and belief; and

(bb)he has given the tenant the opportunity to sign any document containing the information provided by the landlord under this article by way of confirmation that the information is accurate to the best of his knowledge and belief.

Guest Avatar
Marzena 20th January, 2017 @ 09:44

My first notice was 01.11.2016. I called them then I have sent email to confirm. 13.11 I wrote email according to my certificate which I have that I should inform them that I need my deposit back. So I informed them. Inspection date we agreed in November following mail after notice for 11.01.2017 but 05.01.2017 I changed it to 10th. They confirmed it and the agent called me 10th that he will come. He came checked the house gave me a note to sign said thank you bye bye and that's it. When I asked about deposit he said they will contact me within 2 weeks time. They haven't returned me anything plus they demand over 1000 pounds payment. If they return me deposit I may pay the rent and some fee which is reasonable. I think 1580 pounds fee itself it's just too much. They want as well 110 pounds for broken doors (which I didn't break) and the key whose broke inside the lock to garden doors. About the key I may pay that they key broke 2 days before my moving out.
What I do t like that within 2 months they haven't mentioned the rent missing they didn't send any letter about charges they didn't tell anything when I spoke with the agent so I was really shocked about this charges.

Guest Avatar
Lisa 6th January, 2018 @ 15:33


I've been renting a property for just over 5 years. I've been late with my rent payments perhaps 5 times over this period, of those 5 times usually by a week or so but I've always paid partially at least 50% of the rent due, one time it went to almost 4 weeks with 50% owing. The times I've been late have been due to bank error or waiting for my salary to clear (I'm paid by an employer based in a diff country and sometimes stuff happens that causes delays). I have explained this to my landlord on every occasion to let him know what the situation is. There is no written tenancy agreement. Every single time I've been late my landlord constantly harasses me, almost on a daily basis by text message or phonecalls asking when the rent will be paid, and if I don't respond with a day or 2 he will call round. Is there a legal grace period for late payment of rent before a landlord is allowed to harass the tenant like that? Furthermore, there are repairs needed in the property that I've been left waiting to have fixed, some 2yrs+, some 1yr+. Every so often I'll contact the landlord about it and he makes promises to get them done but then we're left waiting for months without contact until I ask again. The only time he is in regular contact is if the rent isn't paid in full on the due date - then he will be in touch that same day. I've been reluctant to pester the landlord about repairs too harshly because I wanted to keep our relationship on a good footing and don't want to be an annoyance. I think we've been decent tenants, we never cause trouble, the rent is always paid for the most part on time other than the odd occasion, the property is kept in good condition and despite a fair amount of repairs being needed, haven't given him grief about it. The repairs needed are as follows;
4 bed house:
Main bathroom - shower doesn't work, toilet doesn't work.
En-suite - toilet leaks
Downstairs toilet - hot tap doesn't work
Kitchen - tap leaks badly from base anytime used
Conservatory - roof needs attention, side door handle/lock needs replacing and main doors have a gap
Front door - has a gap
Flooring - carpets need replacing
Boiler - hasn't been checked since we moved in
Note: Any redecorating has been done entirely at my expense, which I'm happy to do.
Thanks in advance for any advice.

Guest Avatar
David 6th January, 2018 @ 16:16


To be honest I think most Landlords would be pleased to have a tenant with your payment record, they only really worry when tenants stop communicating.

Your Landlord has no right to harass you, you are entitled to quiet enjoyment of the property and you can change the locks if you want. If he makes any attempt to force entry you can call Police and immediately have him arrested and charged for harassment.

Your Landlord is on a very weak footing, with no tenancy agreement he has no rights to impose anything contractually. A tenancy agreement is however created by statute for your protection, it is called a Statutory Period Tenancy or SPT, it runs from month to month and the Landlord must give you 2 clear months notice to quit, but I think he would be unable to serve such a notice to quit as I doubt he has complied with all of his Landlord obligations.

With regard to the repairs, your Landlord is breaking the law, specifically the Landlord and Tenants Act.

You should report the repairs to your local Council, they will issue an improvement notice and he will get fines if he does not comply with them, they will not apply to all the things you list but several.

I am concerned that your Landlord may not be carrying out annual Gas Safety Checks, this is extremely serious and should be immediately reported to the Council if not done each year.

As you Landlord has been so slack in providing a proper tenancy agreement I must ask whether he took a deposit from you and if so whether you received notification of your deposit being protected in an a Government approved scheme (DPS, TDS or MyDeposits).

You can check whether the deposit has been protected by following the links below.

So in the event that he does issue a notice to quit and has not protected the deposit his notice can be rejected. BTW a notice to quit is not a letter from him, it is a specific Government form that must be completed in the prescribed form.

I know that you do not want to rock the boat but these laws are in place for a reason and the boiler particularly, is a real concern, it could kill you and your family.

Guest Avatar
David 6th January, 2018 @ 16:37


These are the links to check your deposit, if not protected your landlord can be ordered to give you between 1x and 3x the deposit plus return the original deposit.

Guest Avatar
Bullshit 6th January, 2018 @ 23:27

To be honest I think most Landlords would be pleased to have a tenant with your payment record.

Pleased! With a persistently late paying tenant?

A shit landlord not carrying out repairs might be pleased with it but any half decent landlord wouldn't be.

Are you actually a landlord yourself?

Guest Avatar
Bullshit 6th January, 2018 @ 23:30

Pay your rent on time, every time.

Guest Avatar
David 7th January, 2018 @ 01:49


Called Bullshit, speaks Bullshit.

5 times in 5 years, but brought back up to date.

Slum Landlord will get his comeuppance.

Guest Avatar
Bullshit 7th January, 2018 @ 08:41

Bad landlords get bad tenants.
But who wants a bad paying tenant?
Certainly not *most* landlords and they're certainly not *pleased* about it.


Guest Avatar
Trevor 11th October, 2018 @ 09:56

I’ve got a question.

So a year and a half ago I was renting with my mate. I lost my job so the last two months rent from my side didn’t get paid till a month later.

During our final month there the letting agency emailed us with our final amount owed.
My friend paid it and I paid him back.

About a month after we left the letting agency contact us again saying there was an additional £1000 in charges to be paid.

Yes, in the tenancy agreement it does mention charges for late payment but during this period of late payment, no charges were added and we received no notification whatsoever.

Even when we got given our final outstanding amount months later (which was given to us once they had our moving out date) there were still no charges applied.

So we left the property all paid up and deposit was given back to us.

Are a letting agency allowed to apply late payment charges ‘after’ you have moved out for a period during your tenancy and especially after they have already stated the final amount owed?

Guest Avatar
David 11th October, 2018 @ 13:48


As you have a live case and I do not want to prejudice your position as these are open pages can you please contact me via the forum. Once you register, you can click on this link to private message me:

Guest Avatar
David 14th March, 2019 @ 12:18

I am owner of a flat in a large block but I pay ground rent of £120 pa in a single annual payment - in December. The agent (large company) sends an e-mail in December which lacks addressee, is anonymous-looking, looks and feels like spam and, guess what, it always ends in my spam filter. I have written to them about this but nothing changes.

I received an e-mail in December requesting rent - straight into the spam filter. Subsequent reminders, January and March - the same. But fortunately I spotted March, rang them and paid. But I discovered they had added £24 for the first e-mail reminder and £44 for the second. £120 plus £68 extra for what I would argue is their poor billing system. I paid it - I was told that if I didn't it would simply continue to get bigger as they would demand that too by e-mail and each demand would cost me more. Doesn't seem right to me. Any advice anyone?

Guest Avatar
David 14th March, 2019 @ 12:44


You raise some important issues worthy of consideration by any leaseholder.

My first thought was that the amount you are being charged seems quite low, I am assuming it is some sort of peppercorn rent from the freeholder? I also assume that there is a separate sinking fund for payment of repairs to the building?

With regard to the charges, your lease will have terms for the payment of the £120, if it does not have late payment terms or say that you agree to terms imposed by their agent then you have no contract with the agent and they cannot unilaterally impose fees to you.

GDPR enables you to ask any company NOT to contact you via email or mobile at all for any purpose and to require that they use snail mail, so that is how you prevent the spam issue.

Since Grenfell there have been a number of legal cases where freeholder obligations have become huge, so they are looking into their leases and seeing how they can pass these obligations down to Leaseholders and they are being very successful.

I have always given the advice that you are always best to try to buy your freehold and if you can get enough leaseholders to agree with you then you can usually force them to sell it to a company which is an instrument for all leaseholders. Failing that you can also force them to put the management of repairs into your hands by forming a residents association or other body.

The reason this is so important is that management agents and the like typically hike the prices by as much as 20% and even if they don't they suffer from the disease of spending other people's money.

So you are best to take control of the building, buy the freehold, organise the other leaseholders, look up every address at the land registry to determine the lease owners, at £3 a search it is a good investment.

Owning the freehold will allow you to increase the leases to 999 years and immediately add value to the leases. You would be advised to start taking a few thousand a year into a sinking fund because such buildings sometimes need major works such as roof repairs that can cost £250k, even painting can be excessive.

I guarantee you that the saving on the first major repair will pay for the cost of buying the freehold. This old article explains it in simple terms.

Guest Avatar
Krystian 16th March, 2019 @ 14:08

I'm living in a house in West Wales and pay 300 pounds each month. On my agreement it's written that I will be charged 70 every time I'm late and then another 70 every week (which adds up to 280 a month - almost doubling the rent). Due to my personal and financial problems I was late almost every month, sometimes even longer than 30 days. I was constantly informing them about my situation and that I will pay everything eventually. Right now after few months I'm finally up to date with all my previous rents but I still have to pay them more than 1000 pounds. Is it legal to charge me this amount? I remind that I was late almost every month but it wasn't really my fault as I was struggling to find the job at that time.

Guest Avatar
David 16th March, 2019 @ 15:07


No that would be considered an unfair contract term, please contact me via the forum (details in post 45 above) and I will help you construct a letter to stop this.

Guest Avatar
Max 16th March, 2019 @ 19:21

Definitely unenforceable as unfair contract term and no adjudicator would allow it to be deducted from the deposit.

Any sensible landlord would try to work with a tenant when a tenant has temporary cash flow issues

Guest Avatar
Ageli 15th April, 2019 @ 11:14


Could you please give me advice, what I should do as the landlord when the tenants are starting paying late? Small delays have been from the beginning of the contact and from Christmas 2018 i have long delays. How I can to protect myself in this situation and avoid these problems in future, which tenancy is better to use? I and my tenants signed Assured Shorthold Tenancy and they moved on 25 June 2018 and on 25 April they will own two months. Which notice I should serve them this month if I not keen to extend the tenancy on 25 June 2019 and if they own money? Section 8 or 21 or both? and by which date I should send them both notices by 25 April 2019 or section 21 by 25 April and section 8 after this date?
Looking forward for your help.

Guest Avatar
David 15th April, 2019 @ 13:26


In reality, no matter what your contract says, you can only really claim the lost interest.

The first thing to decide is whether you want to evict them, despite the popular advice I always recommend that Landlords use the appropriate method, i.e. if there are grounds you use S8

The Late Rent Grounds are listed below Ground 8

At the date of service of the notice and at the date of the hearing, the tenant has not paid the rent, and either rent is payable weekly or fortnightly and at least eight weeks’ rent is unpaid; or rent is payable monthly and at least two months’ rent is unpaid; or rent is payable quarterly and at least one quarter’s rent is more than three months in arrears.

Note: When claiming possession under this ground, it is advisable to cite more than one ground since, if the tenant pays off part of the arrears shortly before the hearing, this ground can no longer be proved and possession proceedings will have to be abandoned. It is, therefore, common practice to cite more than one ground for rent arrears (i.e. grounds 8, 10 & 11), if applicable, and to also wait until at least two months’ rent (or eight weeks in the case of a weekly tenancy) is unpaid before issuing the Section 8 Notice.

Ground 10

Any amount of rent is in arrears at the date of service of the notice and remains unpaid on the date on which the proceedings for possession are begun.

Ground 11

The tenant has repeatedly failed to pay rent.

Do look at the other Grounds in case they apply:

You can issue a section 8 now, you can list the previous history of late payments and say for example that if arrears are not immediately paid and all future payments on not made on time you reserve your right to issue proceedings under S8 of the Housing Act. Explaining that you will seek costs and escalate any judgement. Getting this our immediately before the S21 may make them more amenable to settling the arrears.

You can use an S21 in a Belt n Braces approach but the S21 has strict conditions on the form, so make sure you originally complied with these.

You could issue the S21 with the June date, saying the tenancy will not be renewed in June, this needs to be sent URGENTLY to arrive by April 24th 2019, you might use several methods of service. There is nothing stopping you sending it today but maybe a week after the S8 so they have an incentive to pay the arrears. Not the S21 can't actually go to proceedings until there are 2 clear months of arrears and if they make a payment to bring it under 2 months you will not be able to proceed on G8 but might try to continue with the other grounds.

The S21 6a form can be found at

Guest Avatar
Agnieszka 2nd June, 2019 @ 20:58

Can You help me? Is this clause in the Tenancy Agreement lawful? :
" The Tenant will be charged an additional amount of £10 per day for any Rent that is received after the latter of the due date and the expiration of any grace period under the Act, if any."

I am a single mother with two children, I have a housing benefit. it is paid equally every four weeks. it is not always before the 27th as I have the date of payment of the rental. As a result of this clause, I had to pay extra to rent a few times in the last year, once £30 times, and once £50..
my delays in paying rent are a maximum of a few days. During the whole year, a nice sum was collected for my delays :(

Guest Avatar
David 2nd June, 2019 @ 23:16


I am sorry to hear that you are struggling to make ends meet, it can be really tough.

Up until this month it was an unfair contract term and I would have advised tenants on how to reject it, but you paid it already.

I can help you draft a letter to them rejecting it if you are charged again.

From this month the Tenant Fees Act 2019 comes into force, initially it applies to tenancies started, renewed or becoming statutory periodic from June 1st 2019 and it will apply to all tenancies by June 2020

For the payments you describe it merely transferred from what was guidance into Law, previously and until your tenancy is brought under TFA you can refuse such payments in the knowledge that if they made a claim on your deposit or took you to Court the Guidance is what a Judge or Deposit Scheme would use to conclude it was unfair. You just need to know how to reject it and what to quote.

What they were allowed to charge was their actual costs based on interest rate and only after grace period allowed under the law.

£10 per day is obscene, under TFA if you had £1000 rent that was 30 days late it would be calculated as follows

Bank of England base rate 0.75%, so TFA max is 3% plus 0.75% = 3.75% PER ANNUM, thus

1000 * 3.75% = £37.5 / 365 days = 0.1027397260273973 per day so £3.08 for 30 days.

Consider that is 10p a day vs the £10 you were being charged, so 100x the amount allowed.

From now on there are very few permitted fees landlords can charge, the new law is detailed in the article below.

If you want I could write you a letter saying you have discovered that his charge is an unfair contract term and would like it refunded or offset against the next month's rent. However, bear in mind is you piss off a Landlord they are likely to end your tenancy, that will require them to seek a Court Order and to get that they need to be totally legal in regards of deposit, EPC, How to Rent doc and Gas Safety.

You may want to check that your Landlord protected your deposit within 30 days and also gave you the prescribed information, you can check online.

These are the links to check your deposit, if not protected your landlord can be ordered to give you between 1x and 3x the deposit (per tenancy) plus return the original deposit.

If you need further help for a live case, to avoid prejudicing yourself I suggest you contact me via the Landlord forum Link at top of page, once you register, you can click on this link to private message me:

Guest Avatar
Leo 14th April, 2020 @ 15:37

I have a question if I may,

I understand times are changing rapidly these days due to Coronavirus. But I am a new landlord and it’s turning out I was very wet between the ears before this venture.

I went through a letting agency, they found my tenant back in November, checked him (with no red flags apparently), and he took on the tenancy on 1st Jan.
The February payment was 10 days late.
The March payment was 7 days late due to me being more on the ball and pestering the agency.
Now April has come around. The tenant said in an email a week before due date that he would pay on time, nothing. A day after the due date I get a call from the agent saying he’s been furloughed and requests a reduced payment plan, we settled on 20% less for 2 months after he paid the rent that he said he would. He then asked for 3 months starting immediately as he’d had to “bulk buy”?! Anyway long story short, now 15 days later he still hasn’t paid a bean and the agency seem cagey on detailing any of his responses.

In the tenancy agreement it states that 3% above base rate will be applied after rent is 14 days due.

Can this still be applied during these times as I fear this may be the only deterrent to stop him having a holiday at my expense for 3 odd months? Are there any other ways I could protect the income or coerce him to pay, at least anything. There are many government schemes out there and I’m not even being told if he’s utilising them!

Thanks in advance for any advice

Kind regards


Guest Avatar
David 14th April, 2020 @ 17:49


The pandemic does not change the terms of the contract, certain aspects such as notice of eviction have been extended and the Courts are not hearing these for 3 months and it will probably be extended to 6 months. By that time any old S21 notices will have expired which is why you need to issue notices at the first sign of trouble.

You can charge the interest stated in the contract, subject to the Tenant Fees Act 2019, but it is an annual rate and so pennies really.

Otherwise you can only charge actual penalties you incur and in most cases that takes legal action to obtain.

The way I would suggest you deal with this as as follows:

1. Email the agent and ask them for a copy of all correspondence from the tenant, they are your agent, i.e. they act in your stead, so there is no issue in providing this to you.

2. Email the agent asking them to provide you with all referencing enquiries they made along with the replies they had.

3. Call your mortgage company and ask for a 3 month holiday on the mortgage, you can work out with them whether they extend the mortgage or charge you higher interest until repaid. If you do not do this by agreement with them it will negatively affect your credit record.

4. Write to the tenant as follows, change tenant name, agent name and amounts etc

It has to be firm because of his previous lax attitude to payments on the due date. If he does not comply issue the new Coronavirus version of the S8 agreement on the GOV website and issue a S21 notice as well. Needless to say you need to be shiny and bright in your Deposit Protection and Gas Safety otherwise you will need a totally different approach.


I hope this letter finds you well and healthy.

I am writing to let you know that as your Landlord I am prepared to support you as best I can during this pandemic.

So I am prepared to defer until later the same percentage of rent as your income has been reduced by. This means you will still owe the shortfall, but I will not be chasing the shortfall for 3 months or until the Government ceases support for employees through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (AKA the Furlough scheme).

I gather from XYZ Agents that you have been furloughed on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme at 80% of your salary, this is good news as it means you are in the best position to avoid unemployment and to remain healthy. To accept this, I need copies of the payslips from your employer from January 2020 to date, these need to be emailed to me immediately if you want my support.

It also means that I need you to pay 80% of the rent with the remaining 20% deferred as mentioned above.

ANDY, I do need to inform you that I was concerned that your February 2020 payment was 10 days late and your March 2020 payment 7 days late, whilst you may not think these are serious I need to inform you that for a landlord late payments are not acceptable and reduce trust.

I am even more concerned that I have not received any payment for April 2020 rent, not making ANY payment at all by the due date is completely unacceptable.

You said in your recent email that you would pay on the due date, so not only are you in breach of the agreement, but you are not honouring your word.

As mentioned above I am prepared to offer the 20% reduction deferred for 3 months, we will discuss any extension in 60 days when we hope the Government has stated whether they are extending the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

ANDY please understand that I am not interested in any excuses, nobody should be bulk buying, there is plenty of food in the shops and bulk buying is selfish on everyone else as it creates shortages. The fact is that you entered into a contract and you need to honour the commitments you made in that contract or face the impact on your credit record.

That being said I want to resolve things amicably and support you as best I can, this requires we develop a mutual trust, the first step of which is your making the payment for April 2020 rent at 80% of the contracted amount so £xxxx, the remainder will remain outstanding but not be due for 3 months.

ANDY I need to inform you that is payment is not made by the end of this week I will be serving you with the legally required Section 8 notice of eviction proceedings along with a S21 Eviction notice. I will need to do this now as it has a 3 month notice period, needless to say if I am forced to evict you it is extremely unlikely you will be able to find a Landlord or Estate Agent to let you another property.

Thank you for your understanding, I look forward to receiving copies of your payslips to confirm the Furlough and the April payment. If you are not prepared to provide the payslips the normal rent will be due as no reduction will be offered.

Yours sincerely

Leo Landlord

Guest Avatar
Leo 14th April, 2020 @ 19:35

Hello David,

Thank you so much for your incredibly concise response.

Steps 1,2, and 3 all make sense and shall be carried out. I assume I shouldn’t be worrying about any distrust I may be creating between me and my agent? They may have sent me their final report earlier today after I slung some mud in the heat of frustration before commenting on this thread, but they certainly haven’t shared ALL their correspondence so I imagine their referencing either. Things already seem to be getting heated and heading up the chain of command.

It is interesting to hear that you can negotiate a payment break with lenders without affecting your credit rating, I’m constantly being warned otherwise, although admittedly by parents and not professionals (subsequently just trying to pay 2 mortgages instead).

And here’s the kicker, within the few hours of me commenting and finding your reply the senior property manager of the letting agency emailed me a rather lengthy email explaining, the environment, what they’re doing for me, why charging the interest isn’t enforceable because no legal action can be taken..... and that my tenant had paid the reduced payment for April and they’ll chase the remainder! “It is at least something and he is demonstrating some attempt to prioritise rent” they said.

Should I edit the incredibly well worded letter you put together to suit him paying Aprils rent and still go with sending the letter to him directly? Should I run it past them when I get back to them? Or now that he’s made an effort should I wait until next month to send it as that will undoubtably be late too?

There is no gas in the property and I even have a certificate for the electrics. With regards to deposit protection we are both indemnified by an NDO. Does that make me shiny and bright?

Thanks so much again for taking the time to get back to me. My head has been spinning this last week and I no doubt resembled a landlord losing his mind as you described originally in this post.

Stay safe

Leo Landlord

Guest Avatar
David 15th April, 2020 @ 08:52


I am glad things are more positive, it seems as if the agent values your business and is doing something which is good. In your position my feeling would be that the Tenant needs to be told what his mother never told him; that you pay your rent on time and in full, before any other bill, save maybe Council Tax.

As I said you can charge the interest stated in the contract, subject to the Tenant Fees Act 2019, but it is an annual rate and so pennies really. With base rate at 0.1% a £1000 rent x 3.1% / 365 =0.085 per day, so after the 14 days late it is £1.19. Cases ARE still going to Court, simple ones mainly, done by video link. I am on medical leave at the moment, but my colleagues tell me that things are moving. What are not being heard are eviction proceedings, but the eviction notices can be served, albeit that they have to be the Coronavirus version with 3 months or substantially the same.

I would still ask the Agent for all communications to and from the tenant “for your files” saying that their attitude will be a factor in any renewals. If not already provided ask for the referencing information. Be honest and say communications do not seem to flow, also explain that you are a participative landlord and require oversight.

You may be a novice but you seem to have the right instinct to nip things in the bud before they get out of hand.

I still think you need to be firm because of his previous lax attitude to making payments on the due date. I am not a huge fan of NDO’s but what shocks me is that in my experience they potentially affect his credit record.

So I would send him the revised letter below, the outcome of which is clear


I hope this letter finds you well and healthy.

I am writing to let you know that as your Landlord I am willing to support you as best I can during this pandemic.

So I am prepared to defer until later, the same percentage of rent as your income has been reduced by. This means you will still owe the shortfall, but I will not be chasing the shortfall for 3 months or until the Government ceases support for employees through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (AKA the Furlough scheme).

I gather from XYZ Agents that you have been furloughed on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme at 80% of your salary; this is good news as it means you are in the best position to avoid unemployment and to remain healthy. To accept this, I need copies of the payslips from your employer from January 2020 to date, these need to be emailed to me immediately if you want my continued support.

Moving forward I also need you to PROMPTLY pay 80% of the rent with the remaining 20% deferred as mentioned above.

ANDY, I must inform you that I was concerned that your February 2020 payment was 10 days late and your March 2020 payment 7 days late, whilst you may not think these are serious you need to be made aware that for a landlord late payments are not acceptable and reduce trust.

I was even more concerned that I did not receive the payment for April 2020 rent on time, you said in your recent email that you would pay on the due date, so not only were you in breach of the agreement, but you did not honour your word.

As mentioned above I am prepared to offer the 20% reduction deferred for 3 months, we will discuss any extension in 60 days when we hope the Government has stated whether they are extending the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

ANDY please understand that I am not interested in any excuses for late payment, I am already supporting you as best I can, so prompt payment on or by the due date are critical in maintaining mutual trust and respect.

The fact is that you entered into a contract and you need to honour the commitments you made in that contract or face the impact on your credit record.

ANDY I also need to inform you that if prompt payments are not made moving forward I will be serving you with the legally required eviction notices in due course. I will need to do this because I cannot be left wondering whether you will or will not be making payments on the due date. These notices currently require a 3 month notice period, but I hope we can avoid this, perhaps by you setting up a standing order for 5 days before rent due date, so that I am paid promptly by your bank and you will not need to think about it.

Thank you for your understanding, I look forward to receiving copies of your payslips to confirm the Furlough, so that I may continue to support you with a deferred 20% of rent. If you are not prepared to provide the payslips the normal rent will be due as no reduction will be offered.

Yours sincerely

Leo Landlord

Guest Avatar
Leo 15th April, 2020 @ 15:34

David, thank you so much for your time and effort to get back to me, twice! All makes sense and has been incredibly informative. Not being the most diplomatic of fellas I hugely appreciate help with this well worded letter.
I shall get on to the agents this evening and send the letter to the tenant tomorrow. Hopefully they both start playing ball and the ship sails smoother from here.
I’m incredibly happy to have found this site and will be paying attention to future blogs.

Thanks again


Guest Avatar
Nat 16th April, 2021 @ 16:59

Hello David,
I am a tenant with an agency, where communication is really difficult.
I paid rent upfront and they made a mistake in our tenancy agreement, where they stated our last payment is due January, however it should have been due in February.
I was not aware of the mistake and in February I recieved an e-mail saying my rent was late. I was not financially prepared to pay and I tried to explain that to the agent, however they never replied. In the end I managed to pay 13 days late (which was on Sunday) and asked for a confirmation e-mail that my money has arrived. Since then, I had no answer despite a couple of e-mails sent to the agency.
My question is, if I paid before 14 days period, can they charge me any late payment fees?
In my tenancy agreement it says : "Pay interest on any amounts of Rent due and in arrears by in excess of 14 days at the rate of 3% above the Bank of England annual base rate calculated on a day to day basis from the date that the same shall become due until payment in full is made."
I'm concerned since it was paid on Sunday and the 14th day period was due on Monday.
Thank you so much for your help,
Kind regards

Guest Avatar
David 16th April, 2021 @ 21:06


I think that they would have a hard time enforcing a contract that said you did not have to pay any more.

The Tenant Fees Act 2019 put an end to made up and bloated fees, the default fee is now a maximum of 3%, the current base rate at the time of writing is 0.25% so if your rent was £1000 it would be 1000 x 3.25% = £32.50 per annum, so 32.50 / 365 = 0.089 per day so around £1.25 for 14 days.

I very much doubt that they will seek that or even make a deduction from the deposit, you made the payment, one assumes that you did it via home banking and have a statement, so the payment of £1.25 is not even due. Your bank statement is evidence not their email.

Whilst writing I should mention that your deposit should have been protected in one of the three Government authorised Deposit Protection schemes and you should have been served with the prescribed information which would tell you where it was protected and the details of the scheme. If either of these were not done you can claim up to 3x the deposit as a sanction per tenancy. If you are sure that the deposit was not protected and have checked all three schemes and if you remain in the property after the tenancy expires a new tenancy is created in law. If the deposit is not protected during the first tenancy then a second sanction applies.

If your home is an HMO or other property that requires the Landlord to be Licensed and they are not (check both with Council) then you can reclaim up to 12 months rent back. Which is why I tell Landlords to make sure that they comply with all regulations.

With regard to the tenant fees act you can download the guidance at the link below

Guest Avatar
Nat 17th April, 2021 @ 20:50

Thank you so much for your reply. I additionally wanted to ask, whether the Landlord can take any further action (e.g notice to evict etc) if the payment was received and the rest of rent was paid in advance? (reminder, it was 13 days late) and all payments beforehand were made on time? Can it affect my creditability in future?
Kind regards

Guest Avatar
David 18th April, 2021 @ 01:18


I really would not sweat it.

Most landlords on here would be delighted if they only had one minor late payment like yours.

If you have a assured tenancy agreement, then you have a term, say 6 months, a year or whatever. They can't START eviction procedures until that is up UNLESS there is a break clause. Even then they have to go through one of two routes

Sec8 - for faults, late payments by themselves are not strong enough for eviction proceedings, there needs to be other grounds and at least 2 months in arrears if late payment is the mandatory ground they are going for. Currently because of Covid Pandemic landlords need serious arrears to start the case, or bad antisocial behaviour.

Sec21 - for no fault, they just want you out and the tenancy has expired and become a periodic tenancy. This requires a S21 notice, currently due to Covid Pandemic the notice must give 6 months notice bit it will also take 6 months after that to get a Court date, probably more. At the moment no landlord may start S21 proceedings before June, then give the 6 months notice, then seek a Court hearing.

The important thing to remember is, NOBODY CAN BE EVICTED WITHOUT A COURT ORDER, that is UK law, it does not matter what the contract says.

To be honest I imagine that your Landlord wants to keep you there because despite the pandemic you are paying your rent.

If you would rather not deal with the Agent you could always contact the Landlord directly and see if they are up for dealing direct, their address should be in your tenancy agreement. If the address is that of the Agent do a Land Registry search on your home and find the address of the Landlord.

You have nothing to worry about, currently you are secure until June 2022 and no reason to expect notice to quit any time soon.

Guest Avatar
Meg 26th January, 2023 @ 03:16


I am being charged 10% in interest fees for late rent. It seems high, and no word of how often that was to be charged. Is it enforceable?

Guest Avatar
David 26th January, 2023 @ 12:53

Hi Meg

Do not give me further personal information that may identify you by the detail you provide, instead use the forum to send me a PM (details below).

Also consider that you don't want to fall out with a Landlord because even if it takes them months they can start the no fault Section 21 eviction process or if you are in at least 2 months arrears they use the Section 8 eviction process with grounds.

I always try to avoid stock answers because every case is different, some things vary by tenancy agreement but you can't invent a fee and put a term in tenancy agreement since the Tenant Fees Act (2019) came out and it applies to ALL tenancies now.

The first thing is were you charged 10% per annum or 10% as a flat fee (because that is not how it should be calculated).

e.g. £1000 rent x 10% = £100 / 365 days is 0.273972602739726 per day, so for 30 days late it would be £8.22 not £100


There are conditions where a late fee may be charged

1. There must be a term in the Tenancy Agreement saying they can charge you interest and it should match the legislation.

2. They can only charge it if you go over 14 days late

3. The interest rate allowed is 3% above the Bank of England base rate

So the base rate is 3.5% thus 6.5% is the rate allowed but only if the above conditions have been met. If the Tenancy does not have an isolation clause then the contract enforcement can be affected, isolation means the clause alone will be struck out if it does not comply with the common law (Tenant Fees Act) and so no fees can be charged.

e.g. £1000 rent x 6.5% = £65 / 365 days is 0.1780821917808219 per day, so for 30 days late it would be £5.34 not £65

In your position, depending on how much charged and whether it was a one off, where I might pay the fee but deduct it from the last month's rent as an illegal fee (assuming it was).

However, if you have other arrears your LL may already want to kick you out so you would probably dispute it. In such a case if I were the Landlord I would take you to Court where you would pay my legal fees, then I would get my CCJ and pursue you to the ends of the earth!

In my experience when a Landlord is charging you more than legally allowed then they are either the "entitled" sort or the "sloppy" sort and I would check their other legal obligations. Like did they protect the deposit and serve me the prescribed information. If they failed I would leave it until I had left the property, because the longer the failure the worse it can be for the LL.

The Tenant Fees Act Guidance is your goto resource for allowed fees, it says

• A default fee can be charged for late payment of rent but only where the
rent payment has been outstanding for 14 days or more (from the date set
out in your tenancy agreement)

• Any fee charged by a landlord or agent cannot be more than 3% above the
Bank of England’s base rate for each day that the payment has been
outstanding. A fee which exceeds this amount is unlawful.

As you have a live case and I do not want to prejudice your position as these are open pages please contact me via the forum if you want to disclose more detail. Once you register, you can click on this link to private message me:

















Your personal information will *never* be sold or shared to a 3rd party. By submitting your details, you agree to our Privacy Policy.

I want more info on...