What to Do When Your Tenant Doesn’t Pay Rent: A Complete Guide

Pluxa Partners

December 5, 2023

What To Do When Your Tenant Doesn't Pay Rent
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Key Takeaways:

  • Go through the five simple ways of handling tenants not paying rent.
  • Associate with professionals who can help you simplify your process.

According to Citizens Advice, 425,000 renters in the UK are in arrears.

So, are you facing the same issue with your tenants?

Do you want to know what to do if your tenant is not paying rent?

Don’t worry.

Multiple ways can ensure that you can legally get your unpaid dues with ease.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into the details.

How Do You Deal with Tenants Not Paying the Rent?

There are multiple ways to deal with tenants who don’t pay the rent. But we have finalised five simple ways to help you with the process.

Have straight communication with the tenants

If your tenants are skipping payment cycles, the first thing is to understand why your tenants are not paying the rent. Sometimes, they may be so caught up in their lives that they don’t realise they have missed a payment.

So, giving a gentle reminder with an overdue communication can sort things up. 

You can simply send an email or a text, which can prove that you’ve been trying to contact them. Avoid turning up at their door straight up. An unannounced visit can breach their right to ‘quiet enjoyment’ of the property.

Try to give your tenants some time to complete their dues. But despite consistent efforts at reminding them, what if they still don’t pay their dues?

Let’s discuss that next.

Plan your rental payments

You can set up a payment plan if your tenants cannot clear their dues.

But what’s that?

  • Temporarily reduce their rent if they are facing financial issues like unemployment.
  • You can set small, frequent installments compared to one lump sum amount, which can make it easier for your tenants to manage their finances.
  • It is also a great idea to set up an auto debit to avoid the manual intervention of rent deduction.

Many landlords also include a late fee in their tenancy agreement, which can motivate the tenants to pay as soon as possible.

Note: Don’t forget to record all the payments and written communications between you and your tenants. It can be solid evidence later if they deny anything in the future.

Request managed payments

If your tenants are claiming housing benefits and not paying your rent, you can apply for direct rent payment, called Managed Payment to Landlord (MPTL).

But what does that mean?

It can be frustrating if your tenants are receiving government support in the form of Universal Credit. So, once you apply for MPTL, you’ll receive the housing portion of their Universal Credit payment.

Setting up an MPTL can be helpful for your tenants if they have issues with their finances. 

Note: Remember that the amount can vary monthly and not cover your rent completely.

Get in touch with the tenant’s guarantor

If payment plans and managed payments don’t aid your case, you can take the next step, which is contacting their guarantor. 

But who’s a guarantor?

A guarantor is an individual who agrees to pay any debt accrued if your tenant doesn’t pay rent.

If your tenant has a guarantor, you can find their details in the signed Guarantee Agreement before finalising your tenant.

The contract will explain what their responsibilities are in terms of missed rent payments. You can usually demand payment from the guarantor starting one day after rent is due.

But if all this doesn’t work, you are left with the last resort.

Also Read: Choosing the Right Letting Agent: Key Factors to Consider

Give the notice

You may encounter unreliable tenants. If your tenant refuses to pay, you might have no choice but to give your tenant the notice to leave.

As your tenant has broken the terms of the contract, you have the right to give a tenant an arrears notice to leave any time. You need to serve them a section 8 notice.

If a landlord in the UK wants to evict a tenant for not paying rent, they must give a notice stating the reason for eviction and the final date of the notice period. 

The landlord can use ‘serious rent arrears’ as a reason if the tenant owes:

  • At least eight weeks’ rent for weekly or fortnightly payments
  • Two months’ rent for monthly payments
  • Three months’ rent for quarterly or annual payments

If the tenant meets these criteria, the landlord only needs to give two weeks’ notice. If not, the landlord must give two months’ notice to the tenant.

But the process can be hectic and overwhelming for you. You can outsource the hassles to a professional property management agency, which can simplify your process.

That’s where you can trust Pluxa Apartments.

Choose Pluxa Apartments for Tenant Management

When you list your apartment with Pluxa Apartments, you sign up for a comprehensive and hassle-free property management experience. 

Our services cover every aspect of apartment management, which ensures that your property is well-maintained, marketed effectively, and occupied by reliable tenants. 

We can handle all the legalities and tenant management to ensure you can focus on your core real estate business.

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