Rent Arrears

Rent arrears are a landlord’s biggest risk. A tenant falling into arrears can have a sizeable impact on your own finances, particularly if there is a mortgage outstanding on the property in question and their rent covers part, or all, of the payments.

How to minimise the financial impact of rent arrears

The first step is to try and talk to your tenant about the situation to find out why they are late with the rent and see if there is a way to resolve the situation, such as changing the date you collect the rent so it coincides with when they get paid.

If you cannot reach a resolution or your tenant is refusing to communicate then the best option to minimise the financial impact is eviction.

Yet despite these financial implications, a landlord cannot automatically evict a tenant even if they are significantly behind with their rent.

The good news is if a tenant is in severe rent arrears (i.e. owing more than 2 months/ 8 weeks rent) or is frequently late with their rent then a landlord does have sufficient grounds to evict them before the end of their fixed term but in order to so legally a landlord must:

  • Serve a Section 8 Notice
  • Obtain an order for possession from the court
  • Enlist the help of a court bailiff (if necessary).

Under no circumstances should a landlord try and take matters into their own hands. If they do not follow this correct legal procedure then they could actually give the tenant an opportunity to claim compensation against them - regardless of the reason for eviction.

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