How to deal with a tenant not paying rent

How a letting agent can help.

Being a landlord is great most of the time, property is a solid investment as it tends to hold or increase in value with inflation. However, having to deal with tenants not paying rent can be one of the more tedious and long winded aspects of being a landlord. From having to file a section 8 or section 21 notice, court hearings and even having to sort out bailiffs the process is not fun for anybody involved. Having a letting agent can take much of the stress of this process out for you as a landlord. We will chase up rent payments, sort out tenancy agreements, property inspections and many of the other headaches associated with being a landlord. 

If you’re struggling to deal with tenants not paying rent, read our article and get in touch with one of our friendly letting agents.

So how can you deal with a tenant not paying rent?

Hear them out

It will be rare for a tenant to simply not want to pay rent. Difficulties with finances, overworking and even just forgetting that month or losing a job. There are many reasons why a tenant will not pay rent and it happens more frequently than you would think. Around 6% to 7% of tenants are in arrears. Currently this is more than double the percentage it was before the pandemic. Times are hard… so the best way to get a tenant to pay any money owed is to be on their side and simply hear them out. 

Alternative payment solutions

Failing this you can look at alternative payment solutions. If the tenant is struggling to make rent, you can look into things such as potentially reducing rent for a short period of time. Make sure that you have it in writing how long this will last for as well! They can also explore housing benefits if a sudden crisis such as losing a partner or losing their job.

Have a standing order set up

An easy way to avoid forgetful tenants is to have a standing order set up with your client and their bank. This means that the money will automatically come out on a set date. This eliminates any chance of the tenant forgetting to pay rent! We are all busy people these days and time is becoming a more and more valuable asset. Simplify your rent collection process this way.

Ask the tenant to leave

An easy way to cut losses and look to the future when a tenant is not paying rent, is to cut your losses and ask the tenant to leave. This is not ideal but with a mortgage to pay on your part, your investment relies on the rent coming in to make it viable. Getting the current tenant out for a more reliable tenant can sometimes be the only option. This is a last resort and it is always best to try and work out a different solution if possible.

How to legally request that a tenant leaves the property

So If you feel there is no other option but to request that a tenant leaves the property then there are two options dependent on the length of the tenancy so far, these are:

Section 8 notice – If the tenant is within the first 6 months of their tenancy agreement then you can issue a section 8 notice. You must request this from a court. The section 8 notice will need to stipulate exactly what the tenant has done and why you think you are justified in asking them to vacate the property. For example if the tenant is not paying rent and is refusing to work out another solution. Then you are entitled to ask them to vacate the property early. You must give the tenant between 2 weeks and 2 months notice to vacate with this notice.

Section 21 notice – This notice will normally come into play after the typical 6 month fixed term period of a lease agreement. You must give the tenant 2 months notice to vacate the property and include a specific date that they need to have vacated the property by.

The notice period has expired and the tenant has not vacated the property

Standard Possession order

If the tenant has not left after the departure date you have given then you can apply for a standard possession order. This must be applied for with the court and carries a fee of £355 to apply. This will mean that the court writes to the tenant requesting that they leave within a specific date usually after around 6 weeks.

Warrant of possession

If the standard possession order does not work you can then apply for a warrant of possession. If given, this will allow you to get bailiffs to remove the tenant from the property. 

With all this in mind you might be asking yourself is it all worth it? Spending months in and out of expensive trips to courtrooms with no guarantee that the rent owed will be given. Valuable time given up with possibly no reward at the end. Are there any alternatives meaning you won’t have to deal with any of these time consuming and unrewarding processes?

Hire a letting agent

A letting agent such as Level Up can assist you with setting up any of these methods, reducing the amount of time that you are dealing with a tenant who is not paying rent. Even if this happens then we can deal with all of the long winded processes involved. Our team has been there and done that with all aspects of property management. This includes dealing with difficult tenants. Contact us today to discuss how we can manage your properties so you can relax!