What Action Do You Take If A Tenant Misses A Rental Payment?
Before discussing the above, it is perhaps a good idea to remind you of the legal situation should a tenant miss their rental payments.
You are no doubt aware that you are not legally allowed to repossess your investment property just because your tenant has missed a month’s rent. It requires a court to finish a tenancy agreement due to non-payment. In fact, usually your tenant must be at least 2 month’s behind with their rent before a court will consider giving a warrant for possession.
However, there are a number of things that you can do to reduce the possibility of having to take legal action. Let’s have a look at some of them: –
Vetting of prospective tenants
To reduce the possibility of problems with non-payment of rent, you could ask to see bank statements and salary slips. You could get a reference from a previous landlord and one from the employer. You could also have a credit reference search carried out to help assess the creditworthiness of the prospective tenant.
You may ask the tenant to provide the name of a reputable individual who would be prepared to act as a guarantor should the tenant not be able to meet the rental payments. The guarantor could then be called upon to cover the missed rental payments.
You could consider taking out an insurance policy that would go some way towards meeting rent arrears.
Contact the tenant quickly
Should the tenant miss a rental payment you should contact them immediately to establish the reason why this has happened. It could be due to a problem with their bank perhaps due to them changing banks that is quickly resolved. If they are in financial difficulty then the sooner that you know about it the better.
Hopefully, you will be able to work closely with them and, if necessary, agree a temporary revised payment arrangement – better to get something than nothing at all.
Terminating the tenancy early
If it is in the financial interests of both parties that the tenancy is terminated early, this is something that should be arranged amicably. This should make it easier for you to obtain a new tenant.
If it cannot be agreed between both parties that the tenancy agreement can be broken amicably as it is obvious that the relationship has broken down between you and the tenant then you will be left with no other option but to go through the courts to seek possession of the property and hope that the court is agreeable to making a financial award to you.
We hope that the above has been of benefit.