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What can you do if your tenant has fallen into arrears? Thu, 08 May 2014 14:05

Of all of the problems that landlords can have with a tenant, rental arrears are surely among the most frustrating. But rather than simply hammering on the door demanding your money, there are certain proven - and legal - courses of action that you can take to recover it. You are able to claim possession of the property if the tenant's arrears are two months or more, while another option is to simply sell your property fast to a home cash buyer like Dream House Buyer. 


It's useful for any landlord to keep a note of when payments are due, and when they need to be paid. This particularly helps landlords with more than one tenant in a given property, as it can then be easily ascertained who has paid and who hasn't. However, the tenants may be on a joint tenancy agreement, in which case, they have an equal responsibility for the arrears and must agree together on how any debt will be cleared. Landlords that do apply for possession on the grounds of a tenant falling into rental arrears are required by the court to provide a copy of the rent payment transactions.


If the rent remains unpaid after a few days, and you can't reach the tenant by telephone, you can send the tenant a formal demand - either hand delivered or by first class post. The letter should demand the immediate payment of outstanding arrears, also asking that all future payments of rent are made on time and in full. You might also warn about possible court action. If 14 days pass since the date when the rent was due, you can send another letter to the tenant's guarantor, letting them know that payment hasn't been forthcoming from the tenant.


In some cases, payment of the rent may still have not been made 21 days after it was due. In this instance, a final letter can be sent confirming that you intend to take legal action. Should the tenant go a whole month not paying the rent, and you are now owed payment for another month, the tenant can now be regarded as two months in arrears. This grants you the right to claim possession of your property in accordance with the Housing Act 1988.


Court action can then begin in earnest, following the serving of a Section 8 notice letting the tenant know of your intention to take them to court if payment is not forthcoming from them within an additional 14 days. An alternative to this whole process, however, may be to sell your property fast to Dream House Buyer. We guarantee an offer for your property, and can provide an invaluable service if, for example, the tenant is posing problems other than simply failing to pay their rent. 

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