Rental properties are a great business venture that can guarantee a steady stream of income – if your tenants don’t cause you any trouble. According to the Association of Residential Letting Agents, a landlord that owns a property for a 15-20 year period is likely to have at least two rogue tenants. They could be criminals, unruly dwellers who damage your property, or the most common ones, the tenants who pay their rents late, or not at all.
While the number of tenants in arrears is declining, there still remains to be more than 65,000 who are over two months behind their rental payment dues.
Although the figures only refer to residential tenants, commercial landlords can also face the same problem. So, if you’re a commercial building landlord, it’s important to know how to deal with difficult tenants in ways that are legally acceptable to avoid further problems that may impact your business.
Manage Rental Payments
As a landlord, your job, other than to provide a workable space for your tenants, is to keep a record of all payments. Indicate the billing period, due date, the actual date the payment was received, the amount paid, and the amount in arrears. Issue receipts to your tenants, keeping a copy of your own as well.
If a tenant consistently fails to pay rent without showing any signs of vacating your property soon, you will be required to present all rental transactions as you apply for a repossession.
Do Not Make Threats
Rogue tenants are undeniably a nuisance, but it doesn’t give landlords permission to threaten them. Speak to the tenant first to find out what could be the problem. If it turns out to be something out of their control, simply issue a gentle but firm reminder that they need to pay their outstanding balances soon. If the problem is not unpaid rent, but rather, causing a commotion or disturbing their fellow tenants, for example, you’d have a basis for taking legal action or even evict them.
Send a Letter
Tenants in arrears or those causing a disturbance can be given a letter to address their misconduct. For those in arrears, indicate their balances and ask them to ensure that all their future payments will be made on time and in full. Explain in your letter that legal action may be taken if they fail to comply.
If the tenant hasn’t responded to your letter nor issued any payment after 14 days of its due, contact their guarantor, if they provided any. The guarantor should pay the arrears in usual scenarios, but in case it doesn’t happen, you can resort to legal action.
Take Legal Action
Ideally, this should be your last resort, but rogue tenants can be relentless, leaving you no other choice but to take more severe measures. Warn them professionally and lawfully by taking legal action.
You can issue either a Section 8 or a Section 21. Section 8 is typically issued to tenants in arrears, or those who cause harm or discomfort to their fellow tenants. Section 21 is issued to guarantee landlords that they can secure their property if they are letting under an assured shorthold tenancy. In this case, the landlord is under no obligation to state a reason for repossessing their property.
If no action has been made by the tenant, you can be legally allowed to evict them. The court may order the tenant to vacate your property before a specified due date, or allow them to stay provided that they abide by your conditions. They may also be ordered to leave your property and pay their arrears, and legal and court fees.
If the tenant doesn’t comply with the court’s order, you can turn to an accomplished and reputable bailiff company to retrieve your property and settle all issues once and for all.
PS Hope this was informational ?!
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