Communication is the first step
When you notice your tenant is late paying their rent, the first step is to get in contact with them to find out why. There are many reasons a tenant could be late with their rent, from simple forgetfulness to difficult circumstances such as losing their job. Politely reminding your tenants that their rent is due and asking whether there’s a problem will help keep a positive relationship between both parties.
If the delay is due to a temporary issue or cash flow problem, you may be able to agree a plan with them to pay back their arrears. This should be formally documented, dated and signed to protect both sides. By being as understanding and supportive as you can, you’ll likely be rewarded with happy and loyal tenants once the issue’s resolved.
Afterwards speaking to your tenants, you should be able to identify whether this is an ongoing problem or one-off issue. If it seems like a long-term problem you may feel eviction is the only option to save yourself trouble later down the line.
The correct procedure to legally evict tenants
If you decide the only option is to evict your tenants, it’s recommended that you seek legal advice at this point, because not following the correct procedure could be used against you if the case goes to court.
As your tenants have broken the terms of their tenancy agreement by not paying their rent on time, we’d recommend following the rules of the accelerated eviction procedure – as it’s the quickest and most hassle-free way to get your tenants evicted, although you could also follow the standard possession procedure.
The accelerated eviction procedure requires the following steps:
- After 21 days of unpaid rent you can send notice to your tenants letting them know that you’ll be claiming back your property and evicting them. Make sure you keep a copy of the document and proof of postage, as tenants may claim they didn’t receive the notice which makes things more difficult. This serves as a Section 8 Notice to quit a tenancy.
- You then fill in a claim form for possession of the property.
- Your tenants then have 14 days to challenge this application if they choose to.
- The judge then decides whether to order your tenants to leave the property, which is the most common outcome for a situation like this or hold a court hearing.
It’s a tricky situation to navigate, but with thought and patience on your side it can be dealt with as quickly as possible to save any unnecessary stress or losing out financially.