The new year can be a challenging time as the cost of Christmas catches up with us, but for many residential landlords, there is a struggle to collect rent both during the Christmas period and well into the new year. Rents due on the 1st January and 1st February can often go unpaid.
When tenants stop paying rent, some landlords face financial difficulty and struggle to pay loans secured on the property. Re-possession by lenders can be a real threat.
What can you do?
If your tenants have stopped paying rent, try to maintain communication with them and agree a payment plan. Late rent is better than no rent.
If the tenants are struggling to claim benefits, try to assist them with the claim forms. You may be able to have the benefits paid directly to you.
Above all, if the tenants have stopped paying or are only making partial rent payments, try not to fall into arrears with your lender. Landlords of buy to let properties are often not treated the same as individual consumers.
If there are no prospects of being paid any rent, then you may wish to consider possession proceedings.
Before starting possession proceedings, you need to gather all documentation relating to the tenancy including: the tenancy agreement, the deposit certificate and a statement of the rent arrears.
To start possession proceedings a formal notice has to be served on the tenant. A section 8 notice is served for breaches of contract and can address both the rent arrears and gaining possession of the property. A S21 notice is a ‘no fault’ notice and the focus is on getting the property back for the landlord. Serving a notice, and deciding which notice is best for your situation can be complicated. You need to consider statutory requirements, and factors such as: the amount of arrears, non-protected deposits, missing tenancy agreements, expiration date of the tenancy, disrepair at the property etc. We can assist you to get the right notice for your circumstances.
We understand that possession proceedings can be problematic whether you are a new or experienced landlord, and that this can take up a lot of your time. If you need to start possession proceedings or have already served a formal notice and need help with court proceedings, contact our specialist team on 0175 321 6399.