What action should be taken – section 21 or not for £200 arrears

by Readers Question

11:28 AM, 2nd December 2014
About 4 years ago

What action should be taken – section 21 or not for £200 arrears

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What action should be taken – section 21 or not for £200 arrears

I’m a landlord with two BTL, which are well maintained and let at £20 less than market rent. House number two has been let to a couple with a young child since day 1 back in May 2012.

They are long term tenants who have maintained the house and generally open to communication. Rent has been paid promptly except in a couple of occasions where they have contacted me in advance and I’ve accommodated late payment (up to a week).

Problem arose in July this year I check my account in September to see that rent had been paid but it was £200 short.I contacted the tenant who told me his wife had made the full payment but he would speak to her and come back to me. To his credit he texted to say I was right and he would sort it. He didn’t.

I then spoke to the tenant close to bonfire night was told payment would be made the next Friday (work was a bit slow). Then spoke to tenant again near end of Nov and was told he would pay it with the rent. Rent has been paid in full and on time except the £200. I have emailed stating it is due and if they have difficulties paying they need to contact me so I can help them with a solution- no reply to my email or my recent text informing I only received the rent not the shortfall.

I don’t like being put in a position where I am chasing for rent. As the monthly rent is £450 the sum isn’t enough to serve a s21? However I don’t want to evict them. I merely want to receive payment. The tenancy expires may 2015 and at this stage I am seriously considering whether or not to renew the tenancy.

What would you do I my situation ?

Tazcash



Comments

Steve Masters

12:21 PM, 2nd December 2014
About 4 years ago

Section 8 Ground 11 anyone? "Whether or not any rent is in arrears on the date on which proceedings for possession are begun, the tenant has persistently delayed paying rent which has become lawfully due."

Robert Rivers

12:26 PM, 2nd December 2014
About 4 years ago

Taz, you're in the wrong game!!!!!

Chris Amis

12:36 PM, 2nd December 2014
About 4 years ago

Cost of getting a new tenant swamps it, so live with it, but watch out for the tenant pushing it further.

Perhaps trying the trick where their months have 33 days 🙂

Some are a bit savvy and aim to be just short of 2 months behind, you have to avoid being there as they can decamp without paying the last month, leaving the deposit as inadequate and possibly a council tax bill to boot.

A fine balance.

Steve Masters

12:43 PM, 2nd December 2014
About 4 years ago

Taz, don't get mad, get business minded. It's just an admin task, albeit one you could do without.

Write your tenants a rent demand letter, templates can be found on the net.
Ask when they intend to pay the money owed and demand a reply in 7 days otherwise you will take legal action to recover the debt. You don't need to say what that action is at this stage. Remind them that you always expect rent to be paid in full and on time.

Ian Ringrose

12:44 PM, 2nd December 2014
About 4 years ago

How much is the deposit?

I am thinking that you may get them to agree to a rent increase to £500 (for ever) in exchange for you writing off the £200. Thoughts anyone on doing this….

Sam Addison

12:44 PM, 2nd December 2014
About 4 years ago

They have been good tenants for over 2 years and are obviously going through a rough patch. (sounds as though they may be splitting up.) Unless you are desperate for the money I would suggest leaving it until after new year and then endeavour to speak to the tenant in person. You will still have time to terminate the tenancy in May and if they are still not communicating with you by end Feb to discuss things then I think you will have no choice but to terminate. Personally I would be prepared to write off the £200 if necessary. Bad tenants could have done damage costing more than that in 2 years.

Mick Roberts

18:11 PM, 2nd December 2014
About 4 years ago

Taz, you're in the wrong game. I do like that comment. I shouldn't laugh, buy hey for me & Jonathon Clarke & probably Rob Mellors, that is a normal every day occurrence.
But hey, I suppose some Landlords want it all perfect if they are used to 'crystal clean' tenants', so who am I to comment.

But I get that every day, part of my job. Just think, if get the rent in eventually & been there 2 years, let's work with them.

Tabraz Khan

18:54 PM, 2nd December 2014
About 4 years ago

I realise to veteran landlords chasing rent is part and parcel of the role and whilst I have no issue getting stuck in as most of you have advisedi am wary of rocking the boat. Yes I've never had to chase rent before. I've had 4 tenants who have always paid on time. I put that partly down to my reference/vetting criteria and that I always charge below market rent so I get a lot of interest and can be picky when it comes to choosing prospective tenants.

Deposit is £500. I don't want to put up rent to £500 to recoup as someone suggest although 475-500 is what the rental figure should be. I prefer to decrease rent than put it up unless I really have to.

I have no issue working with the tenants but they aren't engaging with me - my last conversation was face to face and I'm open to working with them for them to slowly pay it but all I've got I dont worry I'll def sort it by x. I don't see writing the £200 off as an option. I'm in no need of the 200 so feel will most likely wait till the new year and then send a rent demand letter.

Sally T

21:44 PM, 2nd December 2014
About 4 years ago

Maybe your tenants feel they have to pay the full £200 at once and can't afford it. Why not contact them and suggest they pay a little extra each month until the debt is paid. They sound reasonable tenants who may of had a bad month. Even if they only pay an extra £20 a month at least they are showing willing and are worth a second chance, this has paid off several times for us in the past.
From our experience I would say if it happens again it's time to cut loose and get new tenants, it generally turns out to be the start of a downward spiral.
Good luck, I hope it all works out 🙂

AA Properties Wales

22:58 PM, 2nd December 2014
About 4 years ago

Taz, listen to Sally T. Go see the tenants and ask them what the problem is and offer to take £60 a month, but negotiate. I just had a tenant that met a guy from Tunisia, she is 50, he is 22, they got married, he fleeced her, so...she didn't pay me all the rent. HELP! So I spoke to her, she lied about paying me, she went back Tunisia (met another bloke online), he is 21. ANYWAY...I sent her Section 21 notice, her daughter phoned crying to me. RESULT, her daughter loves her mum, so...she is moving in next Monday, I will get more rent than market, and it will pay off her mum's arrears (could take a year).

This is not about how much you receive (I commend you for that Taz), this is about how you treat your tenants. And Taz...you are NOT in the wrong game,,you can live with yourself by meeting these tenants in a friendly manner...oh yeah...don't forget to hand them the section 21 notice...(you gotta pay the mortgage mate)..

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