Tenant not communicating, risk in rent arrears?

Tenant not communicating, risk in rent arrears?

11:33 AM, 11th April 2023, About A year ago 12

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Hello, I have a new tenant, whose last two months rent had to be chased and chased every month. I told her the AST set out she must set up a standing order, which she did but then it must have been cancelled as the rent never came at the time.

Her previous communication normally took a week or two, now she has completely ignored all communication. Now I understand why it took the agent so long to confirm her AST start date and sign the AST, and why it took so long for her previous landlord to give a landlord reference.

She isn’t in rent arrears yet, but I fear it may further escalate when she stops paying rent and poor communicating from the following months.

How best can I deal with tenants like this?

What can I do now to best protect myself, from rent arrears in future, an eviction process and costs, just in case?

Thank you,


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Graham Bowcock

12:18 PM, 11th April 2023, About A year ago

There's not a lot you can do other than make sure rent is chased up as soon as it's due. There's no magic bullet when a tenant does not respond.


12:28 PM, 11th April 2023, About A year ago

Get rid as soon as she is 2 months in arrears


12:29 PM, 11th April 2023, About A year ago

Welcome to the world of property rental Mike.
Are you managing the property yourself or thru an agent? If it's the latter you need to have words as to their lack of management.
If you are managing yourself then a straight forward chat in order. It could be payment of rent not aligned with salary pay date so can you renegotiate. It might be you lose out by a week or so but bear in mind some rent better than none. Have circumstances changed as far as employment is concerned? Are there personal issues that might have triggered a problem with paying the rent. Atm they not in arrears so any chat needs to be in line with helping rather than aggravating. Make it clear your concern whilst showing you want to help in whatever way is mutual to you both. You are already making judgements that happened during the rental process so why accept this person if you had doubts? You have to take responsibility for that. Did you not consider a guarantor?
Finally consider insurance to cover any potential rental loss/possible legal.advice. Either way it's you that has to cover all your bases and that doesn't come without cost. As I said....welcome to the world of property!


13:11 PM, 11th April 2023, About A year ago

As Rose has helpfully highlighted, communication is your friend and trying to understand whether there are any underlying issues which are causing the delays in rent payments should be your first priority.

Did the agent provide you with a copy of the referencing and all the relevant documents, including evidence that they were given to the tenant? If not, you should ask for this - they are your agent and should, at the very least, offer them to you.

Graham, rightly, point out that there is no magic bullet but clear comprehensive documentation of communication with the tenant and your efforts to normalise the rent payments and steps taken if things don't go according to plan will help you should you need to resort to the courts.

The friendly team at iHowz would be happy for you to join us, so we can give you more specific advice.


13:19 PM, 11th April 2023, About A year ago

You cant get insurance for the current tenant as they are already late paying. Managing agents cant do a lot apart from sending letters to the tenant and trying to communicate with them. Rarely does the managing agent start proceedings against the tenant. Bare in mind that you are not a social worker (I have been through this route in the past) and you will invariably end up trying to sort out the tenants problems. Would your mortgage company give you much leeway, not likely, take the same approach or you will get burned.

Simon M

13:32 PM, 11th April 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by RoseD at 11/04/2023 - 12:29
If you're managing the property yourself I'd find a reason to visit the property - a repair or arrange an inspection - then have a conversation at the end.


13:35 PM, 11th April 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Derek STOBBS at 11/04/2023 - 13:19A harsh approach Derek although I do accept and agree that with experience of being a landlord we learn lessons along the way
I had a classic example of glowing references and high earning professionals who were tenants from hell so whatever route we take no crystal ball
Equally we can't just expect for all to work in our favour and for me insurance for loss of rental/legal costs an absolute necessity for peace of mind.

Ann Diamond

14:21 PM, 11th April 2023, About A year ago

As usual some very sensible comments here. I have a tenant who was giving me grief by always being late with rent, sometimes not paying enough and once paying too much ! The problem seems to have been solved, at least for now, since I found out that her income comes in two payments at different times of the month. She now pays 2/3 of the rent when her bigger payment comes in and the rest later. She is very disorganised and despite many promises hasn't managed to set up a direct debit so I have my fingers crossed.

Hew De Bowen

18:01 PM, 11th April 2023, About A year ago

Based on my experience of such cases, (I've been a landlord for 20 years, with 6 houses) - people like that cannot be trusted and will not change. Eventually she will be slower and slower in paying the rent, and she'll get into arrears, steadily increasing the amount she owes. Deal with it asap. You could issue notice to evict her, so that the clock is running, and suggest that if she pays up quickly, you will let her stay. But sooner or later you will have to get rid of her and it would probably be better to do it sooner rather than later. It's not your job to give her an unpaid overdraft facility. By failing to reply, she is showing that she is not acting in good faith. There are plenty of good tenants out there who really want a home and would be reliable. You don't need people like her.

Chris Bradley

7:48 AM, 12th April 2023, About A year ago

Time for a house inspection.
Face to face, explain her obligations, and the impact of none compliance

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