Most landlords have faced this problem at some point in their career, including Seaford letting agents. The circumstances of their tenants change, or they failed to accurately assess their circumstances in the first place, and then they just stop paying their rent. It’s a nightmare situation, especially for landlords who rely on rental payments to meet the mortgage on a buy-to-let property or to pay for their own living expenses.
Fortunately, it’s a problem that can often be avoided.
Getting the Right Tenant
Avoiding non paying tenants is mostly a matter of finding the right people to live in your property. Ideally you are looking for people with a stable income, a good credit history and a decent amount of savings to account for a change in their circumstances.
Of course if you ask your prospective tenants if they have these factors in place, they will give you a positive answer that may not be the whole truth. That’s why it’s important to check their credentials. At the management agency, they will delve into the history of your potential tenant, making sure that they can identify any problems. They have a thorough verification process that ensures all tenants they take on are solvent, with an income that can easily cover the rental price of your property.
The rent from lower earners or those claiming housing benefit (or top-up) can be secured by a guarantor arrangement. This means that a parent, or someone else, will guarantee rent payments for your tenant.
These situations need to be handled correctly. For example, we’ll always make sure we have accurate and detailed information for the guarantor. We’ll also ask the guarantor to undergo the same rigorous vetting procedure that we apply to new tenants.
Chasing Rent Arrears
Although our verification process does weed out the majority of problem tenants, occasionally a tenant’s circumstances will change dramatically and they will be unable to meet their obligations. In this situation it’s crucial to handle the problem in the right way.
In this country, tenants have a huge amount of rights, and it’s important to chase rent arrears in a way that doesn’t infringe those rights but is still effective. We have a comprehensive plan for chasing rent arrears that involves a strict timetable. We try to take every step to avoid costly legal action, and in the vast majority of cases we manage to resolve the issue without resorting to the courts.
Know Your Tenants
In this situation, knowing why your tenant is having problems paying rent is imperative. The tenants who pass our strict vetting procedure tend to have an extremely good attitude about their rent arrears. It’s almost always a temporary problem, and one that they put a lot of effort into resolving.
If you understand what the problem is, and keep the lines of communication open, it can be very reassuring, as often it becomes clear that the situation is a temporary one. The managing agency will handle the tenant relations, and investigate exactly why the tenant isn’t paying rent. They will also give you an assessment, based on our understanding of the situation, of how soon the problem is likely to be resolved.
Using an Eastbourne Letting Agent
As you can see, the steps involved in avoiding the problems surrounding non paying tenants are complex, as are the ones involved in dealing with the situation if it does arise. That’s why so many landlords fall into this trap. The best way to avoid this problem is to let an Eastbourne letting agent like ourselves handle the management of your property.