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My tenant is late on rent and using Christmas as an excuse, what can I do?

Question

My tenant is late on rent and using Christmas as an excuse, what can I do?

Answer

Whilst you have to speak with them about this issue, do not bombard your tenant continually via phone or email demanding payment, and definitely don’t turn up at the property unannounced. Frustratingly, despite your tenant breaking the terms of your legal a legal agreement, the law is on their side - your property is their home, and if you are deemed to be harassing them for your money this can reflect very badly on you.

When you do make contact, ensure that any communication you do have them is recorded. Try and communicate over email if possible so you have written verification of what was said and when. If a phone call is made, note down the time and date, and what was said during the call immediately. Should the case ever progress to a legal situation, it’s important to have these records.

Accept that if your tenant is finding it hard to come up the money for rent one month, this situation may take time to resolve and there is a possibility that the money may never be forthcoming –after all, trying to get money out of someone who simply doesn’t have it is an impossible task. Plan to have a contingency plan in place for if your tenant ever lets you down with rent. You don’t want your cash flow to be affected because theirs is.

If the couple of days at Christmas turns into a couple of months into new year, you can take action. You can issue a Section 21 Notice of Possession', which is a legal eviction notice that you give to your tenant to regain possession of your property.

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