Tuesday, July 07, 2009

65% of ARLA landlords report tenants in arrears of rent

A new report from ARLA gives the unsurprising result that many more tenants are finding it difficult to pay their rent. With the massive number of people being made redundant and the general downturn in the economy this is hardly surprising The question is, what do you to about it? Here are my top tips

If you are a tenant:

  • Apply for housing benefit if you think you are eligible. It takes time for the application to go through and rent is paid in arrears so you need to get on with this
  • Keep your landlord informed. If you cannot afford to pay all your rent, pay as much as you can so your landlord can see that you are trying.
  • If you are in a muddle, seek advice. You will find a list of debt advisors here.
If you are a landlord:
  • Monitor carefully rent payments due to you, and contact tenants promptly if they fail to pay
  • Attempt to reach agreement with tenants, it may even be worth reducing the rent (better a reduced rent with a known good tenant than a void)
  • However make sure that letters requesting payment and possession notices are sent out in good time, as sometimes eviction is the only answer, particularly if the tenant is looking to be re-housed by the local authority.
Landlords may be interested in my article on different approaches to dealing with rent arrears, and my Rent Arrears Action Plan.

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