How to Deal with a Tenant Not Paying Rent
Sometimes, despite all our best laid plans, things can go awry and when they do, you need great advice and someone in your corner. If you’re a landlord and are having troubles with tenants not paying rent, it’s essential to have the correct information so you don’t do the wrong thing, too. Read on for sage, legal wisdom about how you can ensure you are paid the right way.
Ensure your rent is paid on time, every time.
Keep an eye on payments
The first thing you need to do is keep an eye on payments. The moment one is late, monitor it closely.
When the payment is a few days late, send the tenant a reminder letter. Chances are it may be a slip of the mind or they’ve paid but the bank has a processing delay.
Pick up the phone
Call them, perhaps, to discuss alternate ways they can make payments (especially useful if they’re perpetually tardy with payments).
Gently remind non-paying tenants of their obligations.
Rent in Advance
Remember tenants pay rent in advance. Once they’re behind, it’s in arrears. This a breach of their tenancy agreement.
Apply to the Tribunal
If the tenant not paying rent is a regular offender, you can apply to the tribunal for an order to compel them to pay on time. However, in a poor outcome, they could be evicted and they’ll be without a home – and you without a tenant. Habitually not paying on time is reasonable grounds for eviction.
Serve a Termination Notice
If a non-paying tenant is more than two weeks late with their rent, you can serve them with a termination notice. Bear in mind there are criteria, so don’t race off and write one up just yet. The notice must be signed and dated (by you or your agent), in writing, properly addressed to the tenant, give notice as to when the tenant is to vacate, state the grounds why the tenant is being evicted (that is, for being a non-paying tenant) and include a statement that if they pay all that is owed (or enters into a repayment plan) they do not need to vacate.
Set up a Repayment Plan
A repayment plan is a contract whereby the tenant not paying rent agrees to pay over and above the normal rent. It enables them to catch up on their late payments. Both you and the tenant need to agree on the plan. It needs to be in writing so there’s no misunderstanding. You can still evict a tenant even if they pay all they owe.
We highly recommend legal representation or discussions with someone who is familiar with tenancy law. If you need to chat with an expert in tenancy agreements and tenants not paying rent, then call us today.