How to contact your tenants!
Being a Landlord and letting agent can be complicated when your tenants don’t cooperate! The key to a good professional relationship with your tenants is communication. It can be key if things ever turn sour or they find themselves in rent arrears.
We’ve had a lot of reports over the last few months that landlords have been struggling to get in contact with their tenants to attend inspections, to chase rent arrears and/or maintenance too.
1) Digital Contact
Our first step of contacting a tenant before planning any physical meetings, is to try and contact them digitally. Whether that’s a call, text or email. Usually a written method of contact such an email or text would suffice first and allow the tenant a reasonable amount of time to respond. If no response is received then it wouldn’t be considered unreasonable to call the tenant as an alternative way to try and make contact again. If they don’t answer and there is a voicemail option then there is no harm in utilising it too.
The best part of contacting this way is that it also ensures that a record can be kept by the Landlord if any further action needs to be taken regarding the subject of why the contact is necessary.
2) Sending a letter – the good old fashioned way!
If the Landlord does not receive a response using the virtual tactics discussed then they could take the next step of sending a recorded delivery letter directly to the property to ensure that their contact has been received by the tenant.
They could also choose to hand deliver the letter and knock the door first to see if the tenant will speak with them but this should be assessed based on the circumstances of the contact needed as it shouldn’t appear threatening or pestering as this could result in the tenant becoming even more avoidant.
If the matter regarding contacting the tenant is urgent and involves maintenance or unpaid rent the Landlord could then next choose to reach out to their tenants Guarantor (if they have one of course!) This will usually result in the tenant getting back in contact. However, if it doesn’t, a Landlord can give themselves access to the property if it is considered an emergency health or safety issue.
If tensions between a Landlord and Tenant continue then it may be time to seek legal advice and see if it is possible to take action against the tenant if it has got to the point where the Landlord would like to end the tenancy. We highly recommend joining and contacting the NRLA for help and advice on this sort of thing.
We know it can be tricky and frustrating trying to contact tenants when they’re not replying, but be persistent, remember the ‘right of quiet enjoyment’ and remember to keep a log of all contact made.
If you have any questions, as always, if we can help – we will, and don’t hesitate to contact us