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A-Z of property management

A is for Arrears!

A is for Arrears

As we head for yet another lockdown this year, we wanted to help you by providing some helpful tips on the A-Z of property management!

A is inevitably for arrears. Something that seems more prevalent given the current climate. With over 50% of tenants reportedly in arrears and the English government being the only one that aren’t offering tenant loans to clear arrears, it’s even more important now that landlords and letting agents know how to handle arrears correctly – and no, it’s not as simple as just servicing notice.

Amplo Lettings | Property Management Crewe | To Rent in Crewe

We have been super lucky when it comes to arrears; since launching we’ve had one tenant fall into arrears due to covid – it’s inevitable! We share with you how we best advise landlords to avoid arrears or how to deal with them. 

1) Communication is key!

Now that we’ve entered a second lockdown, we’ve re-sent a letter we originally posted in March 2020 to offer resources for any tenants that were struggling. The letter outlines landlords and tenants responsibilities that yes, they’re still responsible for paying their rent but also understand a lot of staff have been either furloughed or made redundant.

Ensure that if a tenant falls. behind on their rent, that you have exercised every effort to help them; setting up payment plans, supporting them through applying for universal credit and applying for direct payments if they’re 2 months in arrears.

Contact them ‘just enough’ – weekly check-ins with regards to their current situation. 

 

2) Be understanding – but not a pushover! 

I hate to say this but, we are living in “unprecedented times” so be understanding when a tenant says they’ve lost their job or can’t pay their rent. But equally – ask for supporting evidence; most recent bank statements so you can help them and fully understand their situation before advising them or helping them devise a payment plan.

Be mindful of any other issues in the property; the tenant might try and avoid paying rent by saying that there are current issues in the property and they’re withholding their rent until the issues are sorted.

Listen to their reason for not paying / not being able to pay and just support as much as you can. It’s easy to become frustrated with tenants that can’t or won’t pay but it doesn’t get 

    3) Serving notice

    Unfortunately, the current notice period for a Section 21 is still 6 months, UNLESS, the tenant is 6 months in arrears – then, it’s just 4 weeks. The next step would be looking at contacting a small claims court to obtain the overdue rent. 

     

    As always, if you have any questions, please let us know!