Landlord Law

4.3.2.3 Arrears

4. Property management
4.3 Tenancy management
4.3.2 Rent
4.3.2.3 Arrears
Where rents are not received when due, you should communicate promptly with the tenant. Where housing support is being paid directly to the tenant, for example local housing allowance (LHA) or as part of Universal Credit, and payments cease or are varied, you should inform the local housing authority or the Department for Work and Pensions as soon as possible. Where housing support is paid directly to you and payments cease or are varied, you should notify the tenant as soon as possible.

You should keep channels of communication open with your tenants and encourage tenants to let you know if they are under financial difficulties. You should maintain contact with tenants in cases where arrears continue to accumulate and recommend that they seek independent advice (e.g. from the Citizens Advice Bureau, the Money Advice Service, or a legal adviser).

A tenant must not be evicted without a possession order and following due process. If tenants are facing eviction and are threatened with homelessness (especially if they are vulnerable or there are children living with them) you should suggest they contact their local authority housing team for support in accessing alternative accommodation.

For agents only
If you are retained to collect rent, you should have a system in place to notify a client landlord promptly if rent becomes overdue. In the event of arrears, you must notify any rent warranty insurers promptly and ensure that the timescale for any rent warranty notification is met.

Rent arrears

This is the biggest problems that landlords report with tenants.  It is also probably the number one reason why landlords evict tenants.

If the tenant is in receipt of benefit you can request that this be paid direct if the tenant is in arrears of over 8 weeks.

Local Authority rehousing

Certain tenants have the right to be rehoused by the Local Authority if they are deemed to be in ‘priority need’.  There is an advice article about this on Landlord Law Blog here.

However they will lose this right if they move out voluntarily, so you will have to bring proceedings to evict them as soon as possible.

Rent warranty insurance

It is vital that the terms of the policy are adhered to by agents as otherwise the landlrods  claim may fail.  In this case, if the delay was caused by you, the landlord may have a claim against you for compensation.