James Davis – Portfolio Landlord & Property Expert
When you start out as a landlord from the age of 22 you learn a thing or two about managing property. This week James shares some top tips on handling tenant evictions.
When tenants fall into rent arrears, landlords can be far too quick in issuing eviction notices. More often than not, they trigger long-winded, expensive and unnecessary legal procedures that are only getting longer and more costly.
Here are some pain-free owner-tenant resolutions which have proven significantly more effective in my experience.
All pain no gain
Dealing with rent arrears is a common cause of irritation for property owners. Listening to Shelter, landlords lose £9.9bn to rent arrears and property damage each year – that’s £6,600 for every landlord in the UK.
For landlords suffering these shortfalls, an assured shorthold tenancy can be terminated by reliance on section 21 or section 8 of the Housing Act 1988- although they must give a minimum of two months’ written notice. Once you’ve got to court for a possession order, which can take months, a judge granting the order doesn’t necessarily mean it’s over. If the tenant doesn’t leave, you’ll have to go back to court to get a bailiff order to legally evict them from the property. With wait times for court dates getting ever longer, you could be several months in rent arrears by the time the tenant is out.
Find a creative resolution
Where possible, it can be more cost-effective to take a deep breath and resolve your tenant issues amicably. Access Legal found that 46% of tenants in rent arrears fail to pay up even after court proceedings. In these cases, simply offering informal payment extensions can yield better results.
From experience, the trick is to approach your tenant with an open mind.
For example, I have a tenant of 5 years who lost his job six months after moving in. By communicating regularly, we managed the situation and I kept an excellent resident. To safeguard this approach and maintain trust, let your tenant know you are contacting their guarantor to gain reassurance on the situation. Getting a % of the rent is better than none at all; especially if the tenant acts out of spite for perceived insensitivity towards a situation they didn’t expect themselves to be in.
Make your life easier
The succession of events stemming from an eviction notice can quickly take their toll on landlords, when it becomes very clear that the processes behind issuing s.21 or s.8 notices can be more hassle than they are worth. Therefore, it’s always wise to try and find an amicable solution first, even if it means compromise on your part.
Article Courtesy of Upad