A landlord’s guide to addressing rent arrears

Managing a property as a landlord can be a fulfilling endeavour, but it’s not without its challenges. One of the most daunting issues you can face is dealing with rent arrears. Rent arrears arise when tenants fall behind on their rent payments, causing financial strains for landlords. As a landlord, it’s essential to handle these situations promptly and effectively to prevent any further loss of income and maintain a healthy tenant-landlord relationship. In this guide, we will offer expert advice on how to tackle rent arrears, providing you with practical strategies that can help you address the issue and get back on track.

The Importance of Addressing Rent Arrears Promptly

One of the key responsibilities of a landlord is to ensure that their tenants pay their rent on time and in full. When tenants fall into rent arrears, it can have a significant impact on the landlord’s financial stability, their ability to maintain their property, and their relationships with other tenants. Landlords should take a prompt and proactive approach to address rent arrears by communicating with tenants regularly and providing them with opportunities to catch up on payments. It is important for landlords to follow the proper legal procedures when pursuing rent arrears to avoid any legal challenges or disputes with tenants. Therefore, it is essential for landlords to promptly address any rent arrears to minimise their financial and legal risks.

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Preparing for Rent Collection

One of the best ways to prevent rent arrears is by preparing for rent collection. This involves setting clear rent payment expectations in the tenancy agreement and offering alternative payment plans where monthly payments are not an option for the tenant. Additionally, you can encourage your tenant from the outset to set up a standing order to ensure that rent payments are made on time. Providing payment reminders and rent receipts can also be helpful for keeping track of rent payments.

Responding to Late Rent Payments

When a tenant falls behind on rent payments, it is essential to act with urgency. You should contact the tenant immediately to understand the reasons for the late payment and negotiate a payment plan or alternative payment arrangements. Following up on payment agreements is also essential to ensure that rent payments are made on time.

Legal Action for Rent Arrears

If all attempts to negotiate payment arrangements fail, you may need to take legal action to address rent arrears. Serving a notice of overdue rent, issuing a possession order, seeking court intervention, and eviction are some of the legal actions that can be taken. When rent arrears do occur, the last port of call for a concerned landlord is a Section 8 evicition. It is crucial that you follow the correct legal procedures to help ensure the process is completed in a timely manner. 

Preventing Future Rent Arrears

Preventing future rent arrears is crucial for landlords. You can screen potential tenants, set clear rental agreements, establish communication protocols, and regularly review rent payments to adjust rent amounts when necessary. Each of these steps are usually part of normal landlord duties, and help ensure that rental arrears do not occur. 

Consider Property Management

As a landlord, you might consider Property Management. It’s a convenient way to take the rent collection process and any issues that could arise off your hands as the management company will handle this on your behalf. Here at Home Made, we offer a high quality Property Management service, managed by our in house experts, ready to take the hassle out of being a landlord for you. 

The last resort

Non payment of rent can be grounds for eviction. Read up on the subject in our guide to evictions.


Addressing rent arrears can be a challenging issue for landlords. However, with proactive measures and acting with urgency, you can prevent and address rent arrears successfully. Seeking legal advice when necessary can also be beneficial. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you will be well on your way to addressing rent arrears.

Meet Sam your local Expert

Sam has a wealth of experience across the private landlord and Build to Rent sectors. He has advised a wide range of clients across the whole of London on how to find great tenants, improve their assets and effectively market their properties for the best returns.

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