How do you handle rent collection?

We’d love to hear how landlords go about handling rent collection. What steps do you follow? And what do you do when things go wrong?

Tell us your thoughts! You may even help other landlords improve their practices with your advice.

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Leave it 100% to the letting agent. In fact, along with keeping an eye on the tenancies in situ, dealing with the growing admin and compliance requirements of properties and tenancies and attending to maintenance and repairs, rent handling is probably one of the core services agents are expected to carry out.

As to rent going wrong, this can be for many reasons. And a good agent carries different tools in his toolbag to deal with these different reasons. There are really very few tenant-from-hell people who just won’t and don’t pay. Almost all rent default arises for a reason. Sorting that reason becomes key to ‘getting the wheels back on’.

Hi, I reference tenants so things rarely go wrong. Rent payment by standing order is part of my tenancy contract. If payment is 4 days late, as it may occasionally be after the first initial payment, I send by email

  1. a short formal, polite, firm reminder that they must set up a monthly Standing Oder is part of their contractual obligations.
  2. a reminder that this monthly rent (£xyz) is payable on this date (or around the first of the month).
  3. A screenshot of their last payment in my business account.
  4. a reminder of late charges agreed to in the contract.

I send a rent reminder by email and a short reminder by text to check the email. Payment is usually in my account that day or the next. There are rarely further probs. Two tenants in 35 years persisted in late payments. I kept reminding them and they stayed years. These days as my properties are a much better standard, I’m getting good reliable referenced tenants and don’t expect things to go wrong. If tenants are late often I’d give 2 months written notice, Section 21 aimed at a ending in busy rental time, April-May or Sept-October.

To get a good new tenant I’d start advertising 8-6 weeks in advance as the best tenants forward plan.
I hope this helps someone. Ani


I had those tenants who refuse to pay in time last year. All my reminders, sending rent account, suggesting standing order ultimately failed. I think rent wasn’t the priority and although it always came, I never knew when. After the year I offered a new 6 month tenancy but on condition I had a direct debit. Maybe that was a step too far for them. So now I have one already with standing order. Problem last year was dealing with people abroad, only landing at start of rental, so another ‘never again’ for me!

Thanks for this, it’s really interesting!

@Ani these detailed steps are great, I’m sure some landlords will benefit from your expertise. So am I correct in saying you don’t ask currently for proof of a standing order, as @Sally does?

Are there things that you would like to do that is currently too much effort?


Hi Maurice, no I currently don’t ask for proof of a STO as @Sally does. What a good idea. Does she ask tenants to send her a screen shot? Cleaning at end of tenancy can be a bit of an effort. I generally do it anyway r pay a cleaner. Other than that I enjoy being a landlord. Ani

Hi Ani, when I am personally signing the tenant up I have, amongst the navy documents needing to be served on a new tenant, a bank mandate firm prefilled with my details. They fill their part including their bank address, sign it, and I then post it! So I know its gone off. If course nothing is foolproof and they are free to cancel it, but nobody has ever done that! You can download a form and print it ready.
Hope that helps, Sally

i havent bothered with the standing order

if the rents late in my bank account i give them a call

every now and then i get the different rents mixed up lol

Hi Sally, Great idea. How do you get the standing order mandate from the bank? Anita

Hi Ani

The one I use isn’t specific to one bank. If you google blank bank mandate form you should find one.