New tenant's late rent payments problem

My new tenant wants to make rent payments 2 weeks after the due date stated in the tenancy agreement.
The tenant paid the 1st months rent direct to Openrent and I received it from them after a delay.
The tenant was due to pay the 2nd month’s rent directly onto my own bank account on the 10th of September. As it was a Sunday I waited to see if the money arrived in my account on Monday 11th September.
When it did not I contacted the tenant to ask if there was a problem. The tenant said she could only pay me when her salary was paid into her account on the 24th September, 14 days later than the rent due date.
I explained that rent is due on due date and not 14days later as stated in the signed tenancy agreement.
The tenant says she cannot pay till the 24th of each month when she will receive her salary. I explained that contractually the rent needs to be paid by due date, the 10th of each month but she would not accept this and said I should be compassionate and wait till she is able to pay.
I mentioned that interest is due after 14days arrears but she then took offence and would not continue the conversation.
I ended the phonemail saying she should consider her position and let me know how she intended to remedy the situation.
She has a guarantor and I also took out the Openrent Rent Insurance.
What should I do next ?
All legal suggestions will be most welcome please.

One option is to ask her to make a pro rata payment for 14 days and then change the payment date to 24th to match salary, this is normally ok but can cause issues with dates at end of tenancy.

Other than that not much you can do, you cant evict for being 2 weeks late with rent during fixed term and i wouldn’t bother charging interest, the amounts are presumably tiny and not worth the hassle of calculating and will only antagonise her.

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Thank you for your suggestions.
How do I go about changing the payment date ? Is this something we do separately or do we amend the signed Tenancy Agreement document ?

You could just have it as an agreement between you in writing. Charge the tenant pro rata for the days between 10th and 24th Sept and adjust the final ‘months’ rent at the end of the fixed term if she has declared her intention to move out otherwise leave as is. If the tenancy does become periodic, the pattern of monthly payments on the 24th of each month previously becomes the rent payment date going forwards.

What is the interest due on a delay of 14 days of rent in your case? I believe you are limited to no more that 3% above the base rate.

Saying all this, your tenant could just set aside the monthly rent from her salary so that it is available on the 10th of each month to pay to you. However, many people are very poor at money management and she may be one of them? One of the reasons I insist on seeing bank statements as part of referencing.

Hello Nilesh,
Thank you for your comment.
I will take your advise and draw up a letter to send her for her signature confirming her agreement to pay monthly on the 24th going forward. I will advise her also of my intention not to charge her interest on the late payments provided she keeps strictly to the new payment date and does not slip into further arrears.
Hoping all goes smoothly for the remainder of the tenancy.

I wouldnt recommend getting the rent payment dates out of sync with the tenancy periods or it could cause confusion if you ever need to evict her. I would suggest you just agree informally, (keep it verbal) that you will accept payment at on the date she suggests. Its not uncommon for tenants to request this and doesnt necessarily mean problems.

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If it is convenient for both you and the tenant you could ask her to pay 42 days (6 weeks) rent on the 24th, then change the due date to the 24th of each month. This seems to be the best compromise here considering the only other option is for her to change her pay date which, you could understand, may not be possible.

For the reasons I stated, I would not rdcommend this.

I have drafted a letter to the tenant clarifying that I understand she intends to pay the 2nd months rent on the 24th September and remind her this will mean that she is in arrears from the du date of the rent untill the date payment is received. I will then ask her how she intends to pay the arrears for this month.
I am being careful not to agree with her intention and will wait to see if she responds with a proposal on how she intends to pay the arrears.
I feel I must clarify the situation and not leave it unclarified in writing for too long
Am I ok to send her this letter, headed without prejudice ?
Your advice is appreciated thanks

I’m not sure she is legally in arrears until the end of the period. Personally, I’d swallow hard and just accept she’s only going to pay you when she has the money to do so. Leave everything as it is and when she leaves, voluntarily or otherwise, deduct any rent owed from the deposit. If you vary the rent payment date it will only come back to bite you as she will forget about the two weeks overdue.

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thank you for your reply. I have calmed down about her late payment and am waiting to see if she does in fact pay on the date she gets paid her salary. I realise now that initially I was so taken aback with her attitude of taking it for granted that she could pay late rather than approaching me with an explanation, apology and request to pay late when she realised her predicament. I have written to her clarifying the situation that her payment is overdue and will wait and see what happens. She has not acknowledged my letter but I have it on file for future reference if necessary.

What stands out to me, is poor communication and entitlement from your T. At first, she put blame on you instead of apologising for not agreeing a change of date with you. It was disrespectful. Now she didn’t even acknowledge your letter. More of the same.
I would be wary of T like that. It looks like communication is very awkward from the very start. With such TT always keep in mind that Section 21 will not be here forever and look out for any more red flags.
Attitude problem is top of the list for TT eligibility, and in your situation there’s a definite attitude problem on their part. We are evicting T like that. She still pays rent, but she’s been a handful, and we’re just tired.
It will all work out one way or the other. Just don’t take too much nonsense.

Hello Tim_Ira,
It was very reassuring to read your thoughts about my tenant. I feel more confident in my response to her now and in the future I will be very wary and if she continues in this manner I will issue a section 21 after 10months and not renew her lease. Fortunately I did take out the rent guarantee insurance so if there are issues I will refer the matter to them and have the legal cover to back me up. Hopefully it will not come to that.
(I will report back here if the rent is not paid as promised)

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Happy that it has been helpful. Validation sometimes is as important as offloading all the legally heavy stuff on OP. I firmly believe that T and LL are not in equal positions. At the end of the day, it’s your property, and you set the rules (within the law) and enforce them. T should not be telling you to put up with their arbitrary change of of rent date. However, they can explain their situation and politely ask you about it.

I kind of agree with this. I have a nice couple pays rent late but they still pay (approx week to ten days). It was initially “bank issue” but happenning every month. I can only think it might be cash flow issue. But I did not try to dig in too much as I have high confidence that they will pay. And they did until now.

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hello C116,
Thank you for your message.
I’m pleased you are finding your tenants do keep paying you albeit late. As this is just the beginning of my tenancy I am apprehensive as to whether she will pay consistently, and also concerned about what will happen toward the end of the tenancy to level up the payments by the time the tenancy period ends. Previous tenant stayed 5 years and from time to time paid partial payments but caught up again soon after a late payment by additional payments which we agreed to. But in the final year he found himself in financial difficulties due to the rise in the cost of living and tried to take on extra work shifts etc to dig himself out of the hole. In the end though, it became clear he simply could not catch up and in fact could no longer afford his rent. I was worried he would not vacate at the end of his tenancy period so had a frank discussion with him and he agreed that he should find a room in a shared house that he could afford instead. He left without me having to go through an eviction process ( very costly) but still owed me at least 2 months rent. I wrote this off to experience. So I guess that might alert you to keep on top of things and don’t let late rent payments slip into arrears.
On getting the keys back I then discovered that he had been working such long hours that he had not been attending to cleaning the flat at all. It was cockroach infested and i was horrified. Immediately got in pert control to lay bait and closed the flat for about 10 days.
I bit the bullet and decided to take a step back and take the opportunity to completely renovate the flat between tenancies and engaged my builder to strip out the bathroom and kitchen completely and fit everything new.
After the renovation and complete redecoration I used Openrent to advertise and also took the full tenancy creation service to be sure I comply with all legislation.
So you can understand my apprehension now when this new tenant is starting with attitude and late payments. I want to be optimistic but cannot help being very wary.
Anxiously awaiting next week to know if she does in fact pay up the 2nd months rent.
Watch this space !!

Be a kind Landlord! Be different… Why cause someone distress over 14 days that you will get tagged onto the last payment when she one day leaves. Your going to get thousands and thousands of pounds over the next year or more… Its unnecessary and will stress you out.

Draft a letter, but don’t chase her for more money and pro-rata payments. Ask he setup a “Standing Order” with her bank. Not a regular chaps or internet payment she does from her phone. An actual standing order. And ask for proof. If she does that, let it be. Your rent will get sucked out of her salary every month. You can’t move or slide a standing order. You can’t pause it either. It’s paid or it isn’t and its will show on your bank statement as such too.

Your not losing any money, you have a deposut locked up and if she moved in on the 10th then she has the move out on the 9th… but payment for the last month before deposit is release will cover the difference for the missing 14 days upto the 24th… So your not out of pocket… but I get it, its the principle. But its also a new tenent you must like and thats why you picked her. Be positive and enjoy a good relationship with a tenant that has a job and pays you every month… Worth far more than all this distress and letters etc. I hope these positive comments bring clarity and focus to your situation.

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