Tenants late to pay - resolving this amicably

Tenants have paid on time and in full for almost 2 years now. They’ve been excellent up to this point.

This month, no payment was made and they didn’t let me know about it. I contacted them a few days after the due date and eventually they came back to say they were having problems with a bank transaction and would pay as soon as that came through. I was fine with it and gave them an extra week on the proviso that rent is paid on time in future.

Today they have told me that it is still not sorted and can they have until the end of next week.

I’m inclined to give them more time based on their previous record, however when I said that moving forward rent would have to be paid on time they were very non-committal about it, basically saying “we’ll try but at the moment our income is up and down month to month”.

The last thing I want is to be too firm and risk a falling out which could cause them to stop paying altogether; but also avoid being too soft as we really need this money.

What should I do? I’m due to meet them on Monday.

Thanks in advance,

In the words of Tessa Shepperson
‘you are not the Samaritans and this is your investment and you have bills to pay’.
If you can afford the loss so be it.
If you want to keep the tenants then Gothard Rowe may be able to help if they are willing to communicate with them. They may be able to find revenue sources ( eg unclaimed benefits etc) to support them.

You need an accurate picture of what the cause is and whether you want the headache. Gothard Rowe act as an mediator and you have to pay for services if you don’t want the conversation yourself.

We have a prolific estate agent in this city, who advised me years ago, if there is a problem for two consecutive months then serve an eviction notice. At least then your issues won’t run into months and thousands of lost revenue. The only reason people end up with thousands of pounds of arrears (and end up on TV telling us their horror stories) is because they did not get on top of the issue immediately.
I would serve an eviction notice s21 and or s8 ( take legal advice as eviction is now more complicated since the pandemic). Anthony Gold and JMW are reputable.
Don’t be soft and don’t procrastinate. This is a business not a charity and the pandemic has hit everyone including Landlords (who have been left out to hang for the last 12 months).
Remember, no one will take pity on you.


I’m probably softer than AA but if you feel they are genuine I’d probably offer a payment plan, depends on circumstances but something like 25% off rent for 3 months with deficit to be offset against deposit when they leave, doesn’t cost you anything (assuming they are looking after property well) and keeps tenants onside with you getting most of the rent. Serving eviction notices at this stage is quite likely to mean you wont see any rent for a long time, 6 months notice then potentially a long time and court hassle to actually implement it. So I’d try to defuse situation where possible although clearly need to be assertive that rent needs to be paid.

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I’m with Richard19 on this. You have to be mindful of the weakness of your position. If you serve notice now, expect a wait of around 18 months for possession based on current delays. If you wait till they’re 6 months in arrears, you can servea shorter notice, but you’re still looking at several months from that point. I would do everything I could to support the tenant in the hope they dont stop paying altogether.

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This maybe anecdotal and I don’t write this to labour the issue of misogyny, but as a woman I feel Tenants perceive kindness as a weakness and see you as a soft target. I tend to see more problems than my male counterparts.
(I have raised this with my solicitor and said it should be audited.)
I have noticed if a man is dealing with a situation the Tenant is less likely to take advantage and generally there are less problems.
Agents are not involved personally and can remain indifferent in difficult situations and may be something to consider eg a mediator.
If you are taking the soft option you may want to put the male in your partnership forward for the conversation.


I suspect you’re right A_A. Particularly if there are children involved. However, it’s a business decision in the end and I guess any landlord has to assess the risks and “run the numbers” for their own particular circumstances.

First thing to know, is that i always say to my tenants, from day 1, keep the place nice, pay on time & tell me if there’s a problem. Most issues can be resolved using this strategy.

They clearly display a willingness to pay as there’s history of good practice there. So, let’s be practical, they have some problems. At this point you don’t know what they are, how deep they run & if they have a self rescue plan. Emails & phone calls are useful, but sometimes it needs a more personal touch. Have you considered setting up a zoom or teams meeting to try to understand whats going on for them? I’ve recently had this situation happen twice. In both instances, negotiation & sharing ideas has resulted in the debt being cleared or a workable plan being introduced. I consider it a success in both cases. You can be firm, fair & considerate at the same time. While the monkey knows you have a stick, you aren’t always best showing it.

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U cant issue a section 21 for another 6 months at least now due to a pandemic on well u can issue it but it won’t become active for at least 6 months. By that time u will probably be 6 months without rent…so for the landlord who talks about people’s circumstances as if they were nothing. Realise the situation rite now. There’s millions on furlough pay and even more with no jobs… every landlord can apply for mortgage payment breaks for 6 months a time now and so can tenants ask for a rent break…so instead of making an enemy of ur tenant try working with them to see their situation and in the meantime apply for a mortgage break urself and keep a good paying tenant in ur property rather than being owed thousands and risking ur property being empty for months on end with no rent…

I assume you mean a rent deferment rather than a rent break. In other words, a plan to catch up with the unpaid rent at a later date, because that’s all a landlord will get from his mortgage lender.

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It works both ways and it’s less stressful to a landlord if a tenant is prepared to work with them rather than against them. That means being upfront and explaining honestly what the problem is.
Just saying we can’t pay this month and we don’t really know about next month either isn’t really helpful and don’t build any sense of trust.
The mortgage ‘holiday’ is anything but a holiday. Interest is added and the repayment recalculated making it significantly higher when it is restarted, so landlords who keep their rents low all the time might find this more of a problem than a solution. Six months is a long time to not make any payment. Building up so much debt is not desirable for either party under any circumstances if it can be avoided.


Same thing different name

no what some of you landlords are not tuned in what so ever. the only time there is a reaction from the most of you is when you don’t get a payment. the most of you are that thirsty for cash even a couple of days late and you are printing off section 21s thinking of your excuses to serve it. what you need to understand is your dealing with human beings living in the world today, not robots in a fake world that runs like clock work. people go through problems specially money problems, just because you are owed rent, why does this give you priority to be payed. if the payment has to be a little late then it is what it is, you just have to take it on the chin, being a landlord does not give you special powers. why is a couple of days such a major concern to most of you. but when it comes to having to spend money on repairs its like getting blood from a stone, but this is not a big deal. most of you no full well that your property is in need of repairs doing as in fencing / painting / dated doors / windows. but as long as you get your rent most of you have no concern that the people paying you all that cash each month have to live in the house that looks a state. is your fence rotting falling to bits , are your windows in need of updating , is your paint work a mess no I doubt it. no wonder most of you get hassle. thinking that you have the upper hand in most cases but you do not if most of you payed more attention to your property’s and give a little thought to what you are receiving that money each month for. because truth be known you no full well you are in the wrong as it is but think it goes un noticed. but its been a long time coming and it is not working this way any more so what’s been easy money for a long time for MOST of you isn’t that easy no days :frowning_face:

cobblers… most of the landlords have just a single property. Why should they not expect to be paid after having spent thousands on buying a property ? Many payments are not just A LITTLE late as you say ,but MONTHS late. I bet if you were a landlord you would not put up with it. Easy money HA HA you shoud be a comedian. If your place is as bad as the description you give then take action over it


Wow, bitter! Also wildly innaccurate.


no what my m8 its not COBBLERS. because you no how I play it. if anything needs doing, I do not even bother with these agents you all hide behind. your the owner so face the music, you get a letter from me to tell you what needs doing and that its being done I do what ever it is ANYTHING you then get posted the invoices for what was needed also the labour bill. I give you a week to pay me what you owe because its your house and if the house you lived in had a leak or what ever it may be, you wouldn’t live with it you wouldn’t wait weeks to have it sorted. then if you do not pay up it comes from your rent payment end off. you serve a section 21 like you all do for your secret little reasons then I tell you and the people you hide behind how its happening I go when I am ready and found another house, your to have my deposit payed back before I go from your house, because without a doubt the house will be better than it was when the tenancy was taken on, it will be cleaner than your own house. you want to make life hard after I have treated your house like my own, then I will come to your house for a coffee and a little chat. I pay my rent I look after the house but for some reason you landlords see tenants as people below yourself, when more than likely than not I will have a much better job than the landlord I will earn a lot more than the landlord I will own a better car than the landlord. you no why because there is nothing special about a person that owns there own house. when you own a couple of streets and the houses then there is a little bit more of a reason to think your special. so my advice to SOME home owners that decide to rent there home out is, if you think your well up your ladder then have another think and bring yourself down a good few rungs then you will probably find it will work for you a lot better because in the nicest possible way I type all this by the way. I’m a cracking lad I get on with everyone, but its a fact that most of you home owners that rent your asset out are like this, because you try and overlook the rule book in your favour, and then get all stressed when it is not as easy as you want it to be. so instead of thinking its a easy earner that you can have this, I have all the say attitude, then don’t do it. I am not talking about these none payers by the way my advice to you home owners renting putting up with this. the easiest way you will have this sorted is instead of paying your money to county courts pay it to a couple of lads to go through the door and throw them out and nail the door up nip it in the bud.

not use an agent i am a builder do all own repairs need no agent cannot use heavies to go thru the door it is illegal nowhere is cleaner than my own house

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Collin m8 that’s all good. I have only ended up on here because I am a member I am a person who rents. I opened an email and had a read through, from what I am reading in the post’s looks like more hassle to me than anything else.

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these agents you pay are taking the p*ss out of you but if you don’t use one then your probably doing better. these people sit in a office all day these also think of them selves as better than they are probably the worst for it. but your slowly seeing these little offices boarded up since the rules took a change and the way this game had gone not noticed to the point greed took over.

They are rip off merchants they used to get a fee from the landlord AND the tenant. Not fair at all

I know I’m late for joining in but I had to say something!
Carol19 I’m not a landlord I am a tenant and I find your comment ridiculous! Rent is a priority debt! Without a roof you’d have no gas, no electric, no water and nowhere to cook your food! Yes there are many families and individuals facing huge financial changes but there is also help out there too. Any family or individual can claim Universal Credit and many will get a huge portion of not all of their rent covered (unless legally you are not able to claim benefits on immigration grounds of course). UC also give the applicant an advance on this entitlement so rent arrears should be minimal.
I am on UC and was before the pandemic due to being disabled and I also get disability benefits but I have never not paid my rent because it’s a priority debt! There has been times where I have had to negotiate with other things like energy companies and the like but never my rent! Why? Because I understand that a landlord has to pay their way through life also! They need to pay (often) more than one mortgage! Because (to use your wording) they are human too and are not robots!! They are trusting you with their most expensive possession, their investment and if they didn’t do this. Where would you live? Because the government doesn’t have the housing capacity to help! As for landlords not doing repairs I understand that can be frustrating but it’s not the norm but in your comment you talk about painting and general cosmetic maintenance. Why would you not do this yourself (with the landlords permission of course)? Do you not treat your rented home as you would if you was paying a mortgage on it instead of rent? I see the general upkeep on the cosmetic side of maintaining a property is down to me as a tenant and if the landlord offers to help by contributing a little financially then great it’s a bonus but I still see it’s down to myself to keep the property fresh and clean! I’m not going to sit in a drab, tired looking home just because I think the landlord should keep it as good as new. So if you are angry that your home is now looking dull and unloved then that’s down to you and a paintbrush.
I’ve had to battle for a few years now to get a landlord to trust me as a benefits claimant to give me a chance as I don’t have a guarantor or anything and it’s only my past landlord who gave me a reference and my bank statements showing my rent going out each month without fail that got me in the home I have now. It’s lovely but it’s a ground floor apartment and being disabled it suits my needs but also being disabled is love a home with a garden but I literally am the beggar who can not chose because of my status and standing in society and when I see statements like yours it angers me that people like you are a big part of the reason I need to battle! You think a landlord just bought a property for you to live in so he has some extra picker money? Or that it’s just a bit of on the side fun? If you do then you are deluded. Rent is just as much a priority as a mortgage is and your rent pays a mortgage and a paid mortgage keeps a roof over YOUR head! The sooner people realise rent is a priority and the sooner the government makes sure benefit claimants are paying the landlords what the rent that they have RING FENCED into a UC claim the better it will be for landlords and tenants! Pay your rent so you can continue to receive an energy bill. Pay your rent so you can continue to have a council tax bill and last but not least pay your rent so you have somewhere to eat from your shopping bill and somewhere to sleep to find the energy to keep your home fresh and clean!