What's the most vital aspect of being a buy to let landlord?
Investing in a great property will be right up there. As will be finding the
best tenant. A watertight tenancy agreement will also be on the list. But
collecting the rent is surely the most important aspect of being a landlord.
After all - no rent no business.
Unfortunately collecting the rent can become an issue for
some landlords. And of course, rent is a common cause of disputes
between landlords and tenants. But what's the best way to collect the rent
and how can you make the whole process easier? And what can you do if your
tenant gets into arrears?
Common mistakes in rent collection
In a perfect world rent collection is simply a matter of
checking your bank statement every month and noting the rent has arrived as
usual. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case. But how can you as a landlord
minimise the risk of your tenant falling into arrears? Or allowing those
arrears to mount up? Avoiding these common mistakes can help.
Make sure your tenancy agreement clearly states
the rent schedule. And make sure the tenant is aware of the consequences of not
paying the rent. If you have a 'late payment penalty clause' included in the
lease make sure it's compliant with the Tenant
Don't let things drift. If the rent doesn't
arrive on schedule immediately contact your tenant. Don't think "I'll give
it a week and see what happens."
Never accept partial payments. Insist on full
payment. Accepting a part payment may only delay the inevitable. And it also
signals to the tenant you're happy not to accept the full rent.
If your tenant gets into arrears work out a
repayment plan if necessary. But never accept less than the full rent plus a
payment towards the arrears. Try to avoid eviction but at the same time don't
allow the situation to get out of hand.
How to collect rent
So, what's the best way to collect rent?
Make it easy
Try to make it as easy as you can for the tenant to pay
their rent. Advise them to set up a standing order. But do be prepared to
accept other forms of payment.
It’s hard to imagine many tenants will want to pay their
rent by cheque. But by accepting their payment this way you're at least
reducing the chances of them missing a payment. The other option is cash.
Again, not very satisfactory from your point of view but at least you've got
your money. In general, though try and get your tenant to set up a standing
order. A BACs transfer is also another option.
Send your tenant a reminder text a couple of days before the
rent is due. It's easy for tenants to forget to make the payment if they
haven't set up a standing order.
Use a rent collection service
Using a letting agent's rent collection service is the easiest
and possibly most efficient way to collect rent. And it's completely hands off.
Ideal if you don't want the hassle of dealing with tenants. And it saves you so
The MakeUrMove rent collection service
Let us take all the stress out of collecting your rent. For
a small monthly fee per property, we'll collect your rent for you. And
our Good Landlord service includes a rent protection policy. This means if your tenants did not pay for any reason, we will make a claim to have this paid to you by our
And, if your tenant does get into arrears, we'll manage the
situation for you to get things back on track. For additional peace of mind, we've
also included legal assistance as part of our rent collection
service. And even provide possession assistance.
landlords can find tenants fast by listing their property with MakeUrMove, the online letting platform bringing landlords and tenants together.