Understanding the Rent Arrears Process: A Guide for Landlords

Navigating rent arrears can be a complex and stressful experience for landlords. At Property Genius, we aim to make this process as smooth as possible. Here's a detailed timeline of what to expect:

Days 1-5: Rent Overdue

  • Grace Period: We typically allow a 3-5 day grace period to account for weekends and bank holidays.

Days 6-14: Initial Reminders

  • Automated Reminders: SMS and email reminders are sent at regular intervals.

  • Phone Calls: We also make phone calls to understand the situation and remind the tenant of their overdue rent.

Day 60: Legal Consultation

  • Instructing a Solicitor: If the rent is two full months in arrears, a solicitor is instructed to serve a Section 8 notice with the intent to regain possession of the property.

Day 74: Section 8 Notice Expires

  • 14-Day Notice: The tenant has 14 days from the date the Section 8 notice is served to vacate the property. Costs for drafting and serving a Section 8 Notice, may vary with each solicitor, but you could expect to pay about £120 + VAT and disbursements.

Days 75-135: Court Proceedings

  • Legal Action: If the tenant has not vacated, court proceedings will follow, taking an additional 30-60 days. Costs for Issuing vary between solicitors, but you could expect to pay £600 + VAT and disbursements + Court fee of £355.

Days 136-166: Court Order

  • Eviction Date: The court will set a date by which the tenant must leave, typically another 14-30 days depending on the case.

Days 167-209: Bailiffs

  • Final Step: If the tenant still hasn't vacated, bailiffs are instructed, which typically takes an additional 6-8 weeks. The cost for making a Request for Warrant of Possession of Land various amongst solicitors, but you could expect to pay £135 + VAT and Court fee of £121.

Additional Notes:

  • Communication: Keep open lines of communication with the tenant throughout the process.

  • Documentation: Maintain meticulous records of all communications and actions taken.

  • Costs: Legal proceedings can be costly and time-consuming. Balance this against the potential for recovering rent arrears and re-letting the property.

By understanding this timeline and process, landlords can navigate the challenging waters of rent arrears with greater confidence and clarity.