signing a tenancy agreement
A buy to let property is a great investment, especially when everything is going well and your tenants are paying their rent on time. But what can you do if your usually reliable tenants become troublesome? 

Talk To The Tenant 

If an issue has come to your attention, the first thing to do is speak to the tenant. If a tenant has fallen behind on their rent, listen to them as there will often be circumstances resulting in their failure to pay. Explain that they need to pay by a certain date and the consequences of not doing so. Ask them to stay in touch and update you on their situation and explain that you will be in touch again should they fail to pay on time. 

Refer To The Tenancy Agreement 

If a tenant is questioning their rights and isn’t complying, refer them to the tenancy agreement which they have signed and agreed to. The tenancy agreement details all the rules they need to adhere to and clearly states what the tenant can and cannot do. The tenancy agreement also states that the rent must be paid as per the terms of the contract and the consequences of failing to do so. 

Take Legal Action 

If the issue is still unresolved and the tenant is still failing to pay, you may need to take legal action. It’s a good idea to get some legal advice from a professional to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible as it can be a costly process. Legal action should be a last resort, however there may be occasions where this is necessary and there is no alternative, especially if your tenant has fallen into arrears and is refusing to comply. 

Termination Notice 

It’s always best if a tenancy comes to an end by mutual consent, however, if a tenant has fallen into arrears, you are able to serve notice to request that they vacate the property. A section 21 is the easiest way to evict a tenant from a property as you don’t need to specify any breach of the contract, you can serve a section 21 even if the tenant has done nothing wrong. This is a good option if the tenancy agreement is coming to an end as you can only request that the tenant vacate the property at the end of the fixed term contract. You must give a minimum of two months notice to the tenant. 
A section 8 is another option if a tenant is in arrears or they have broken the terms of the contract. A section 8 can be served at any time during the fixed term of a tenancy agreement. 

Avoiding Difficult Tenants 

As a landlord, there are many things that you should do prior to renting your property to avoid troublesome tenants. You should always conduct thorough background checks. This involves verifying their employment, speaking to their previous landlords for a reference, undertaking credit checks and checking their ID. It’s also a good idea to meet all prospective tenants in person. If you are unsure whether your tenant will be able to pay the rent, you can ask them for a guarantor. A guarantor is responsible for the rent should the tenant fail to pay. Having a guarantor in place is not a guarantee of there never being any issues but it does help to reduce the possibility of you not receiving the rent. You can also undertake referencing checks on the guarantor to verify their suitability. 
Even with a strict screening process, you may encounter a tenant that becomes difficult should they have a change in circumstances. Speed of action is vital to re-establish your income stream and to reduce any risk of damage to your property by disgruntled tenants. We use authorised High Court Enforcement Officers and act fast to evict tenants and recover rent arrears. We have rigorous health and safety procedures and highly trained and skilled enforcement agents. We will help you every step of the way. 
If you find yourself with a tenant you need to evict from your property and recover rent arrears, Amco provides a range of services to help you protect your investment. 
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