Rent collection is one of the most important issues for any landlord.
This is because failing to collect the rent can cost money and lead to complicated and time-consuming issues such as eviction.
However, the following simple steps can help minimise any potential rent collecting problems:
- Screen any tenants – Ask for references, including one from a bank, for all potential tenants
- Use Direct Debit, Standing Orders or cheques – Do not accept cash from tenants as it can complicate solving future disputes. Record-keeping is much easier with other kinds of transactions
- Write a rent collection policy – This written document should clearly state the date payment is due, details of the accepted method of payment and cover issues such as late fees
- Do not accept partial payment of rent – This should be carried out as a general rule but exceptions can be made at the landlord’s discretion under certain circumstances
If a tenant pays the rent weekly landlords must provide a rent book.
Tenants who do not pay their rent weekly have no legal entitlement to a rent book but it is still a good idea to provide one since it is the best method of recording rent payments.
Rent books are available from stores such as W H Smith and law stationers and must contain the following:
- Landlord’s and agent’s name and address
- Amount of rent payable
- A statement of the tenant’s right to protection from illegal eviction
- A statement of the tenant’s right to have the rent fixed or determined
- A statement of the tenant’s right to claim housing benefit
If a rent book is not provided, a landlord must provide receipts for all of the payments received.