Collecting Rent

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.