Non-payment of rent is stressful for everyone – landlords, tenants and guarantors alike. It can cause financial hardship for the landlord trying to pay off their buy-to-let mortgage. It can push the tenant further into debt. And for the guarantor – the person who’s agreed to pay if the tenant can’t or if the property gets damaged – it means a potential claim that they weren’t expecting.
Whether you’re a landlord, a tenant or a guarantor, you have options. If a tenant is two months in arrears, landlords have the right, under the Housing Act 1988, to take action to repossess their property. Similarly, tenants struggling to pay rent may be able to get formal help to manage their debt, or they could have grounds to bring a claim against the landlord that offsets any arrears owed. For instance, if they’ve had to spend money on repairs to the property that should have been carried out by the landlord. Guarantors may be able to reduce their liability before they sign an agreement, or be able to argue against a claim brought by a landlord.
If you’re a landlord, we can talk you through how you may be able to recover your rent arrears or even evict your tenant. If you’re a tenant, we can explain the steps you need to take to get back on track and steer you towards the help you need. If you’re still negotiating a guarantee agreement, we can help you understand your legal responsibilities as a guarantor and advise you how to limit your liability or argue it no longer exists. We can also explore ways guarantors may be able to defend a claim that’s brought against them. We’ll: