It’s not only the risk of tenants encountering financial hardship that you need to be careful of as a landlord, often there are a multitude of reasons for tenants that fail to pay. All kinds of social problems can affect your livelihood so here are a few issues to watch for.
Couples who are going through break-ups or, worse, divorces often find that rent is the last thing they are worried about. There is often debate about who is liable for the rent and this ends up in a standoff with neither party paying. Confusion about whether either party will continue the tenancy can be dangerous as well, and as a landlord you might have to start thinking about finding some new tenants.
There are plenty of reasons for entering into a multiple occupancy contract, but tenants in HMOs do tend to be polarised; they are either groups of students or close friends who are very keen to live with each other or independent individuals who are not interested in who they live with! Either extreme can cause problems and the closeness of such a property means there are often debates about rent, bills and other payments. Make sure your contract definitively passes on the liability to other tenants if one fails to pay.
Young professionals tend to have a high disposable income but may have come straight from student life and paying rent may well be at the bottom of a very long to-do list. This isn’t so much of a problem because it usually means you will get your rent, but you need to be prepared to ask for it several times.
The only foolhardy remedy to tenants who fail to pay is Rent Guarantee Insurance, so it’s vital to make sure you’re properly covered. Good communication with your tenants is key, here, also, you don’t need to be the agony aunt but you do need to make sure you’re informed and prepared to find new tenants if needs be.