Rent Arrears Recovery

Michael Devlin from Chafes Solicitors

For  residential landlords there are two key areas that ensure that your properties remain profitable investments. These are maintaining good relationships with tenants, and obtaining prompt payment of rent. These may be simple ideas on the surface, but in reality it can be difficult to ensure that both are being maintained.

These two components are closely linked with late or non-payment of rent placing stress upon the relationship and investment. Now more than ever this is a relationship that needs to be carefully managed.

With this in mind it is important that landlords have in place not only thorough credit checks of new tenants, but also a system to deal with any arrears as efficiently as possible. Being aware of the options and acting quickly can minimise any adverse effects of rent arrears.

In residential cases, recovering possession through the courts needs to be as swift as possible. Having a clear knowledge of these options and a plan of action in place is critical.

To avoid possible problems, consider these initial steps:

  • Request to obtain credit checks of new tenants
  • Gather references from previous landlord and employer (for both of these, you must have the tenants permission)
  • Acquire tenant ID
  • Obtain evidence of ability to pay the rent
  • Carry out a through third party inventory with the tenant
  • Seek a guarantor where necessary
  • Request a deposit and protect it under one of three government endorsed schemes (protecting the deposit in this way is a legal requirement)


Of course this does not guarantee a successful tenancy, but will go some way to give you peace of mind. You might like to ask a third party referencing company to assist. Always make sure you follow the correct guidelines when asking a tenant for such personal information.

The NLA provides more detailed information on finding a tenant through their Landlord Library.

If the tenancy does go wrong, join the NLA for initial advice from their Advice Line and contact a solicitor who will be able to give you legal advice in obtaining outstanding rent arrears.

Chafes Solicitors can provide advice on how to pro-actively plan to minimise the effect of rent arrears or can act to implement the chosen course of action.

To join the NLA, visit

This blog has been provided by Michael Devlin from Chafes Solicitors. They are an NLA recognised supplier and have a specialist team of solicitors who act for both residential and commercial landlords.

One thought on “Rent Arrears Recovery

  1. What about retrieving arrears after a tenant has left the property? The system for recovering debts is hopeless, especially if the tenant is self-employed so CCJs are virtually unenforceable. If you threaten to incur bankruptcy, all the tenant has to do is say “thank you for paying to make me bankrupt, as this will wipe out all my other debts after a year”. Bankruptcy now has little power to punish a debtor, and the creditor virtually powerless!

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