Tenants need support too!

By Mike White, of Martin & Co lettings agency

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An interesting article in this week’s Homes 24 lettings supplement.

The commentator was right in saying that should tenants get into financial difficulties over the payment of rent, they shouldn’t bury their heads in the sand. They should speak with their landlord or letting agent as soon as there is any whiff of trouble ahead and, together, try to put in place an action plan.

At Martin & Co we rarely have landlord clients who are willing to allow their properties to be let to new tenants in receipt of benefits but the majority of our clients would be understanding if an existing tenant, hitherto fully employed and rent paying, became unemployed and needed access to the relatively new Local Housing Allowance. (See www.norwich.gov.uk for details of eligibility and current rates etc.)

Savvy landlords are protecting themselves from their tenants’ possible financial problems through the use of rent guarantees. These can take a variety of forms, the ones we provide at Martin & Co are based on the prospective tenants being fully and comprehensively referenced. A guarantee is then put in place to ensure rent is paid should the tenant be unable (or unwilling) to pay. In addition the guarantor will pay for the legal removal of the tenant if they are unable or unwilling to leave as a consequence of not paying rent.

However, just because someone else pays the rent, this doesn’t absolve the tenant and the guarantor will pursue all legal means against them to recoup the amounts paid to their landlord. Bear in mind the Limitations Act 1980 allows up to six years for unpaid rent to be collected and longer if

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a Judgement Order has previously been obtained.

Mike, Martin & Co, is on 01603 766860 and at 13 St Giles Street Norwich.

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