My tenant's ignoring me!

November 20, 2019Categories: LandlordsTags: Landlords, tenants, lettings experts
Man facing a window sat at a desk

Although tenants must be allowed ‘peaceful enjoyment’ of their home, there are certain times when we legitimately need to speak to them, such as:

  • arranging a routine inspection
     
  • organising access for maintenance contractors
     
  • chasing up rent payments

Most of the time, tenants are quite happy to speak to landlords and agents but, occasionally, they do ignore calls and emails.

As experienced managing agents, we’re used to dealing with all kinds of tenant issues, so if you’re trying to get hold of your tenant for any reason and can’t, we should be your first port of call. Even if you only used Your Move to advertise the property and find your tenant, we can still help if you’re having trouble getting a response from them.

We consider it an essential part of our management service to maintain a good line of communication with our tenants and it’s very rare for them to ignore us. If it does happen, though, here are some key things to know and steps we (and you) can take:

  1. Make sure every method of communication has been tried: phone, email and hand-delivered letter
     
  2. Keep a detailed paper trail, so you can prove you have been reasonable in your efforts to make contact
     
  3. Legally, tenants cannot be harassed, so no repeated calls or knocks on their door several days in a row, particularly into the evenings
     
  4. Be clear on legal rights to enter the property. Unless a tenant has given their permission or there is a genuine emergency, such as a gas leak or flood, you/we can’t go in – even if the right amount of notice has been given or we/you believe the tenant might have left
     
  5. If trying to contact them about a late rent payment, remember you can serve them with a Section 8 as soon as they’re two months late. If they pay monthly, that’s one month and one day from the first missed payment. Send one copy of the notice via email, requesting a ‘read receipt’ and deliver a hard copy via recorded mail
     
  6. Your tenant has the legal right to refuse entry to the property, even if trying to arrange access to carry out repairs. So, if they’re ignoring you/ourselves, this has to be interpreted as refusing to give permission. In this case, send them an email and letter clearly stating:
     
    1. why you’re trying to get hold of them
       
    2. if they continue to ignore you/ourselves, you will not be held liable for any subsequent deterioration of the property
       
    3. you will not be held liable if they suffer injury or their possessions are damaged because of a fault with the property that you haven’t been able to fix
       
  7. If they continue to ignore you/ourselvs, you can issue a Section 21 notice to regain possession of the property without having to state a reason

We’re always happy to help and advise landlords so, if you have a specific problem with a tenant, please contact your local Your Move branch and we can book a lettings review at a time and date to suit you.

Book a lettings review today