• New figures from Direct Line home insurance show that one in seven tenants breaches their contract
  • Property managers carry out thorough tenant checks and nip difficulties in the bud

Recent research by property insurers Direct Line reveals that roughly 15% of tenants have, at some point, breached the terms of their tenancy. A further 11% were not sure whether they had breached it or not.

The most common misdemeanour is non-payment of rent, whether it’s a one-off mistake in a difficult month or an ongoing situation. This is closely followed by smoking in a no-smoking property, keeping a pet, subletting a room, redecorating or making alterations.

On the rare occasions payment is delayed, it’s usually due to a banking error

Non-payment of rent can wreak havoc with a landlord’s business plan. If the rent is covering the mortgage on the property, non-payment will force the landlord to pay out of his savings or other income. Other tenancy breaches, like smoking or keeping a pet, can increase the chances of damage to the property and be costly and time-consuming to put right.

Many landlords factor in these problems during the early stages, calculating for receiving ten months’ rent per annum instead of twelve. This gives landlords a contingency against non-payment of rent, the cost of repairs or the risk of having the property unoccupied. Landlord insurance covers late payments and damage to property by tenants – savvy investors will make sure they are fully insured.

Fortunately, late payment of rent is a problem rarely seen in the luxury property rental market. The Henry Wiltshire lettings team do all they can to protect landlords, including following up potential tenants’ references and regularly visiting the property throughout the tenancy.

Rebecca Heslam is the Property Manager at Henry Wiltshire, and has wide experience of managing rental properties on behalf of landlords. “It’s important to remember that the Direct Line figures cover all types of rental, and don’t accurately reflect rentals at the higher end of the London market,” Rebecca explains. “At Henry Wiltshire, we rarely see rent go unpaid. This is partly due to our tried and tested procedures, but also due to the more secure circumstances of most of our tenants. On the rare occasions payment is delayed, it’s usually due to a banking error or an oversight, which we can easily resolve.”

Nonetheless, problems can arise, even when landlords have done everything possible to protect themselves. If you don’t know what to do about late payment of rent, or any other property management issue, contact Rebecca and her expert team for some sound advice and reassurance.

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