How to Get a Late Rent Payment Without Using Aggressive Tactics

How To Get a Late Rent Payment Without Using Aggressive Tactics

There are many upsides to becoming a private landlord in Wimbledon, but unpaid rent certainly isn't one of them! Every landlord wants the perfect tenant, and in fact, tenants falling behind on rent payments is a landlord's worst nightmare – but it’s a problem we hear about all the time.

Depending on the tenant, late rent could be something unusual that you haven't experienced with them before. And, if, overall, the tenant is good, you may be wondering, 'What are some polite ways to ask my tenant to pay late rent?'.

If so, in this article, we'll share our tips on how to politely ask a tenant to pay late rent to help you avoid a stressful situation.

4 Ways You Can Chase Rent Arrears Calmly and Confidently

When a tenant falls behind on paying rent, it can be tempting to want to start the eviction process immediately when there are many steps you can take before or after a missed payment.

After all, at this point, you are unsure why the tenant has stopped paying rent, so taking a moment to consider financial difficulties or other reasons for the late rent payments is crucial.

Before you fork out the eyewatering legal costs chasing down rent arrears, try out these steps.


Take a Moment to Assess

Before you do anything, take a moment to assess the situation. Ask yourself a few questions before you proceed any further, including things like:

  • Is this a one-off late or a consecutive month of missed rent payments?
  • Is this rare for your tenant? (or tenants if it is a joint tenancy)
  • Are they good tenants overall?
  • How emotional do you feel right now?
  • Do you know if they are claiming housing benefit or universal credit?

If you're feeling angry about the late rent, and protecting your income, take a moment to calm down before speaking to your tenant. While late rent is annoying, dealing with the situation in a level-headed way is always better in the long run.

Likewise, taking time to think about what's happened can help you assess whether the situation warrants something more serious than a polite reminder.

Send a Written Reminder

A polite way to remind a tenant to pay rent is to simply send them a short text, WhatsApp, or email about their late payments. Keep it brief, friendly, and objective.

As an example, include a warm greeting, remind the tenant about when rent is due and ask them to pay at their earliest convenience.

If you like, you can also mention that they can give you a call to discuss if they have a problem paying. This way, you're keeping the lines of communication open to hopefully catch any issues early. You never know; the tenant might be late paying rent simply because they forgot, or a unique situation occurred.

Speak to the Tenant

If you don't get a reply or the message you get back isn't satisfactory, sending another text likely won't fix the problem.

Instead, it may be best to give the tenant a call or make an appointment to visit them in person. When you speak to them, ask things like:

  • Are they okay?
  • Why is the rent late?
  • Is the due date the issue? (for example, has their payday changed, and do they now get paid after the due date?)
  • Do they think the issue will continue in the long term, or is it a one-off?

Speaking to the tenant can give you more information about why the rent is late and when you can expect a payment. It also provides a great opportunity to problem solve and come up with a solution together.

Ask a Letting Agent for Help

If you don't want (or know how) to have an awkward conversation with your tenant to chase up late rent, don't! Instead, seek help from a professional letting agent or property management company. An experienced agent will know how to politely approach your tenant about late rent and can help problem solve to avoid long-term issues.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pay Arrears and Unpaid Rent

Why haven't my tenants paid rent for the past few months, and how can I recover the unpaid rent?

Non-payment of rent may be due to various reasons, such as financial hardships or personal issues. To recover unpaid rent, consider initiating communication with your tenants, offering a flexible payment plan, and, if necessary, seeking legal assistance.


Can I charge interest on the accumulated pay arrears, and what is the legal process for doing so?

In some circumstances, landlords can charge interest on overdue rent if the rent is unpaid for a period of 14 days or more. If the rent is unpaid for 14 days, interest is chargeable from the day the rent was due until the date of payment. It's essential to review your tenancy agreement, adhere to legal requirements, and consider consulting with a legal professional to ensure compliance.

What steps should I take if my tenants refuse to pay their arrears despite negotiations?

If negotiations prove unsuccessful, serve a formal notice to pay rent or vacate the property. Depending on regulations, you may need to follow specific timelines and procedures. If the issue persists, consult with a legal professional to explore eviction options and legal options available to you.

Is it possible to report unpaid rent to credit agencies, and how does this impact the tenants' credit history?

In some cases, landlords can report unpaid rent to credit bureaus, potentially impacting the tenants' credit history. However, strict guidelines govern this process, and it's crucial to comply with legal requirements to avoid liability.

Enquire Today

At Your Home Managed, we are your local property management company in Wimbledon. Our letting agent and property management services are friendly, professional, and tailored to landlords in Wimbledon and London as a whole.

Our local expertise and comprehensive services allow you to enjoy a worry-free landlord experience, leaving everything in our capable hands.

Get in touch today for a chat with our team about how we can help you with managing late rent on 0208 125 7780 or email us at

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