What to do if You Can’t Contact Your Tenant

A tenant who takes forever to respond to your calls and messages; or even worse, simply ignores them completely, can be frustrating for landlords. While in general tenant-landlord relationships are relatively easy, on occasion you will come across a tenant who simply refuses to cooperate. Whether they’re late on rent or you just want to check everything is in order (and have given sufficient notice), we think this guide will help solve all your tenant issues and get you back to living in harmony! 

Why you might need to contact a tenant

There are, of course, a plethora of reasons as to why you might need to get hold of your tenant, but here are the most common ones: 

  • They are late with their rent payment 
  • When you are trying to arrange a routine inspection of the property
  • When you are organising access to the property for maintenance

Emails, texts and phone calls can all go ignored, especially if the tenant owes rent/ is late paying their rent. 

Top tips to encourage your tenant to respond to you

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Here are some of our top tips to get your tenant to respond to you, if everything else seems to be failing.

Make sure you have tried every method of communication. This includes texts, phone calls, emails and handwritten letters delivered to their address. Ensure you keep a clear track of all the times you have reached out so that you can prove you have made a good attempt to contact the tenant. Try and wait at least a week between texts and phone calls and two weeks between handwritten letters, in order to give your tenant time to respond.

Avoid going to the property several days in a row, especially in the evenings, as a tenant could say you have been harassing them. 

Make sure you know your legal rights. This means that you cannot enter the property unless given expressed permission by the tenant, even if you have given sufficient notice or you think the tenant has actually vacated the property. Of course, if there is an emergency, such as a gas leak, you can enter the property. 

If your tenant is late with their rent, you can serve them with a Section 8 as soon as their rent is two months late. If they are paying monthly, that is one month and one day after the first missed payment. Send them an email and a hard copy of this notice. 

If you need to enter the property for repairs, send them a letter and an email stating clearly why you need to access the property and that you will not be held liable if the property deteriorates or if they injure themselves because of this. 

If they continue to ignore you, you can serve them with a Section 21 notice, which states that you can repossess the property without having to give a reason. 

You can also take them to court, but make sure to get legal advice regarding this before you go ahead with this. 

It is within both yours and your tenants best interest to keep necessary communication channels open, and usually this doesn’t become a problem. If it does, we hope that this guide has provided you with the information you need to attempt to establish contact with your tenant. 

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