Communication is King!
Communication is King!
Life isn’t always a bowl of cherries. Sometimes the proverbial hits the fan unexpectedly. These days no one’s job is absolutely guaranteed. We all know this and many have experienced losing a job they thought was secure.
Sometimes tenants find themselves in a panic because they have lost their job through no fault of their own. However, some of these tenants bury their heads in the sand in despair and don’t contact their landlord/agent to let them know what has happened. Very often, the landlord or agent only finds out when they are chasing their rent which hasn’t appeared in their account. Or they are left at a complete loss because no matter what form of communication they try, be it phone, text, email or letter, they get no response from the tenant at all. The tenant is still living in the property but simply can’t face the embarrassment of admitting that they’ve lost their job and can’t afford the rent. They don’t know what else to do – understandable if they’ve never been out of work and on benefits before.
I can’t emphasise enough that this is NOT the way for tenants to deal with this issue. We are all human – we have all been through bad times and most, if not all of us will understand that these things can happen.
However, there are three main reasons why a tenant should be totally upfront and in touch as soon as they know of their situation:
- Many landlords are paying a mortgage on their property. If an agent can forewarn them that their rent will not be in their account on time to pay said mortgage, the landlord at least has an opportunity to budget for this event thus preventing the landlord going into arrears or incurring bank charges.
- If a tenant is upfront and honest about their situation and keeps the agent updated on any progress with obtaining a new job or securing housing benefit, this keeps a good level of trust between the agent and tenant and the agent can keep the landlord updated on progress thus keeping a good level of trust between the agent and landlord. This lessens the chance of anger and rash decisions on the part of the landlord because he understands that the tenant is doing all they can to resolve their issue. Everyone can stay calm because the ‘circle of trust’ has not been broken.
- Many agents have been in the industry for years – they’ve probably seen this situation happen many times. Many of them can give good, sound advice to the tenant as to where to go to get assistance. They can advise them of the best way forward – whether to find another less expensive property to rent where they may be able to negotiate with the landlord to release the tenant from their obligations under the current lease if, for example the tenant allows the property to go back on the market for the agent to source another tenant.
Communication and Trust – the latter only comes if the former is good. Don’t be embarrassed – if you are a tenant who finds themselves in the unfortunate position of losing their job and not being able to pay their rent on time, NOTIFY YOUR AGENT IMMEDIATELY! Let them do their job to help both you and the landlord. A good agent will always try and find a way to help both the landlord and the tenant to resolve this issue!