A firm has launched a new service for landlords and agents which is designed to speed up and increase the recovery of late and missing rent payments from tenants.
The service, from Ascent, coincides with the release of findings from a joint Ascent and Residential Landlords Association survey which shows 30 per cent of landlords thinking that rent arrears have become a bigger challenge now than 12 months ago.
Arrears tracked by letting agents Your Move and Reeds Rains show the number of tenants who are seriously behind on their rent has risen to the highest level in two years - 74,000 tenants owed more than two months’ rent at the end of the second quarter, which is up 7.2 per cent on the same time last year.
Ascent says its service allows it to be instructed to contact a tenant and collect the debt irrespective of whether the tenant lives in the property, or has vacated it and not provided contact details.
If the tenant remains in the property and continues to not pay rent, Ascent on behalf of a landlord can issue either a Section 8 or Section 21 notice of possession. If the tenant fails to leave after a Section 21 has been issued, Ascent can apply and obtain a court order for possession. This also includes a judgment for any outstanding rent arrears.
If the resident occupies the property beyond the date for possession and the landlord does not want to wait for a county court bailiff to enforce the order, Ascent has the power to ask the court for permission to use one of its own high court enforcement officers. This option is available in England, Wales and Scotland.