Updated: Apr 14
In most occasions we have seen how desperate and saddened a landlord can be when someone or anything stands in between them and their monthly income through rent collection.
Unfortunately, dealing with tenant's late payment of their rent arrears has undoubtedly become one of the most common problem faced by landlords in Kenya today. For new landlord's, sooner or later it’s something you will most probably have to deal with if you are yet to encounter such.
Each month, hundreds of landlords write to us seeking our assistance and so if its happening to you - our word to you is - fear not, you’re not alone. while rent arrears and late payment by tenant is such a common issue, some landlords are yet to come to terms with how to deal with such situations.
Knowing that this is the new normal in property industry, its one thing to know such a issue exist and its another to know how to deal with it.
Some of the common questions that we have had to answer from landlords and letting agents are questions such as;
Can i change the lock to the door when my tenant is out?
2. What if i wait till they go to work and take their staff out and lock the house?
3. Can i lock the house since the tenant has not been responding to my calls all day?
Our advise to these genuine landlords is just one NO!. We know during such a time there are many things going through their mind but please do do it without following the right procedures.
We have seen the Kenyan court and the rent tribunals being keen on the procedures and you don't want to be on the wrong side of the law - there is a better way of handling such issues. So below is a list of things that a landlord should consider while in such a situation. They are:
1. Differentiate between late rent and No rent - are they the same?
2. Stain calm and don't be tempted to act on emotions
3. Be aware of the tenant behavior and the analysis of the situation
4. Communication is key
5. Be part of the solution
6. Send the late rent notice
7. Charging a late rent payment fee
8. Considering Eviction.
Following the above 8 steps religiously has proven to be the key to a healthy tenant-landlord relationship.