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How to make a Rent demand letter

Use a rent demand letter to formally request that a tenant pays you outstanding rent if you’re a private residential landlord.

Tenants are also known as ‘contract holders’ in Wales. For the avoidance of doubt, references to ‘tenants’ also apply to ‘contract holders’, and references to ‘tenancy agreements’ include ‘occupation contracts’, unless otherwise specified.

Use this rent demand letter or rent arrears letter when:

  • your tenant has not paid the rent
  • the rent remains overdue
  • you have not requested immediate payment of the overdue rent

This rent demand letter template covers:

  • the amount of the unpaid rent
  • the date the rent was due
  • requests for immediate payment by the tenant

Issuing a demand for rent serves as a reminder to the tenant that rent is due, and warns them that further failure to pay may lead to eviction. Communicating with your tenant by sending them a letter may be enough to solve the issue and avoid eviction. It is also a valuable document in case of further legal action.

You could also discuss the rent arrears with your tenant and consider creating a Rent repayment plan to set out a formal plan for your tenant to follow to repay the rent that they owe.

Rent is considered overdue as soon as a tenant has not paid the rent on the date specified in their tenancy agreement. However, a slight delay in paying rent can sometimes happen, so the first rent demand letter should reasonably be sent on the 7th day of arrears.

The letter should indicate that payment must be made immediately. This will help you deal with rent arrears quickly and efficiently.

Yes, if the tenancy agreement is signed through an agency, a rent arrears letter can be issued by the agent on the landlord's behalf.

If, after sending the first letter to your tenant, rent remains overdue and unpaid, you can serve the tenant a Final rent demand letter to request immediate payment of the outstanding rent. The next step is to serve your tenant with a notice for repossessing the property, by issuing an Eviction notice.

If the tenant refuses to respond to the rent demand letter, the landlord may need to take the matter to court. It will then be up to the court to determine if a landlord is entitled to claim rent arrears.

Factors that will work against a landlord in court may be if they:

  • acted dishonestly or unscrupulously (eg if they have been aggressive during the demand and/or eviction process)
  • are partly responsible for the rent arrears (eg if the property was in disrepair or if the landlord failed to carry out any repair works they are responsible for or requested by the tenant)
  • did not attempt to settle the dispute informally first (eg via demand letter or mediation)

Ask a lawyer for advice:

  • if a tenant who has ignored previous requests to pay the overdue rent
  • if a tenant who has informed you that they cannot pay the rent
  • to end the tenant's occupation of the property

This rent demand letter is governed by the law of England and Wales or of Scotland.

Other names for Rent demand letter

Rent arrears letter.