Should Landlords Hire a Collections Agency for Unpaid Rent?

Exploring A Landlords Options When Faced with Unpaid Rent

Should Landlords Hire a Collections Agency for Unpaid Rent - Image of Landlords reviewing tenants accounts for collections
When rent goes unpaid, Housing Providers often find themselves in a tough spot, unsure of how to proceed within the confines of Canadian law. Fortunately, there are legal avenues for Landlords and Property Managers to recover unpaid rent, and one such option is hiring a collections agency.

Table of Contents

Can Landlord send a Tenant to Collections? 
Alternatives to Hiring a Collection Agency for Unpaid Rent
Reporting Delinquent Rent to a Credit Bureau
Top Issues Faced by Landlords
Understanding the Basics of Tenant Collections
How to Send a Tenant to Collections?
Steps Landlords Should Take to Send a Tenant to Collections
Understanding the Rights of Tenants Facing Collections
Possible Solutions to Tenant Disputes

Can Landlords Send a Tenant to Collections?

Yes, Landlords have the legal right to send a Tenant to collections to recover the unpaid rent. However, there are specific steps and legal requirements that must be followed before taking this course of action. It’s important to remember that while this option is available, it should be considered a last resort after exhausting all other means of resolving the issue amicably.

Alternatives To Hiring a Collection Agency for Unpaid Rent

While hiring a collections agency for unpaid rent is one option, Landlords should also explore alternative methods of resolving unpaid rent issues:

a. Mediation:

Mediation can be a less adversarial approach to resolving disputes. A neutral third party can help facilitate communication between the Landlord and Tenant to reach a mutually agreeable solution.

b. Payment Plans:

Some Tenants may genuinely want to pay but face financial difficulties. Landlords can consider working out a payment plan to help tenants catch up on their rent over time.

c. Legal Action:

As a last resort, Landlords can pursue legal action to evict the Tenant and obtain a judgment for unpaid rent. However, this can be a lengthy and costly process.

d. Report Unpaid Rent to A Credit Bureau:

An often-overlooked approach is to report the debt to Credit Bureaus. Credit card companies and other lenders routinely share data concerning timely, delayed, or missed payments, Property Managers and Landlords can likewise furnish information on rental debts to Credit Bureaus.

Reporting Delinquent Rent to a Credit Bureau

Landlords have the option to report rent payments to a Credit Bureau. This can have a significant impact on a Tenant’s credit score and may serve as a strong incentive for them to settle the debt. However, Landlords must adhere to the guidelines established by the Credit Bureau when reporting such information, choose a platform with a trade line study conducted by Equifax

Top Issues Faced by Housing Providers

Being a Housing Provider can be a rewarding venture, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges. One of the most common concerns for Landlords and Property Managers is dealing with residents who fail to pay their rent on time, or worse, not at all.

Some of the top challenges faced by Landlords and Property Managers when dealing with unpaid rent are:

  • Financial Strain: Unpaid rent can create significant financial stress for Housing Providers, especially those who rely on rental income to cover mortgage payments and property expenses.
  • Legal Complexities: Navigating the legal intricacies of Tenant collections can be daunting, as Housing Providers must adhere to strict regulations to avoid potential legal repercussions.
  • Tenant Disputes: Disputes over unpaid rent can strain Landlord-Tenant relationships and lead to lengthy legal battles.
  • Vacancy Loss: Extended periods of unpaid rent can result in the loss of rental income, as Landlords may be forced to evict non-paying Tenants.

84% of Landlords State That Payment
Problems Are Their Top Concern.

Understanding The Basics of Tenant Collections

As a Housing Provider, when faced with the frustrating and financially burdensome issue of unpaid rent, it’s crucial to understand the fundamentals of Tenant collections. Tenant collections is a process designed to assist Landlords and Property Managers in recovering unpaid rent from Tenants who have fallen behind on their financial obligations.

A Landlord may choose to send a Tenan to collections, when all other attempts to collect unpaid rent have proven ineffective. This process typically involves enlisting the services of a third-party collections agency, a specialized entity that excels in debt recovery. These agencies are equipped with the expertise and resources necessary to navigate the complex world of debt collection, including unpaid rent on behalf of the Landlord.

How To Send a Tenant to Collections?

To send unpaid rent to a collection agency, Landlords must follow specific steps to ensure compliance with Canadian laws and regulations:

a. Review the Lease Agreement:

Before taking any action, Landlords should review the lease agreement signed with the tenant to ensure that all the terms and conditions related to rent payment and collections are clearly defined.

b. Send a Written Demand Letter:

The Landlord should send a formal written demand letter to the tenant, requesting payment of the outstanding rent within a specified timeframe. This letter should outline the amount owed, the due date, and any late fees or interest charges as per the lease agreement.

c. Wait for the Response:

After sending the demand letter, Landlords must wait for the Tenant’s response. It’s crucial to allow a reasonable amount of time for the Tenant to respond or make payment.

d. Consult Legal Counsel:

If the Tenant fails to respond or make payment within the stipulated timeframe, Landlords should consider seeking legal advice to ensure that all actions taken are in compliance with Canadian law.

e. Hire a Collections Agency for Unpaid Rent:

If all other attempts to collect unpaid rent fail, Landlords should explore hiring a collection agency for unpaid rent. Ensure the agency complies with the rules and regulations outlined in the Collection and Debt Settlement Services Act.

Steps Landlords Should Take to Send a Tenant to Collections

Sending a Tenant to collections is a serious step and should be taken with caution. Here are the essential steps Landlords should follow when considering this option:

  1. Document Everything: Maintain thorough records of all communication with the Tenant, including copies of the demand letter, rent receipts, and any responses or correspondence related to the unpaid rent.
  2. Verify Tenant Information: Ensure you have accurate and up-to-date contact information for the Tenant, as this will be crucial when hiring collections agency for unpaid rent.
  3. Choose a Reputable Tenant Collections Agency: Research and select a Tenant collections agency with a proven track record of success and one that complies with the regulations set forth by the Collection and Debt Settlement Services Act.
  4. Provide Necessary Information: When working with the Tenant collections agency, provide them with all relevant details, including the amount owed, Tenant information, and any supporting documentation.
  5. Monitor Progress: Stay informed about the progress of the Tenant collections efforts and maintain open lines of communication with the agency.

Hiring a Collections Agency for Unpaid Rent Will Cost 20%-40% of the Debt Amount Recovered.

Understanding The Rights of Tenants Facing Collection

Tenants facing collection efforts also have rights under Canadian law. It’s essential for landlords to be aware of these rights to ensure they proceed within the bounds of the law:

Debt Validation: Tenants have the right to request validation of the debt being collected. This means they can ask for proof that the debt is legitimate and that they owe the specified amount.

Cease and Desist: Tenants can request that the collections agency cease communication with them. In such cases, the agency may only communicate through legal channels.

Dispute Resolution: If Tenants believe there is an error or dispute regarding the debt being collected, they have the right to dispute it through the collections agency.

Possible Solutions to Tenant Disputes

In certain instances, disputes related to unpaid rent may stem from misunderstandings or disagreements. To help mitigate and resolve such disputes, Housing Providers can explore various measures:

Enhanced Tenant Screening: Ensure your Tenant Screening criteria includes a history of responsible rent payments and strong rental references. By thoroughly vetting potential Tenants before they move in, you can reduce the likelihood of future disputes over unpaid rent and other rental issues.

Clear Communication: Foster open and transparent communication with your tenants regarding rent expectations and any alterations to rental agreements. Ensure that any changes are discussed and documented, emphasizing the importance of dialogue as a means of preventing misunderstandings.

Regular Inspections: Conduct regular property inspections to identify and address maintenance issues promptly. These inspections not only help maintain the property’s condition but also provide an opportunity to discuss any concerns or grievances Tenants may have related to maintenance or living conditions.

Monthly Rent Reporting to Credit Bureaus: Implement a system for reporting rent payments to credit bureaus each month. This encourages Tenants to prioritize timely rent payments, as a positive payment history can help build credit.

By implementing these strategies, Housing Providers can proactively address Tenant Disputes, foster positive Landlord-Tenant relationships, and potentially avoid the need for more adversarial and costly measures such as hiring collection agency for unpaid rent.

Disclaimer The information provided in this post is not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.

Get Started

Housing Providers join
FrontLobby for free.

Get Started

Housing Providers join
FrontLobby for free.

Did You Enjoy This Article?

Then You Will Love Our Newsletter

Download the Free Payment Plan Agreement Template

Enter your email below and we will send you the free payment plan agreement template.

Notice to Applicant

Enter your email below and we will send you a free copy of our Notice to Applicant.