It can be tempting to accept regular rent payments without asking questions – after all, no one wants their landlord looking into their personal affairs – but if you suspect your tenant has been financially affected by covid, checking in with them about how they are managing to keep up their rent payments could save you both a lot of difficulty in the long run.
Loan sharks prey on vulnerable people and if your tenant is struggling to pay the rent, they could easily fall victim to the “help” offered by a stranger at the door, or even following an introduction by a “friend”.
It may seem like a good idea to accept an “innocent” small loan from this apparently well-meaning stranger – especially because it can be difficult to borrow less than £1,000 from a bank – but loan sharks operate illegally and often charge extremely high interest rates, making it difficult to escape from debt. They can also be violent or threatening towards their victims – none of which leads to a positive outcome for your tenant or your property.
Before your tenants find themselves in this awkward situation, help them to contact their local authority (link opens in new window). The Contain Outbreak Management Fund (COMF) has been set up specifically to prevent homelessness as a result of the pandemic, and one of the ways this works is by helping people to find an alternative solution to loan sharks.