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Recovering Unpaid Student Rent Arrears

Last modified: March 15, 2024

One of the most prominent sources of issues for landlords or letting agents is unpaid student arrears, especially the complicated process of collecting debt from students. To add to this, with rising tuition costs and the cost-of-living crisis, students are struggling to find ways to make ends meet.

As a landlord or letting agent, it is vitally important to navigate the complicated procedures that recovering unpaid student arrears in the UK entails.

Frontline Collections has been the UK’s #1 debt collection agency and offers a comprehensive guide on the best methods to recover unpaid student rent arrears.

What are Student Rent Arrears?

Put simply, student rent arrears refer to the outstanding rental payments that a student owes for their accommodation. Rent arrears encompass not only the rent for the property’s dimensions but also other charges that the student has incurred, like utility bills and the late fees on their payments.

Student rent arrears can occur for various excuses and reasons, such as financial difficulties, misunderstanding of payment dates, or even intentional non-payment.

Prevent Problems, Don’t Solve Them

Landlords and letting agents preach the headaches they’ve saved by employing prevention methods rather than searching for a cure when a student falls into arrears. There are several steps that you can take in order to minimise the risk of students not paying their rent.

Firstly, conducting thorough background checks and referencing for prospective tenants will eliminate tenants who are unfit to rent; requesting a rent guarantor for the tenancy agreement and setting clear and realistic expectations regarding rent payments will help avoid any confusion down the line.

If there is a risk factor involved, discussing a plan should the student fall behind on their rental agreement is necessary.

Communicate with your Student Tenants

Communication, with firm and unaggressive verbiage, should always be your first step should a student fall into arrears.

It is impossible to assume the financial situation of your tenant without communicating with them, and this can resolve simple problems like students forgetting to make their payments or encountering a technical error when paying.

Reaching out to your student tenant and discussing the issue can help find a resolution before it escalates further.

Learn From Legal Experts

If communication doesn’t result in the rent arrears being resolved, then discussing your next steps with relevant legal professionals is necessary. Landlords and letting agents in the UK have resources they can utilise to pursue a claim for unpaid rent through courts.

Jumping into legal action is not advised without legal consultation first, as improper action can lead to high court fees, a prolonged court hearing, and legal action against the claimant. Even when done properly, legal action doesn’t always guarantee payment of rent arrears — many landlords choose to employ the services of a debt collection agency instead.

Managing Eviction

Most landlords or letting agents will serve a Section 8 or a Section 21 notice on the student. Unpaid rent arrears is the most commonly used reason for a Section 8 notice. It gives a minimum of two weeks, and the grounds for it to be issued are normally unpaid rent.

Upon this being accepted by the court, a possession order can then be granted and enforced if necessary. It is very common for a Landlord, however, to pursue the rent guarantor for any unpaid rent arrears owed by the student.

Refresh on Your Rights & Responsibilities

As a landlord or letting agent, it is crucial to be aware of your rights and responsibilities when dealing with unpaid student rent arrears.

This includes following the correct procedures for recovering unpaid rent, upholding the terms of the tenancy agreement, and protecting the student’s personal information in line with data protection laws.

It is also essential to have a thorough understanding of any applicable legislation, such as the Housing Act 1988 and the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016.

Recovering Unpaid Student Rent Arrears Frontline Collections

Our Solutions for Resolving Rent Arrears

Recovering unpaid student rent arrears can be a time-consuming and challenging process. As such, landlords or letting agents may choose to seek professional help from a professional debt collection agency or solicitors who specialise in this area.

While this may come at an additional cost, it can save time and effort in the long run, especially for those with multiple properties and tenants. Chasing owed monies can be particularly time-consuming, stressful and fruitless.

Very often, the guarantor is the person ultimately responsible for any unpaid rent arrears. This is often a parent or relative of the student.


With the current economic climate, taking a proactive and strategic approach to recovering unpaid student debt is crucial. Taking into consideration how preventative measures, communications, and being aware of legal rights (or seeking legal advice when necessary) are the keys that grant landlords the highest chance to resolve rent arrear issues.

Consulting if a debt collection agency, like Frontline Collections, is able to resolve a student rent arrear issue for letting agents that have limited resources to do so themselves.

It is crucial to handle the issue of unpaid student rent arrears effectively and efficiently to avoid any potential disputes or legal complications. It is also important to keep in mind that every situation is unique, and it may require a tailored approach to resolve the issue successfully.

Remember that prevention is always better than cure, but in case of any issues, stay calm and follow proper procedures to resolve them effectively. By securing a payment guarantor at the outset, you can mitigate the risk in the event of the non-payment of student rent.

Frontline Collections & Unpaid Student Rent Arrears

Don’t let unpaid student rent arrears become a burden — take action. If you are owed unpaid student rent arrears, speak to Frontline Collection’s expert team today for advice and solutions. We are the UK’s #1 debt collection agency and have helped clients recover unpaid student rent arrears.

Frontline Collections is a FCA-regulated debt collection agency with a high pedigree. Our award-winning debt collection services recover millions of pounds every year for our clients.

Take action today and speak to our friendly specialist team. Contact the ‘Professionals used by Professionals’ today.