New software from Cumbrian mobile communications specialist, SMS Speedway, is allowing residential lettings agents to smoothly handle rent arrears.

The software sends automatic reminders to tenants about overdue payments, saving property agencies time-consuming administrative work.

If the tenants fall behind with their payments, the software sends them warnings and acknowledges them when they've made their payment.

Landlords can also be notified when rent is paid or when a tenant is in arrears.

Bradley Kieser, chief executive of SMS Speedway, said: “Chasing rent arrears is time consuming and it’s taking up ever more time as the cost-of-living crisis pushes more tenants into arrears.

“Our system allows agents to redeploy staff to more productive, revenue-generating activities as well as providing a better service to the tenant and, most importantly, the landlord.”

The system is designed to lower agency workload, functioning in harmony with customer relationship management systems and offering the flexibility of customisable text content and send out times.

Reminders are sent out a few days before rent is due, on the due date, and gradually become more firm if the rent is overdue.

The reminders cease following the payment, with the tenant receiving a thank you note.

Communication through the software can occur through various means, including text, email, and multiple messaging platforms such as WhatsApp, Messenger, Twitter Direct Messages, Instagram, and Signal.

Bradley said: “Sending a reminder before their rent is due can be beneficial, especially for tenants who don’t pay by standing order or direct debit who might genuinely forget their rent is due.

“Thanking tenants when they pay isn’t only polite, it’s good practice. When tenants see that their payments are being noted, they are less likely to default.

“And the ability to notify the landlord when payments are made is an added-value service at minimal cost.”

Should the software’s system of reminders fail to draw out the payment and the tenant is classified as defaulting, necessary statutory notices can be issued.

The software can also be integrated with the Advanced Customer Engagement (ACE) system of Carlisle's SMS Speedway.

The system, which incorporates an AI chatbot, allows interaction with tenants who are in arrears to understand possible reasons for falling behind.

Bradley said: “Tenants in arrears are more likely to talk to a non-human than a human because it takes away any embarrassment they might feel.”

Users pay a one-off set-up charge followed by a monthly subscription. To find out more, call SMS Speedway on call 01228 217222, or visit their website.