How to deal with a tenant in rent arrears?

Where tenants are in rent arrears, it is essential that the Landlord is aware of their rights and manage the situation lawfully and effectively. This guide will help you.

My Tenant owes me rent what should I do?

1. Consider your negotiating options. In my professional experience this can be a powerful tool when trying to recover money. Always remember tenants have important rights which prevent them being unlawfully harassed or evicted by a landlord.

2. Issue a S8 Notice for Rent Arrears. A Section 8 Housing Act 1988 Notice a ‘fault-based’ notice i.e. the Tenant has done something wrong such as non-payment of rent, caused damage or other. This is more complex and will require considerable knowledge of the 17 grounds that can be applied.

3. The Tenant on benefits – Contact the council who have awarded housing benefits, after 8 weeks of rent arrears by the tenant applying to the council in writing, the council are obliged to pay the landlord direct without tenants’ permission. I would advise you inform your tenants in writing of your actions.

4. See why to serve a Housing Act S21 notice. The most common way of terminating a tenancy because no reason need be given to end the tenancy, the paperwork is fairly straightforward and if the tenant does not leave, the court ‘fast track’ procedure can be used.

5. Compare tenant eviction notices, under S21 the tenancy cannot be ended before the end of the current fixed term and a slightly different rule in notice period if serving during a statutory periodic tenancy.