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Tenant has told me they intend not paying rent


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Hi, I have a tenant who has recently split up from her partner who has paid her rent for over the last few months since they split up. She has now told me he is refusing to pay the rent and that she now cannot afford to pay me any rent at all. I was wondering what the procedure would be from here on. Obviously I either a) need to evict her or B) she leaves on her own accord.

I believe if I give her a notice of eviction anyway it may help her in getting a council house etc so perhaps this is the first course of action regardless.

We are already halfway through a month which they pay at the month end so therefore they are already strictly in arrears.

Additionally both tenants names are still on the tenancy agreement if this helps at all. My main priority of course is to minimise financial loss so any advice on chasing both parties for the debt owed would be appreciated.

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I don't know if you saw the Channel 4 programme last night on 'how to get a council house' but it should have alerted triers to the fact that councils are in a bad way and the outcome is unsure even for those single women with multiple children by multiple fathers.

When did the tenancy start and for how long. Did you take a deposit, is it protected and did you issue the 'prescribed information'?

If both signed the agreement they are both ' jointly and severally' liable for rent and utilities. So if they don't want a CCJ each then they better pay up.

Once out of the fixed period of an AST you can evict with a Section 21 but you need to give 2 months clear notice from a rent due date. Once the notice period is up you can apply to the courts for an order to remove tenant - this could take a further 2 + months.

On the other hand once 8 weeks in arrears you can apply to the courts for possession with a Section 8 - possession down this route will also get you a court order for the rent arrears. The downside is if there is any disrepair and the property and the tenant argues this the case may be dismissed for reports.

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My thoughts are:

Is there a guarantor in place? If so start chasing them for the rent. Also Is there a RGI policy you can claim on.

You could instruct or threaten a debt collector.

You could also send a letter before action or get a solicitor to send on to put pressure on the tenants paying up.

As soon as the second months rent is outstanding (1 month and 1 day) do as Mortitia suggests and serve a section 8 with grounds 8,10,11. You can then apply to the court for an eviction hearing 14 day ( + postage time) later.

Also at the same time write to your housing benefit dept stating your tenant is in arrears of more that 2 months and you now formerly request any LHA/Housing benefit is paid directly to you. (include a rent schedule showing the arrears.) Sent this letter anyway whether you know or not they are claiming as the council will tell you if they aren't. Also if they put in a claim at a later date you should also get the payments.

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