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we have a problem with a non-paying tenant who moved in and made two payments for the first two weeks (we agreed that he pays on a weekly basis). First week was when he

moved in, for 6 months' AST and he swore that he would set a standing order the next day, that's why it was suspicious that he paid cash to our bank account instead the second

week. Yesterday was his payday for the third week and we didn't receive anything. Today he avoids our calls though we left several messages and once he took the phone but put

it down as soon as he heard my voice. Looks like a typical scammer to me.

We would need your help. I'm shaking and can't find anything now. Could you just bring me through the course of actions briefly? Also, people recommend sending a notice

recorded delivery. One estate agent's website (Visum group, the one that puts you on Rightmove) they recommend an ordinary letter and obtain proof of posting.

That's what they say in the last paragraph:


Also, if he is supposed to pay rent weekly, do we have to provide him with the rent book, even if it is AST and he wanted to set a Standing Order?

I know that we can serve him Section 8 Notice if he's at least 8 weeks in arrears (section 21is not the best option). What if after these 8 weeks he pays for one week? Will we

have to wait another 8 weeks? And what if he keeps doing it every 8 weeks? Is it recommended that we contact his employer (once) and inform him of his employee being


Thank you in advance and I would be grateful for any links with relevant information as well.

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Hi Irina,

Well - he is only 1 week late with the rent ..... so no need to panic (yet!) ..... and probably a little premature to start worrying about Section 8s or Section 21s or legal action ... or anything really!

OK - so he owes you money ... and he is now "ducking your calls" ..... welcome to the world of landlording! Most people will duck the telephone calls from people they owe money .... especially if they haven't got the money at the moment.

You need to call in to see the tenant - armed with a new standing order for him to sign. Once he has signed the standing order form then YOU need to send it to HIS bank ... to make sure it is actually sent ......

You also need to agree a repayment plan for the 1 weeks rent that he owes you ... or he might even pay you in cash when you pop over.

Finally .... if you panic this easily ... I would question whether landlording is the life for you!


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Thank you for your reply but we came round several times today. Each time either he wasn't there or he wouldn't open the door. So, I'm afraid it's not an option as he just avoids us and there's nothing we can do. Plus, standing order can be cancelled within minutes online. Thank you, anyway. Not panicking but really would do with some guidance. So, if anyone will answer the questions above, it'll be greatly appreciated.

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Mortitia, thank you for replying. No, we didn't do any credit checks. The tenant made up the story of splitting up with his girl-friend, so he didn't have a reference from the previous landlord because he never rented before and he needed to move in ASAP because he was basically homeless. Unfortunately, I'm house-bound and my husband does all the viewings and dealings with the tenants. I saw a few red flags before but trusted that my husband had a feel for him and could make a better judgement than me. We did see his payslips, which confirmed hat he coul comfortably afford the bills and the rent and reference from work.

Landlording is something we have to do whether it is for us or not because it's my only source of income as, being a foreigner, I'm not entitled to any benefits and can't work at all. As for now, tenant never responds to recorded messages, never opens the door (once he was caught coming out and straightway he cooked up another lie about his father having a stroke and him not being able to call us or pay the money. He promised to pay on Monday which never materialized). Neighbours saw him carrying lots of possessions into the flat, so it looked like he intends to stay for a long time. Since paying his first week, he became completely unavailable and beyond our reach. We'll write him a letter detailing our future plans and implications of non-payment on him, but he behaves so confidently that I believe he knows what the score is, anyway.

The only way forward for us is Section 8 Notice when 8 weeks on non-paid rent are up, then preparing documents for the court (still don't know which ones) within 14 days, then waiting 6-10 weeks for the court hearing, etc, etc. Would like to pursue him for the rent owed but not sure how if he leaves his job. Anyway, for now, he'll live in a nice flat for free for several months.

If anyone has any helpful advice (not that we should have done the checks, it won't help now), it will be appreciated.


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Hi Irene,

It sounds like this tenant has done this before and knows exactly what he is doing. He has targeted a landlord who does not do checks and has probably done the same many times. Don't get caught again and be very sceptical about stories of hardships and relationship problems - letting is a business not charity especially for you as it is your only form of income.

Yes, go for section 8 but I might be minded to go for a section 21 as well to be sure to get him out. Read up on this carefully if doing it yourself. Make youself an expert and not a victim. Learn how to check tenants out in future and always put that you will be checking in your advertising. This will put off the scammers.

Good luck,


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Sorry to hear your predicament, so many people seem to fall for this. The first line of your defence is the referencing - so cheap nowadays.

It does look like he's probably done this a few times so like advised earlier I would start the reposession process, painful as it is.

Couldn't post anything here but I would be thinking how I could legally make some things uncomfortable for him, you need to read up and get your knowledge up to date and better than his, don't mean to be rude but it sounds as though you do have the time to do this.

Good luck

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