Here is a question to the blog clinic from Marie who is a landlord.
Tenant on universal credit not paid rent for 4 months. Does not answer his phone or messages and won’t answer the front door. Neighbours say they can hear people still living there.
He has been served with section 8 & 48. I have run out of money for Landlord Action. I have the certificate of service. Only 2 months left in the shorthold tenancy agreement. What’s my best option?
Bringing claims for possession from tenants who have not paid rent is something landlords can do themselves, but you do need to be very careful as there are a lot of things which can go wrong.
For example, if you have failed to protect your deposit, the tenant can bring a claim for the penalty for non-compliance which can reduce or even wipe out your rent arrears claim. In which case you can end up owing your tenants money!
Your claim will also depend on your notice being in the proper form, correctly drafted and with all the details correct (although courts will sometimes overlook minor typos).
I would suggest that to start with you take our free Which Possession Proceedings Guide which will take you through the options and let you know which one is most suitable for you.
If you join Landlord Law (as a Business Level member) you will then be able to use our step by step eviction guide. This will (on current prices) cost you £350 for the year, but it is cheaper than using solicitors.
Remember that if you do it all yourself but get things wrong this can end up costing you a lot more than the cost of using solicitors would have done, as it will take you months longer to evict your tenant and you could be ordered to pay your tenants legal costs. As explained in this post here.
And finally (added after prompt from comments)
As is rightly pointed out by Alan in the comments – you should contact the local benefits office and ask for the benefit to be paid directly to you so the arrears do not increase. You have the right to do this once the arrears are 8 weeks or more.
Can’t believe I forgot to add that!