How to Handle Tenant Eviction and Unpaid Rent Issues

We have been granted possession of our property using the accelerated procedure (Thanks to the guild's advice & guidance).

The process takes six weeks if they leave on the 14th.

The tenants have not paid this month's rent and are £350 in arrears (rent is £1250 pcm).

They paid some after their housing officer reminded them to pay rent. We also allowed them to pay in arrears due to receiving Housing Benefits when the tenancy began in 2010 (despite the tenancy stating to pay in advance), so they owe another month plus other bits and bobs from the past.

The tenants are pretty rude and unpleasant. I emailed in response to an email (where they said they were still legal tenants, sending Shelter links & demanding a gas safety check already in hand). I reminded them that they were still required to pay rent & failure to do so could be deemed intentionally homeless, and I attached links.

I sent:

"While I am aware of shelter's advice and would agree that while you are still present in the property, there is a tenancy in place. I would, however, like to point out that they also state in the same link that you need to “Continue to pay rent.”

Also, as I am sure you have been made aware, both from shelter's web pages and your housing officer, this could give a reason for the Council not to have to re-home you on the grounds of intentional homeless as you “did not pay your rent. “

I hope you find this helpful."

I have now received a response saying that due to the cost of living crisis, they can't afford to pay the rent & as the court has ordered them to pay the fee  (interestingly, the amount of the arrears they accrued from Jan to March!) & will pay half the rent (presumably one week).

This is the first time we have raised the rent arrears. How should we respond to their email? I want to send a schedule of arrears. Can we pursue the arrears?

How do we get a forwarding address to serve court papers & my guess is they will leave belongings behind when the council provides them with emergency housing.

The tenants had continually refused to provide us with keys to the front & back door when we replaced them with uPVC doors. They said they would send them in the post, but I'm sure they won't.

We need to access the house immediately & sell it as soon as they leave.


View Related Handbook Page

After the Court Order — and Eviction

The court will generally award the costs of the application for possession against the tenant, but they may allow them time to pay if they are on a limited income. A landlord may feel that it is not worth seeking to claim the costs once the property has been recovered if it will be challenging to administer the instalments.

Preventing, Controlling and Recovering Rent Arrears

The tenant's responsibility is to make sure rent is paid in full, on time and in the manner agreed in the tenancy agreement.